If you about to give birth for the first time you will be wondering about many things, but one may be what postnatal checks you will have.
What happens on Postnatal visits? To help ease your mind, below is some information about the postnatal checks you will receive immediately after giving birth.
* Your community midwife will visit you and baby every two – three days for approximately two weeks after the birth. These visits may be more or less frequent depending on how well things are going and how confident you feel with your baby.
* Advice is just a phone call away and you can call a midwife, your local health centre or the hospital you had the baby in for advice anytime. There are also 24/7 emergency helplines. Also ask your midwife if there is a Surestart Children’s Centre programme available in your area, as these can provide you with extra support.
* At the postnatal visits, your midwife will monitor your own wellbeing as well as your baby’s. She – or sometimes he – will ask you how you are feeling, emotionally as well as physically, check your temperature, blood pressure, check the amount of blood loss you are experiencing is normal, and feel your stomach to check that your uterus is shrinking back to its normal size.
* One of the most important roles of a midwife is to ensure a baby is feeding adequately. Your midwife will therefore talk about how you are feeding baby, and, if you are breastfeeding, check to see there are no problems with your breasts, such as mastitis.
* One of the biggest indicators that your baby is feeding well and thriving is whether or not she is putting on weight. A midwife will weigh your baby on several occasions during those first two weeks to ensure she is steadily putting on weight.
* After approximately two weeks, if everything is going well, your midwife will effectively discharge you from her care and your local health visitor will take over. Your health visitor will continue to make visits, but less regularly, to ensure that you and your baby are doing well.
* Your health clinic puts on weekly advice clinics where you can go and get baby weighed and discuss any issues or concerns you may have with a qualified professional – Take advantage of them!