Your pregnancy and baby guide

Your 6-week postnatal check

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

Some GP surgeries do not routinely offer a postnatal check.

You can always request an appointment for a check, especially if you have any concerns. It's a good idea to make a list of questions to take along with you.

There are no set guidelines for what a postnatal check for mothers should involve. However, there are guidelines for your baby's 6- to 8-week check.

This check repeats your baby's newborn physical examination. You may find that your GP combines the 2 checks at the same appointment.

What happens at your postnatal check

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

  • You will be asked how you are feeling as part of a general discussion about your mental health and wellbeing.
  • You will 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 will be asked about contraception.
  • If you are 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 are feeling sad or anxious – looking after a baby can sometimes feel overwhelming. Don't feel you have to struggle alone or put on a brave face. It's not a sign that you are 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 are having trouble holding urine or wind, or you are soiling yourself
  • 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.

Media last reviewed: 05/04/2017

Media review due: 05/04/2020

Page last reviewed: 11/05/2016
Next review due: 11/05/2019