Your pregnancy and baby guide
Your 6-week postnatal check
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- Secrets to success
- Am I pregnant?
- Early days
- Week by week
- Preparing for the birth
- Work out your due date
- Tests scans and checks
- Your pregnancy (antenatal) care
- Your health and wellbeing
- Existing health problems
- Common pregnancy ailments
- Pregnancy-induced conditions
Labour and birth
- The start of labour
- The birth
- Emotions and worries
- Premature babies
- How to breastfeed
- Breastfeeding problems
- Lifestyle and breastfeeding
- Bottle feeding
- Newborn screening tests
- Newborn essentials
- New parents
- New mums
- Twins and multiples
Babies and toddlers
- Weaning and solid foods
- Baby health and care
- Spotting signs of serious illness
- Reflux in babies
- How to take a baby's temperature
- Reducing the risk of SIDS
- Treating a high temperature
- Sleep problems in children
- Coughs, colds and ear infections
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Infectious illnesses
- Children's medicines
- Looking after a sick child
- Serious conditions and special needs
- Constipation in young children
- Your baby's height and weight
- Baby health and development reviews
- Leg and foot problems in children
- Learning, play and behaviour
- Safety and accidents
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.
Page last reviewed: 04/10/2019
Next review due: 04/10/2022