According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the postpartum period is a time in which new moms go through a time of change, responsibility, and healing after giving birth. With all the joy that comes with welcoming a child into the world, some feelings of sadness and anxiety may come with that as well, after all, you suddenly have another human depending on you to survive.
All women are different, therefore the postpartum period can last between 6 to 12 weeks following the birth of a child. Most medical complications that come with pregnancy and birth occur after a woman has given birth, this is why postpartum visits are essential to address any adverse effects that giving birth had on the body, such as persistent bleeding, irregular iron levels, blood pressure, pain, emotional changes, and infections.
Postpartum care guidance should begin during pregnancy with the development of an appropriate postpartum care plan to address all needs during the transitional period.
The ACOG recommends for women to have contact with their maternity care provider within the first 3 weeks postpartum. This initial assessment should be followed up with ongoing care as needed, with a concluding comprehensive postpartum visit no more than 12 weeks after birth.
The comprehensive postpartum visit should include a full assessment addressing the physical, social, and psychological well-being of the woman.
Postpartum care involves the management of vaginal tears, a C-section wound, sore breasts, milk leaking, urinary problems, and hair loss --- but postpartum care isn't limited to your physical health, as it also includes your mental well-being, for the smoothest recovery possible. Be sure to talk to your provider about any concerns you might have about the postpartum care plan to prioritize a smooth transition into motherhood and adjust to life with a newborn.