Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Pregnant patient communicates with the doctor using a tablet.

Best practice guide

Telehealth for maternal health services
For providers Best practice guides Telehealth for maternal health services

Telehealth and postpartum care

Your maternal telehealth program can still play an important role in the care and health of your patients even after they give birth. Patients from rural or underserved communities may have an even harder time getting to in-person appointments after childbirth.

Barriers to postpartum care could include:

  • The cost associated with travel, parking, or the cost of gas
  • Long driving distances between home and your provider’s office
  • Not being able to drive for a period after childbirth per your provider’s instructions
  • Lack of childcare for the new baby or older siblings
  • Lack of maternity leave for patients who have to begin work as soon as possible after childbirth

Postpartum telehealth services

In-person appointments will be necessary in some postpartum cases. In-person visits will check surgical incision sites or for hands-on lactation support.

But there are still many ways to care for postpartum patients with telehealth. A list of potential services includes:

  • General health check-in to see how the patient is doing after childbirth
  • Lactation support
  • Screening and treatment for postpartum depression
  • Therapy appointments with telehealth
  • Referrals to specialists, including substance abuse programs
  • Birth control counseling and prescriptions

Additional Resources:

Maternal Telehealth Access Project exit disclaimer icon  — Maternal Health Learning & Innovation Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Maternal and Child Health Bureau — HRSA

Tele-Maternal Health exit disclaimer icon  — Rural Health Information Hub

Spotlight

Centerstone

Centerstone provides mental health and substance use disorder treatment in south central Tennessee to reduce both infant mortality and racial disparities in prenatal care. Implementing telehealth at the start of the public health pandemic has allowed Centerstone to reach more people through technology.

Staff members and providers no longer spend time traveling across a large geographic area for appointments, which allows more visits every day. People miss fewer visits and attend more education programs virtually than in person. Centerstone, which is funded by HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau - Healthy Start grantee program, notes that educating their staff and sharing lessons learned on how to provide telehealth visits is a large part of their success. They urge everyone implementing telehealth programs to “be patient and have grace.”

Read more: Centerstone Postpartum Depression and Anxiety exit disclaimer icon 


Last updated: April 22, 2022

Sign up for email updates

Get updates on telehealth
delivered to your inbox.