Columbus ObGyn Dr. Otto Umana highly recommends to his patients that they come in for a checkup shortly after giving birth. But what he finds is that slightly fewer than half of them make or keep those postpartum appointments, and that women who experienced complications during pregnancy were more likely to see a doctor post-delivery, but overall, visit rates were low.
Women need to understand the importance of a six-week visit to their Columbus ObGyn, not only to address concerns and ensure proper healing after delivery, but also to follow up on any possible future health dangers, review the overall pregnancy and make the transition to primary care.
Women who experience pregnancy complications are at higher risk for some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. These visits provide an opportunity to assess risks and refer the patient to primary care providers to work on long-term preventive care.
Your Columbus ObGyn also recommends that women with complications like high blood pressure during pregnancy or gestational diabetes not only visit their obstetricians six weeks after giving birth, but that they also see their primary care doctors within a year.
Dr. Umana says that providers need to develop creative ways to improve attendance at postpartum visits, such as combining “mommy-baby” visits. If the baby’s checkup is incorporated into the mother’s visit, the mother may be more likely to keep the appointment, and receive important education about improving overall health and the need for primary care follow-up.
Your Columbus ObGyn also feels that more work is needed by hospitals and physicians to coordinate future appointments, or to arrange transportation or child care if needed by the patient.
Pregnancy is a teachable moment, and many women become very motivated to make healthier lifestyle choices to keep both themselves and their babies as healthy as they can be, but ObGyns need to help keep them motivated.
Your Columbus ObGyn also feels that access to health care alone — having insurance and a physician — is not enough to assure proper care.