First let me define post partum depression for you. According to my go-to site (Wikipedia) Post partum depression is a form of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth. It usually starts in the first few months, and may last up to several months or even a year. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. It is sometimes assumed that postpartum depression is caused by a lack of vitamins, but studies tend to show that more likely causes are the significant changes in a woman’s hormones during pregnancy.
Now, a postpartum appointment happens 6 weeks after childbirth and according to babyweekly.com it is an appointment to make sure you are recovering well (physically and emotionally) after delivering your baby. Now, these are what is part of a standard postpartum checkup: your doctor will perform a complete physical and ask you questions about your recovery and your baby; this is also a good time to ask your doctor any questions you have about your recovery, postpartum depression, breastfeeding,formula feeding or anything else that’s on your mind. They will check your weight and blood pressure to make sure it is back to normal. Next, your uterus and breasts will be checked to make sure they have returned to its normal size by six weeks postpartum, even though your stomach muscles may still feel slack. Your doctor will also feel your abdomen to check for tenderness and your breasts for lumps or abnormal nipple discharge. If you are breastfeeding, he or she will make sure you don’t have any clogged ducts or the beginnings of a breast infection (mastitis). Your doctor will check to be sure your perineum is healing if you had an episiotomy or tore during delivery. During the internal exam, he or she will also check to make sure any bruises, scratches, or tears to your cervix or vagina are healing properly. He or she will also feel your ovaries and check your vaginal muscle tone. The topic of sex and contraception will be discussed as getting pregnant again is very easy after having your baby. Your emotional health will be brought up – how you are feeling and adjusting, how the baby is doing, and if you are experiencing any postpartum depression. This is a good time to bring up any questions or concerns you have that he or she hasn’t addressed. As well, some lab tests may be done. He or she may also perform a Pap smear at this visit.
Now, let me tell you what happened at my postpartum appointment! Nothing!!!
I went down to the hospital for my appointment, with my mother and daughter in tow! I checked in and waited about 15 minutes before being called in. Great right? Pretty quick for a ObGyn! So, I was weighed – I won’t divulge that info! My blood pressure was taken, back to my normal 100 over 70. And the nurse asked how I was feeling, how I was adjusting, and about contraception. Then, she gave me a hug and said “hope to see you soon! Good luck with everything and take care. The doctor will be in soon.” Ok, we figured it was about 11:05am we should be out soon. At 11:45am my daughter started to get very hungry. I’m not breasfeeding and was hoping to be able to leave to go home and feed her but the nurse said I had to wait. I then searched for hot water to warm up her bottle. At 12:20pm (almost 2 hours in) my mom left to wait in the car to avoid getting a ticket. At 12:25 – the doctor (as wonderful as she is) finally came in and asked me how I was feeling and adjusting and about contraception. Then she gave me a hug and said “hope to see you soon! Good luck with everything and take care. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you”. Umm! Excuse me?! Where’s my internal? Where’s my abdomen check? Where’s my breast check? I sat here for 2 hours to have the same conversation twice – which only lasted 5 minutes – and to have my blood pressure checked?!?! I could have gone to the drugstore checked my blood pressure myself, called with the result and talked to you about how I was feeling!!! What a waste of time!
Thanks for letting me vent!