Pregnancy and baby

Your six-week postnatal check

What healthcare will we get from the NHS after birth?

Media last reviewed: 08/05/2012

Next review due: 08/05/2014

You should have your postnatal check about six weeks after your baby's birth to make sure that you feel well and are recovering properly.

You may be offered an appointment to go back to the hospital or midwifery unit where you gave birth, but otherwise you should see your GP. It's time to introduce your baby to your GP as the new member of the family.

It's also a good opportunity to ask any questions and sort out any problems you may have. You may want to make a list of questions to take along with you so that you don't forget what you want to ask.

You can also ask the doctor about contraception. You may wish to choose a different method from the one you previously used, especially if your pregnancy was not planned. The doctor or nurse can help you decide which method is right for you now.

What happens at your postnatal check

  • you will be weighed and can get weight loss advice if you need it (find out about healthy diet and fitness after the birth)
  • your urine will be tested to make sure your kidneys are working properly and that you haven't got an infection
  • your blood pressure will be checked
  • you may be offered an examination to see if your stitches have healed (if you had any), and that all the muscles used during labour and delivery are returning to normal
  • your breasts probably won't be examined unless you have a particular concern about them
  • your doctor may discuss carrying out a cervical screening test (smear test) with you if you have not had one in the past three years – the test won't usually take place until three months after delivery
  • if you are not immune to rubella (German measles) and were not given an immunisation before you left hospital, you will be offered one now – you should avoid becoming pregnant for one month after this immunisation
  • you will be asked if you still have any vaginal discharge and whether you have had a period since the birth

Tell your doctor if

  • you are having trouble holding urine or wind, or you are soiling yourself
  • having sex is painful
  • you are feeling very tired, low or depressed
  • you are worried about anything

Page last reviewed: 25/03/2013

Next review due: 25/03/2015

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The 3 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

LHS123 said on 06 November 2014

I went to book my postnatal check today but the receptionist at the GP surgery said "they don't usually expect mums to have a 6/8 week check anymore, they sort of just leave mums to get on with it... but if I'm ill I could book an appointment". I felt really awkward to have asked about it, even though the midwife had told me to make an appointment - needless to say I left it at that, looks like I won't be having a postnatal check! Anybody else experienced this?

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DanielleDing said on 02 August 2014

Mine was exactly the same, a nurse just checked my blood pressure and weight and prescribed the pill I was on before. I was hoping to have been checked over properly because I had an episiotomy, and I thought they'd check my stomach muscles. I was also hoping to discuss my mood but no such luck. I'm going to have to go back.

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Gem_G said on 30 July 2014

I had my postnatal check last week when my baby was 9 weeks old. This was my first baby so I didn't know what to expect. Not a single question was asked about how I was or any checks done on me, the doctor only checked my daughter. After reading this now I'm a bit concerned that I should have been checked too, especially as I had to have stitches and had to have antibiotics a few days after as I was in so much pain. I feel like the appointment was completely rushed and although I was happy that my daughter was checked it would have been good to know that I'm also doing well especially as a new mum.

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