On April 23, 2018, ACOG released a revised Committee Opinion that integrates a “fourth trimester” into postpartum care for mothers. The prior recommendation of a single visit within the six weeks following delivery is replaced with an ongoing process of an initial assessment within three weeks and a comprehensive evaluation within 12 weeks.
Discussions with patients should begin during pregnancy. Issues providers should address with patients include the following:
- mood and emotional well-being,
- sleep patterns,
- chronic disease management and
- infant care and feeding.
ACOG’s goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality of mothers following childbirth through the provision of an all-inclusive care plan and a designated care team.
MLMIC encourages all providers who care for women during pregnancy and following childbirth to review the opinion and incorporate these recommendations into their practice.