advice

the six-week postnatal check-up:
what to expect


Around six weeks after your baby is born, you and your little one will be invited for a postnatal check-up with your GP. This is to make sure that you're feeling well and your body is recovering properly after the birth. Your baby will be weighed, measured and examined to check that they're feeding and steadily gaining weight. It’s a good time to discuss any questions with your GP, be it about vaccinations or anything else.



1.

baby’s eyes

During the six-week postnatal check-up, the appearance and movement of your baby's eyes will be checked using an ophthalmoscope. The doctor will also check that your baby’s hearing and vision are working well. The results will be recorded in your red book.



2.

baby’s heart

The doctor will listen to your baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope to make sure all is well. Further tests will be arranged if there's anything out of the ordinary.



3.

baby’s hips

Your baby’s legs will be manipulated very gently to check their hips are developing properly. Let your doctor know if there's a family history of hip displacement, as an ultrasound might be necessary.



4.

baby’s testes

Boys will need an extra check to make sure the testes have descended into the scrotum. If not, you may be asked to revisit your doctor at a later date.



5.

your well-being

The doctor will ask about your general well-being. You'll be weighed and you can ask for weight loss advice if you want it. If you're feeling very tired, have low moods, or are worried about anything at all, it’s a good chance to discuss it with your doctor.



6.

your body

You may be offered an examination to see if your stitches have healed (if you had them) and that all the muscles used during the birth are returning to normal. You should tell your doctor if you have excessive wind, or are having trouble getting to the toilet on time.



7.

you will be asked about contraception

As it’s possible to become pregnant again very soon after the birth of a baby, even if you're breastfeeding and even if your periods haven't returned.



8.

your intimate health

You'll be asked if you have any vaginal discharge and if you've had a period since the birth. Your GP may also discuss your next cervical screening (smear) test if you haven't had one in the past three years. This test won't usually take place until three months after birth.