An approach to the postpartum office visit

Carol E. Blenning, Heather Paladine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The postpartum period (typically the first six weeks after delivery) may underscore physical and emotional health issues in new mothers. A structured approach to the postpartum office visit ensures that relevant conditions and concerns are discussed and appropriately addressed. Common medical complications during this period include persistent postpartum bleeding, endometritis, urinary incontinence, and thyroid disorders. Breastfeeding education and behavioral counseling may increase breastfeeding continuance. Postpartum depression can cause significant morbidity for the mother and baby; a postnatal depression screening tool may assist in diagnosing depression-related conditions. Decreased libido can affect sexual functioning after a woman gives birth. Physicians should also discuss contraception with postpartum patients, even those who are breastfeeding. Progestin-only contraceptives are recommended for breastfeeding women. The lactational amenorrhea method may be a birth control option but requires strict criteria for effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2491-2497
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume72
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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