Obstetric care does not cease with the delivery of the baby. The immediate postnatal care is focused on making mothers comfortable with adequate analgesia and assisting and guiding them with instructions on the care of their newborn baby. Our medical suites are located at Northpark hospital in Bundoora and we will book your postnatal check-up after the birth of your baby.
Northpark Private hospital maternity suites provide spacious and contemporary private rooms for mothers after birth. Dr Steven visits mothers in their rooms after birth to monitor recovery and make sure they are comfortable. Not unexpectedly attention is usually focused on the baby after birth but many mothers have problems with perineal and abdominal pain, haemorrhoids, varicose veins and of course breast soreness. These are important problems that need immediate attention so that new mothers can properly focus themselves on their primary role of being the principal carer of their baby.
Breastfeeding in Hospital
For those women who wish to breastfeed special attention is given to guidance on how to breastfeed and making them comfortable with the process and dealing with any problems that might arise. The midwives have a wealth of experience in breastfeeding and are the ones who are principally involved in helping mothers who are first-time breastfeeders. For mothers who elect not to breast-feed, they can be given a medicine to suppress Prolactin production (Dostinex) to prevent the natural engorgement of breasts which happens in the first few days after birth. For breastfeeding mothers, we would recommend giving the baby vitamin D for 6 months after birth.
Postnatal Hormone Changes
Tiredness is a common problem antenatally but it can be made worse after birth with unsettled nights and demanding babies. For some women routines need to be established where a baby’s needs are met but where a mother can get time to rest so that she can be both physically and mentally well to best look after her baby.
Significant hormonal changes occur after birth, which can have important effects on the mother’s mood. Common problems of caring for a newborn baby can also make these mood changes worse and the happiness felt immediately after birth can sometimes be replaced by feelings of insecurity and concern about her ability to care for her baby after she leaves the hospital.
These mood problems are a very common problem and they usually settle over a number of days. They are important and they should be drawn to the attention of the midwives and obstetrician. A questionnaire can be completed to gauge the level of mood and when appropriate an opinion can be sought from a Psychologist, or a Psychiatrist and more time in Northpark Private hospital can be allocated to the mother in the mother-baby unit for the care of either the mother or an unsettled baby. The good news is that the majority of mothers feel well and are happy to go home after a routine time in hospital.
What Happens at the 6 Postpartum Weeks Check Up
The first six weeks after the birth of her baby is called the puerperium. During this time the uterus involutes to its normal size, vaginal bleeding settles, metabolism and blood pressure normalize and hormonal effects of pregnancy resolve. If any problems arise during this time your obstetrician needs to be notified and appropriate treatment offered.
Mastitis, persistent bleeding, urinary infections are common and easily fixed. Most importantly persistent depressed mood can develop into postnatal depression and will need special attention. All mothers and fathers should feel free to notify the obstetrician if any of these problems occur postnatally.
A special postnatal visit occurs when the baby is six weeks old. At this time I we review the pregnancy and the need for follow up tests if you had gestational diabetes, thyroid disease or blood pressure problems. Your labour will be reviewed and relevant recommendations will be made regarding the management of subsequent pregnancies. The value of performing CT pelvimetry in between pregnancies to assess pelvic dimensions and a recommendation regarding the suitability of you having a vaginal delivery in your next pregnancy if a caesarean section had been necessary.
A gynaecological examination is usually performed at the postnatal visit as well and is combined with a cervical smear if you are overdue. Our postnatal suites are located at Northpark private in Bundoora. Contraception is an important part of the postnatal discussion. Contraceptive options will be offered and a prescription for the pill or a booking for insertion of a Mirena IUD or Implanon will be made.
At the end of the consultation, Dr Steven usually asks for your opinion regarding your satisfaction with your obstetric care and if you would like to have had anything changed. We are always grateful for baby photographs which we take great pleasure to display in our rooms or even better on Facebook.
5 Common Questions Asked at the 6-week Checkup
- Any issues with my delivery?
- How much bleeding is normal after birth?
- How much pain should I expect postpartum?
- When can I start exercising again?
- Can I have a Vbac after my C-section?
Postnatal care is important in caring for a pregnant patient and is part of the triad of antenatal intrapartum and postnatal care. Ultimately a healthy baby and mother is the final denominator in the quality of obstetrics care, but so too is the experience of having been pregnant and given birth to your baby.
Dr Steven places great importance on the mother’s health during the postpartum period, as an experienced Melbourne obstetrician based at Northpark private hospital, he provides care through your entire pregnancy and postnatal period. General gynaecology care including;
- Fertility issues
- Menstruation problems
- Genital prolapse
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary incontinence
- General gynaecology problems
- Vaginal repair
- General gynaecology surgery
Ph: 03 9467 9444
Suite 3, Plenty Rd Consulting Suites
135 Plenty Rd (Cnr Greenhills Rd)
Northpark Private Hospital, Bundoora, Melbourne, VIC 3083