OB Pre-Natal Care

6 Weeks Postpartum Check-up

Now that you have delivered your newborn, your journey as a parent begins. The fourth trimester, or 12-week period after giving birth, is when you and your baby are experiencing many new changes together. It is best to schedule a 4-to-6-week postpartum checkup with your healthcare provider to help with the adjustment to your new life. This visit ensures you are feeling physically and mentally strong throughout your recovery process. Check out the Nutrient Needs section to find out how you can support your 4th trimester with nutrition.

Developmental Milestones

  • My Baby: Life outside a cozy, warm womb is new and can be challenging for your newborn. Check out our Well-Child Care sections for more details on how to address your infant’s growth and care.
  • My Body: You may have a small baby bump for four to eight weeks after delivery as your uterus shrinks back to its former size. Other organs may also be shifting back into place. Your breast milk will also come in during this time.

Nutrition Needs

Importance of Postpartum Nutrition

During the 4th trimester, your body needs adequate energy and nutrients to help support your recovery. Nourishing your body during this period is just as important as eating well during pregnancy. It is recommended to eat a diverse diet full of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats to regain your strength. The first few days and weeks after delivery can be challenging, but eating well and often can help to encourage a positive mood, ease some fatigue, and help fight off constipation.

Breastfeeding Needs

Remember, women who choose to breastfeed need extra calories throughout the day to produce enough breastmilk. These energy demands can be met with additional, healthful snacks in between meals or 5 to 6 small meals every few hours throughout the day every few hours. How much energy is needed depends on each person’s age, body mass index, activity level, and extent of breastfeeding. Estimates show that these needs could be between 400 to 500 extra calories a day compared to a woman’s pre-pregnancy calorie needs.

A New-Mom's Guide to Self-Care

The recovery period is different for every mom and every pregnancy. Remember, it took your body nine months to get to where you are today. It is going to take some time for your body to feel like itself again. Have patience, and don’t be afraid of asking for help. Asking for and accepting help can be a way of caring for yourself in this time of need. Some other things that you can do to help your body recover are:

    • Rely on your support system to help you care for yourself and your baby.
    • Rest when you can, especially if your baby is sleeping but not in the same bed.
    • Gently clean with a perineum or “peri” bottle of warm water instead of wiping with toilet paper.
    • Keep your doctor’s appointments to ensure that your health needs are met.

Family Engagement Activity

The HEAR HER Campaign supports the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health to prevent pregnancy-related deaths by sharing potentially lifesaving messages. The mission of the Hear Her Texas Campaign is centered on providing education, resources, and awareness to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity rates in Texas.

    • If you would like to read more on how to help yourself or a loved one, download the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guide to the HEAR HER Campaign.

Caregiver's Corner

Postpartum Depression

Certified Nurse-Midwife, Jana Sullivan, shares the difference between “Baby Blues” and Postpartum Depression.

    • Baby Blues” is when a woman begins to feel depressed, anxious, or upset within 2 to 3 days after giving birth. The mother may start to cry for no apparent reason, have trouble sleeping, eating, or making choices, and even question whether they can handle caring for their baby. These feelings usually last about 1 to 2 weeks after delivery and do not require treatment.
    • Postpartum depression is an extended feeling of sadness, emptiness, anxiety, or despair that prevents a mother from being able to accomplish daily tasks. This change in mental health status can be caused by the rapid hormone level changes that occur after delivery. It often starts 1 to 3 weeks after delivery and does require treatment to regulate the symptoms.

If you or someone you love is experiencing these feelings, reach out to a trusted confidant or your healthcare provider for guidance. The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is here to help. Call or text 1-833-943-5746.