By the 6th week after you've given birth, you've possibly emerged out of that newborn fog (a unique mix of jetlag and hangover), and you might have even had a few social outings.
But as the 6th week of your New Mamahood approaches, there is ONE significant milestone that all Australian Women are encouraged to partake in... the 6 week check with your GP.
So what needs checking exactly? A lot of New Mamas I've spoken to forget that the 6 week check is not just about the baby. The hospital offers a truckload of info about bub's newborn health, what to look out for, and even gives you a BLUE BOOK full of notes, measurements and tick lists from week 1 to 6.
So when you do arrive at your GP around week 6, here are 6 things that you'll expereience:
1. You'll be asked about your general wellbeing and how you're settling in to Motherhood. This is important because this gives you a chance to express any emotions you're not comfortable expressing among friends or family, and you get to paint a real picture for the Gp before all the technical and baby stuff spoils the mood! Go for it, and tell it like it is (good or bad) so the GP can make a fair assessment of your mind's health. They can refer you to any help you might need to cope better.
2. A discussion on feeding, breast or bottle, and how it's going. If you're sleep deprived, make notes before you get to the GP so you don't forget to ask!
3. The entrance that baby used to come earth-side (abdominal cut or vagina) will get a good look over. Any stitches and healing will be assessed and you will get a 'yay, all looks good' or 'this needs some attention to heal better' from your GP. Anyone thinking about getting back to the gym, behind the wheel or back in the sack will need this all-clear.
4. Your pap test can be done now, since you're already half nude and the GP is down there anyway. If your GP doesn't bring it up, ask them to check if you're up to date on the pap-test register.
5. Your GP will ask you about your choice of contraception going forward. It might be hard to believe that nature could be so cruel as to punish (sorry, 'bless') you with another foetus while you're still healing, but it CAN HAPPEN!
6. Your baby will be checked over and immunised, as per your blue book. It's a good idea to bring that along so you don't have to transfer details over yourself.
We hope that this info from experienced Mamas is helpful for any New Mamas coming up to their 6 week postpartum checkup.