Dr. Haywood Brown, professor, obstetrics and gynecology, and associate dean, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, discusses redefining what constitutes postpartum care during the fourth trimester.
Dr. Brown: As you know, my presidential initiative was on redefining postpartum care, or the fourth trimester, and I gave a clinical seminar on that yesterday to a group of individuals who really embraced the idea of earlier postpartum follow-up and follow-up up to at least 12 weeks postpartum, and then using the postpartum period as the continuum of care for well-women’s health. So it was well received. And we also introduced the concept of a checklist where the patient can really talk about the things that matter most to her during that visit. And I think that was also a key aspect of this, where promoting earlier visits as well, postpartum, because maternal morbidity and mortality, in fact, occurs within the first 6 weeks more often. And so by seeing the woman back within 3 weeks and getting away from this concept of the 6-week postpartum visit, it’s powerful. And we know that women also live in different parts of the country where access to care - rural care - prohibits a lot of things. And money prohibits a lot of things. So, the importance of vulnerable women having the ability to come in for that visit is very powerful.
More on postpartum care from Dr. Brown: Redefining postpartum care