Postpartum Care… or lack thereof

After around 6 weeks post birth, I went to my Drs appointment. It was my first time out of the house on my own and driving. I waited in the car until I was notified to go into the office – part of the new COVID common practices. 

Dr Rock came into the office and asked how I was feeling. I was also given a short questionnaire, which I answered as honestly as I could. He didn’t really look at it and just started asking me how the baby was doing and how we were sleeping. He also said I could now begin to resume all normal activities like having sex, waxing, walking and driving. Nothing was said or asked about postpartum depression and the quick visit was over. It was a short and sweet visit.

Yesterday I listened to a podcast where the woman was talking about the amount of checkups and exams we have during pregnancy and how once a baby is born all the checkups are for the babies except that famous 6 weeks appointment. It made me realize how I hadn’t been checked at all down there or had any blood work done since Emma’s birth and she is now almost 11 months. Why hadn’t I thought of that. So today I made an appointment and was told I wasn’t up for my yearly exam yet. Then I was asked why I wanted to make an appointment? “I want to see the Dr and get some tests done” I said. “Are you sick?” They asked. “No” I answered. “What tests do you want to request?” None of your business I felt like saying. So the next available appointment is in one month and a half (mid August, 2021). I’m glad it isn’t urgent.

My therapist summed it up well today. We receive so much physical and emotional care during our pregnancy and once the baby is born the attention and care is almost solely for the baby and the mom suddenly feels abandoned and flying solo. It’s like the sentence it takes a village is almost sarcastic. The reason the podcast was explaining exams should be done is that we lose a lot of blood and other nutrients when we give birth so having blood work done is a good idea to check what needs to be supplemented. Low iron or other nutrients can make the body more prone to depression. I have no idea what my situation is so I will share more once I visit with my OBGYN over one year after Emma’s birth.

6 Comments

  1. Jennifer Roque

    You are starting to pull at the thread that will help you find some answers….don’t give up. Remember our medical system is setup for acute care and not chronic care.

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  2. Sophie Grignard

    At my 6 weeks post birth appointment, my gynaecologist was asking the usual questions. I was doing fine the first few minutes then suddenly, out of nowhere, came a floods of tears that I could no longer hold in. Luckily my gynaecologist knew me well and took all the time necessary to talk. She then said “you are definitely not ready to go back to work yet” and covered me through a medical certificate for another 4 weeks. It is so important to have a dr who really listens and acts accordingly. She is a woman who had been 3 pregnancies so probably knew all too well what I was going through. I suppose the male gynaecologist can show the same level of empathy but I wonder …

    PS I love your blog Caro, keep it up ! And I will buy your book the day you get published 🙂

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    1. carolinappbook

      So sorry to hear but glad you had a conscious Dr. I can’t really say the same. Although I had a much better pregnancy and birth pose experience, my 6 weeks appointment was a joke. And 1 year later I still haven’t had an exam. Before going to the ER when my case was severe we called their office and they sent me to a hotline. And never followed up with me.

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