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Your 6-week postnatal check - Your pregnancy and baby guide

You should have your postnatal check 6 to 8 weeks after your baby's birth to make sure you feel well and are recovering properly.

Your GP surgery is required to offer and provide you with a postnatal check following changes made in April 2020. You can request an appointment for a check yourself, especially if you have any concerns. It's a good idea to make a list of questions to take along with you.

Your postnatal check should be done with a GP. It can be done immediately before or after your baby's 6 to 8 week check. But it can also be done at a separate time if you would like it to be.

You can read more about what happens at your baby's 6 to 8 week check.

What happens at your postnatal check

The following is usually offered, though this may vary according to where you live:

  • You'll be asked how you're feeling as part of a general discussion about your mental health and wellbeing.
  • You'll be asked if you still have any vaginal discharge and whether you have had a period since the birth.
  • Your blood pressure will be checked if you had problems during pregnancy or immediately after the birth.
  • You may be offered an examination to see if your stitches have healed if you had an episiotomy or caesarean section.
  • If you were due for a cervical screening test while pregnant, this should be rescheduled for 12 weeks after the birth.
  • You'll be asked about contraception.
  • If you're overweight or obese, with a BMI of 30 or more, you may be weighed. Your doctor should give you weight loss advice and guidance on healthy eating and physical activity.

Tell your doctor if...

  • you're feeling sad or anxious – looking after a baby can sometimes feel overwhelming. Do not feel you have to struggle alone or put on a brave face. It's not a sign that you're a bad mother. You need to get help, as you may have postnatal depression. Your doctor or health visitor can provide help and support.
  • you're having trouble holding in your pee or wind, or you're soiling yourself with poo
  • having sex is painful
  • you're not sure if you have had 2 doses of the MMR vaccination – if you have not had these, your practice nurse will offer them with a gap of at least 1 month between doses. You should avoid becoming pregnant for 1 month after having the MMR vaccination.

Video: what healthcare will we get from the NHS after birth?

In this video, a health visitor explains the care and professional support you will get after the birth.

Media last reviewed: 5 April 2020
Media review due: 5 April 2023

Page last reviewed: 23 April 2019
Next review due: 23 April 2022