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Quick Reference Guide for Clinicians
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Postpartum Counseling

(Updated July 2013)

Postpartum Counseling Checklist: Assessment and Screening

Physical exam

  • Weight
  • Height
  • Body mass index (BMI; compare with pre-pregnancy)
  • Lab work
  • Pelvic exam (perineal healing/vaginal discharge/pelvic support)
  • Breast exam
  • Abdominal exam (diastasis recti)

Diet, nutrition, and exercise

  • Eating patterns, nutrition review
  • Use of calcium supplement
  • Continuing use/non-use of prenatal vitamin and iron supplements
  • Cultural conditions surrounding diet
  • Status of breastfeeding
  • Weight loss concerns and expectations
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Substance abuse
  • Constipation
  • Exercise level (current, pre-pregnancy)
  • Exercises for pelvic and abdominal muscles
  • Readiness to return to work

Postpartum Mental Health

  • Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS)
  • Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
  • Postpartum Depression Predictors Inventory (PDPI)
  • Sleeping pattern; level of fatigue
  • Resources and support
  • Relationship with spouse/partner
  • Sibling adjustment

Sexuality and contraception

  • Sexual relations
  • Incontinence
  • Contraceptive options

Download a PDF of the Postpartum Counseling Checklist: Assessment and Screening checklist