From October 2020, the Regulations include a new requirement for GPs to offer a maternal check at 6-8 weeks after birth, as an additional appointment to that for the baby. This should be provided for both live and stillbirths. In line with NICE guidance, the maternal check should focus on:
•a review of the mother’s mental health and general wellbeing, using open questioning;
•the return to physical health following childbirth, and early identification of pelvic health issues;
•family planning and contraception options; and
•any conditions that existed before or arise during pregnancy that require on-going management, such as gestational diabetes.
Following a birth, the maternity unit will write to the mother’s practice notifying them of the outcome, along with any issues of relevance for future management. At this time, the GP practice should arrange an appointment for the mother at 6-8 weeks, as is already done for the baby check.
Scheduling this check ‘back to back’ with the baby check would reduce travelling burden on parents, and having mother and baby together aids insight into bonding and interaction. However, mothers may opt for these appointments to be separate.
Additional funding has been added to the core practice contract to support practices to deliver the requirements.