Your 6-week postnatal check
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.
What healthcare will we get from the NHS after birth?
Find out what care you will have from the NHS after the birth.
Media review due: 5 April 2023
Page last reviewed: 23 April 2019
Next review due: 23 April 2022