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Postpartum Care Plan

Below is The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ recommendations on postpartum care:
• Anticipatory guidance should begin during pregnancy with development of a postpartum care plan that addresses the transition to parenthood and well-woman care.

• Prenatal discussions should include the woman’s reproductive life plans, including desire for and timing of any future pregnancies. A woman’s future pregnancy intentions provide a context for shared decision-making regarding contraceptive options.

• All women should ideally have contact with a maternal care provider within the first 3 weeks postpartum. This initial assessment should be followed up with ongoing care as needed, concluding with a comprehensive postpartum visit no later than 12 weeks after birth.

• The timing of the comprehensive postpartum visit should be individualized and woman-centered.

• The comprehensive postpartum visit should include a full assessment of physical, social, and psychological well-being.

• Women with pregnancies complicated by preterm birth, gestational diabetes, or hypertensive disorders of pregnancy should be counseled that these disorders are associated with a higher lifetime risk of maternal cardiometabolic disease.

• Women with chronic medical conditions, such as hypertensive disorders, obesity, diabetes, thyroid disorders, renal disease, mood disorders, and substance use disorders, should be counseled regarding the importance of timely follow-up with their obstetrician-gynecologists or primary care providers for ongoing coordination of care.

• For a woman who has experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death, it is essential to ensure follow-up with an obstetrician-gynecologist or other obstetric care providers.

• Optimizing care and support for postpartum families will require policy changes. Changes in the scope of postpartum care should be facilitated by reimbursement policies that support postpartum care as an ongoing process, rather than an isolated visit.

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