Skip to Main Content

The 4th Trimester

The first three months after delivery can be very stressful. You’ll be very busy with your new baby. But make sure you are taking care of you!

You should have had at least one postpartum visit by now. Plus, a second one scheduled before 12 weeks. If not, call your doctor to set up these visits ASAP.

The first 12 weeks after birth are sometimes called the 4th Trimester, and this time can be very stressful. Experts recommend close follow-up after delivery. This is a very vulnerable time for those who recently delivered and their babies. Postpartum checkups allow you and your doctor to spot warning signs. Plus, find ways to support your long-term well-being. 

Did you have chronic health conditions before your pregnancy? Or did you develop health conditions during your pregnancy? It’s very important to get the right follow-up care.

Gestational Diabetes

If you developed gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, you have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You should be retested for diabetes 6-12 weeks after your baby is born and then every 1-3 years.


If you had preeclampsia during your pregnancy, you’ll need some postpartum follow-ups with your doctor. Preeclampsia can lead to organ failure, stroke, and seizures after delivery. 

Your doctor will likely want to monitor your blood pressure closely to make sure it returns to normal. You will also be at greater risk of developing preeclampsia in future pregnancies. Talk to your doctor about taking baby aspirin during future pregnancies. This may reduce your risk of preeclampsia. 

People with a history of preeclampsia are also at increased risk for (chronic) high blood pressure and other types of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about ways to manage this risk through healthy behaviors like:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Healthy eating
  • Regular exercise 

If you need assistance getting your postpartum visits or checking your coverage, call us at the number on the back of your ID card.

Planning on going back to work, and you’re breastfeeding? Find helpful resources.

Looking for tips on finding the right child care resources? We can help.