4 Reasons Why You Need To See An OB Doctor After Delivery
How can an OB doctor help you in the weeks or months after childbirth? You need OB services during your pregnancy, but these services shouldn't stop on the day you deliver. If you're a new mom-to-be, take a look at what you need to know about the postpartum period and the top reasons to see your doctor.
You Need A Postpartum Checkup
Your pregnancy was filled with checkups. These doctor's office visits shouldn't end after your third trimester. The "fourth trimester" or postpartum period is a time of major physical and emotional changes. You will need a medical provider to guide you through this time and monitor your health. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women should have several doctor's checkups in the first 12 weeks after giving birth.
The ACOG recommends that women have their first postpartum checkup within three weeks of giving birth. The last postpartum visit should happen at 12-weeks postpartum. Some women may need to follow a slightly different schedule. If you had complications during pregnancy or childbirth, your OB may want to see you sooner than three weeks or more often than what they might suggest for a typical pregnancy/childbirth.
You Had A Complication or Pregnancy-Related Condition
Again, complications and some pregnancy-related medical conditions may increase your postpartum healthcare needs. These include issues such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, anemia, preterm labor, or some types of infections.
You May Need More Than A Physical Checkup
Physical health isn't the only thing OBs help new mothers with. Along with the changes in your body, you may also experience emotional or psychological issues after pregnancy. Some women experience the "baby blues" or temporary postpartum sadness. This differs from postpartum depression (PPD)—which is more serious and may persist for weeks or months after delivery.
If you feel sad, anxious, are irritable, are distracted, or just don't feel like your normal self, talk to your doctor. Even though obstetricians aren't experts in mental health conditions, your OB can discuss the signs of PPD with you, evaluate you for this common condition, and help you to find the best type of treatment for your needs.
You Don't Want To Get Pregnant Again Right Away
You just had a baby—and aren't ready for your family to expand again anytime soon. The OB can help you to prevent another immediate pregnancy. Discuss birth control options with your doctor during your first prenatal checkup. The OB can match your family planning needs with the best contraceptive option available.
For more information, contact your OB doctor today.