(HealthDay)—To optimize postpartum care, anticipatory guidance should be implemented during pregnancy, according to a Committee Opinion published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Noting that postpartum care is fragmented among maternal and pediatric health care providers, Alison Stuebe, M.D., and colleagues from the ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice discuss optimization of postpartum care.

The authors report that for postpartum care should begin during pregnancy. It is recommended that the patient and her obstetrician-gynecologist or other obstetric care provider formulate a postpartum care plan and identify the who will make up the postpartum care team. A single health care provider should ideally assume responsibility for coordination of care. The woman should receive contact information for her postpartum care team and instructions regarding follow-up postpartum care at discharge from maternity care. Within the first six weeks after birth, all women should undergo a comprehensive postpartum visit, including physical, social, and psychological assessments. At the end of the postpartum visit, the woman and her care provider should determine who will assume primary responsibility for ongoing care.

"We encourage providers to partner with women during pregnancy to being planning for the fourth trimester," Stuebe said in a statement. "Each woman has different postpartum needs, and we recommend that she and her provider identify members of her postpartum care team and develop an individualized postpartum care plan."

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