We will support you to return home to your family soon after your baby is born.

If your labour and birth has been normal and without complications, it is perfectly normal and natural to return home soon after the birth.

Postnatal midwifery care will be provided by your community midwifery team in the local community. Your health visitor will usually visit you when your baby is 2 weeks old providing you with further on-going support.

Experienced mums

If everything has been straightforward with the birth and also with your baby’s first feed, we will support you to return home straight from the Labour Ward. This is usually around 3 to 6 hours following birth.

Breastfeeding for the first time

If you are breastfeeding for the first time you will be given information to get breastfeeding off to a good start. You will have been shown how to hand express your breastmilk before you leave hospital. If you are bottle feeding, you will be given information on how to make up bottles safely.

Caesarean births

If your baby was born by caesarean section the usual length of stay is 24 to 48 hours, although depending on individual circumstances this may need to be longer.

Hearing test

Your baby will be offered a hearing screening test after birth, either whilst in the hospital or at a later date via an appointment sent through the post.

You may need to return for another hearing test later if your baby’s ears are still wet at the time of the test.

Infant Physical Examination (NIPE)

You will be offered a Newborn Infant Physical Examination for your baby after birth.

This is a screening test which can identify eye problems, heart murmurs, hip problems and undescended testes, all of which require treatment soon after birth.

This may be completed in hospital prior to discharge home or in the community. The examination needs to take place within 72 hours of your baby’s birth. Further information about this test can be found in the leaflet ‘Screening tests for you and your baby’.

Planning your return home

Although you don’t know when your baby will be born, you need to plan your return home before you go into labour.

The following points will help you:

  • If you are going home by car, make sure it is fitted with a baby car seat and you are aware of how to secure your baby safely.
  • Never use a rear facing baby seat in the front of a car where an airbag is fitted.
  • If using a front facing seat, position the car seat as far back as possible.
  • If your car has airbags in the rear, check the manual to see if it has been tested for a car seat.
  • When you go home from the Labour Ward the driver can park outside the Labour Ward Entrance (24 hour entrance). If you are going home from the ward, the driver will need to come to the Jessop Wing Main Entrance Level 1.
  • Make sure you have family and friends to support you during the first few weeks after you return home. Looking after a baby is tiring and you need people who can help you with jobs around the house as well as give you support and encouragement.

You should seek urgent medical attention if you notice that your baby has:

  • Jaundice (yellow skin colour) in the first 24 hours
  • Green vomit
  • Abnormal movements
  • Difficulty breathing

For further information about caring for your baby, please read your Child Health Record "Red Book".