Commissioners and providers should ensure that services offer a review of a woman’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing by a healthcare professional at the end of the postnatal period (six-eight weeks). National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on postnatal care stipulate that a documented, individualised postnatal care plan should be developed with the woman ideally in the antenatal period or as soon as possible after birth.
All parents are also offered a thorough physical examination for their baby within 72 hours of giving birth. This examination includes screening tests to find out if a baby has any problems with their eyes, heart, hips and, in boys, the testicles (testes). Parents are offered another physical examination for their baby at the end of the postnatal period, as some of the conditions the NHS screens for can take time to develop. This second examination is usually done at a general practitioner’s (GP) surgery.
GPs may combine the two checks, for parent and baby, at the same appointment.