The arrival of a baby is a life-changing experience for the new mother. It also represents a unique window of opportunity for obstetricians and other primary care physicians to provide education and implement interventions that will affect the outcome of current and future pregnancies. Women who just had a baby are often motivated to improve their overall health as well as their families. Many diseases that first present during pregnancy or after delivery (such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy related hypertensive disorders or postpartum depression) tend to recur in future gestations and may also become chronic conditions in the long-term.
Access to postpartum care and preconceptional visits are paramount in addressing some of these issues. By optimizing the health of a new or future mother, physicians ensure longer and healthier pregnancies and prevent the onset of chronic diseases, ultimately decreasing overall mortality and healthcare costs.
Dr. Oscar Viteri Molina is a resident physician at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Viteri Molina currently serves at the District XI Section 4 Junior Fellow Chair.