When you have your baby, you can book in to see or speak to your GP at anytime if you have concerns. It may be about your baby's health, your physical health or your mental health. We will arrange to see both you and baby at 6 weeks for routine checks but before that, don’t hesitate to come and talk to us about any concerns you have. You may not normally see your GP regularly but after having a baby or even if possible during pregnancy it is a good time to find a GP you like and try to have some continuity if possible. Building a good rapport with us is so important as you start a family as we are likely to play more of a role in your new family’s lives.
Talking of this 6 week postnatal check, what does it involve? It is for both mum and baby and is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We can also signpost you to other sources of support.
For Mum it will normally include:
· General questions about how you are feeling, trying to identify any mood problems or anxieties you may have.
· You will be asked if you still have any vaginal discharge and whether you have had a period.
· You will be offered an examination to see if your stitches have healed if you have had an episiotomy, tear or C Section.
· Blood pressure check if you had any problems with this during pregnancy, labour or afterwards.
· Contraception advice – you probably won’t have thought about it at this point but it is an important time to bring it up!
· Any other concerns you have e.g. breastfeeding, getting back to exercise.
· Your cervical smear test will be delayed until 3 months after you have your baby.
For Baby, it will include:
· Top to toe check similar to newborn check in the hospital after baby is born. It includes examination of the head, eyes, heart, lungs, abdomen, genitalia, hips and spine.
Important problems that we look for are:
· Heart problems
· Hip problems
· Testicular problems
We will also check baby’s growth and development. It will also cover any concerns you have e.g. about sleep, feeding, colic etc.
So there we go, just some insight into the role of your GP after your baby is born. For more information on what might happen after your baby is born and for more tips on how to look after yourself and baby, as well as information on labour, come along to our 6 week expert led Antenatal Courses, Bump to Cradle www.bumptocradle.com or contact Dr Miriam Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.