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Child Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Postpartum Visit and Well-Baby Care

Narrative

Care for a mother and her infant continues after delivery through postpartum check-ups and well-baby exams. Well-baby exams provide an opportunity for a mother to monitor her infant’s development and establish a relationship with her infant’s pediatrician.1 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the first well-baby exam take place 3 to 5 days after birth.2 During this visit, the physician will measure the infant’s height, weight, and head circumference in addition to examining the infant.3

In 2009-2010, 93.2 percent of women reported that their infant was seen by a health care provider for a check-up within one week after birth. The proportion of mothers reporting these visits varied significantly by race and ethnicity and was highest among non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander mothers (97.1 percent), and lowest among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native mothers (89.0 percent).

Postpartum visits provide a woman and her health care provider with the opportunity to assess the mother’s current physical health, including the status of pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes, screen for postpartum depression, provide counseling on infant care and family planning as well as screening and referrals for the management of chronic conditions. Additionally, a provider may use this opportunity to conduct a breast exam and discuss breastfeeding.4 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that mothers receive a postpartum care visit 4-6 weeks after delivery.5 In 2009-2010, nearly 90 percent of all mothers met this recommendation. The proportion of mothers to receive a postpartum visit varied significantly by education level, ranging from 78.6 percent of mothers with less than 12 years of education to 95.1 percent of mothers with 16 or more years of education. With respect to race and ethnicity, 81.8 percent of non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native mothers reported a postpartum visit compared to 91.9 percent of non-Hispanic White mothers (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

1 The Mayo Clinic . Infant and Toddler Health. Accessed: 08/4/13.

2 American Academy of Pediatrics. Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care. Bright Futures . Accessed: 08/4/13

3 The Mayo Clinic . Infant and Toddler Health. Accessed: 08/4/13.

4 The Mayo Clinic . Labor and Delivery: postpartum care. Accessed: 08/4/13

5 American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Guidelines for perinatal care, 6th ed. Washington, DC: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2007.

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Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

infants who had a checkup graph

This image is described in the Data section.

mothers who had a checkup graph

Data

Mothers Reporting That Their Infants Had a 1-Week Checkup, by Race/Ethnicity, 2009-2010*

Percent of Mothers:

  • Non-Hispanic White 92.7
  • Non-Hispanic Black 94.1
  • Hispanic 93.6
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 89.0
  • Non-Hispanic Asian 95.2
  • Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander 97.1
  • Non-Hispanic Multiple Race 93.7
  • Total 93.2

*Includes data from a total of 30 states and New York City; 25 states contributed both years. Mothers completed surveys between 2 and 9 months postpartum.

Source: Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2009-2010. Analysis conducted by the Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mothers Who Had a Postpartum Checkup, by Maternal Education, 2009-2010*

Percent of Mothers:

  • Less Than 12 Years 78.6
  • 12 Years 86.7
  • 13-15 Years 91.0
  • 16 Years or More 95.1
  • Total 88.9

* Includes data from a total of 30 states and New York City; 25 states contributed both years. Mothers completed surveys between 2 and 9 months postpartum.

Source: Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2009-2010. Analysis conducted by the Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.