Postpartum Recovery: How Important is Your 6-Week Postnatal Check?

The Mammy Coach

By Melissa Chadwick

Writing articles on postpartum recovery, I struggle to not brain dump as I could talk to you for hours. So, I’ll start with one of the most important aspects of recovery (in my opinion), which is your 6-week check and/or postnatal screen. Most of us are familiar with the 6-week timeframe and check before we ‘should’ return to exercise. Generally, we get this from our GP or obstetrician. 

Firstly, let me talk a little about why waiting this period of time is important:  
  • Giving yourself a little head start to recover from 40 weeks of physiological changes 
  • Allowing open wounds to heal. You wouldn’t return to exercise the week after getting your appendix out, so why would you after giving birth? 
  • Allowing yourself time to get physically accustomed to the demands of motherhood 
  • Allowing time for bleeding to stop 
What do you want to get assessed in a screen post birth? 
  1. If you have a diastasis present and at what level it is at 
  2. If you are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction 
  3. If your bleeding has stopped and if not, have this monitored 
  4. Has your outer scar healed if you had a c-section? 
  5. Your posture and breathing 

(If any of the above makes no sense to you, I have a fantastic free online video resource that covers information on the above: Download it here: Get started guide)

If the above was not screened or checked at your 6-week check, please do get a further assessment from a Women’s Health Physio (WHP) or a qualified postnatal trainer alongside a WHP.  

Let me stress that everyone’s pregnancy, birth and recovery is different, so what happens next after your 6-week check should be completely individual to you. Everyone should complete a level of specialised postnatal recovery regardless of whether you present with pelvic floor dysfunction or not.  

However, if you do experience pelvic floor dysfunction, I highly recommend you book to see a Women Health Physio to get a full postnatal check and begin to work with a qualified trainer to implement a specialised plan to support you through recovery.  

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