The Importance of Postpartum Visits




See your doctor for a postpartum checkup at least twice. The first visit should be within three weeks of delivery. Schedule another appointment before 12 weeks postpartum. After delivery, many people experience uncomfortable body changes. These may be signs of more serious, life-threatening problems. Your doctor can spot these signs and help make sure your body is healing. 

To learn about common symptoms during recovery from delivery and suggestions for how to handle them, download Your Guide to Life After Delivery (PDF).

During your visits, your doctor will:

  • Check your height and weight
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Feel your stomach to make sure you are not sore
  • Check your incision if you had a C-section
  • Check your breasts, vagina, and cervix
  • Your doctor may also order tests to check for diabetes or low iron. You might need a Pap smear or shots for the flu, TDap, or chickenpox.
  • If you had pregnancy complications or have a chronic health condition, your doctor may run extra tests.

Some items you may need for the appointment:

  • If you go on maternity leave, your manager might have forms for your doctor to fill out. Take these with you.
  • You will talk about many things during this visit. Topics include how your body feels, breastfeeding, exercise, sex, and going back to work. Discuss birth control options. If you are feeling nervous, depressed, or overwhelmed, say so. This could be the “baby blues” or something more serious. Write down your questions beforehand so you don’t forget them!