Postpartum Clinic Visit
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For many new parents, the postpartum period, the first 12 weeks after delivery, is a time of learning. They are adjusting to life with their new or expanding family. Historically, postpartum care was thought of as a single visit at 4–6 weeks postpartum. Given the magnitude of change in a new mother’s life, it is unlikely that a single visit can adequately address all concerns. Rather a series of visits, either in office or by phone, might better serve the purposes of both the mother and physician. A mnemonic involving any number of B’s (from 5 to 8 or more) has been used to que the provider to address issues present in the postpartum period. Alternatively one can think of issues in a head to toe format; in either case, a systematic approach is best to ensure important topics are covered. This chapter is written to address the issues and concerns faced by mothers in the postpartum period and does not address the issues faced by adoptive parents, couples who have used a surrogate or other nontraditional couples, or individuals who find themselves in the role of parent. That isn’t to say these issues don’t deserve important discussion but rather that it is beyond the scope of this book.