Discharge from hospital
If you have a straightforward natural birth, you and baby are well and you are confident with breastfeeding, you can go home some time after about 6 hours. For those mums who go to the postnatal ward, it’s usual to stay at least one night before you go home.
Waiting to be discharged home can be a lengthy process but we do everything as quick as we can to get you home as soon as you are able to. We appreciate the wait can be frustrating sometimes, but there is lots of paperwork to complete and referrals to be made to your GP / Health Visitor.
If you are taking regular medication following the birth of your baby, we will arrange for a supply of medication to take home. This must be prescribed by a doctor, then ordered, prepared and collected from the hospital pharmacy before you can go home.
Before going home, your baby will usually require a NIPE (Newborn & Infant Physical Examination). This can be performed by a midwife who has undertaken additional training or the paediatrician. More information can be seen about this in the new born screening tab. Newborn physical examination - NHS (www.nhs.uk) (links to an external website)
Every baby is offered a thorough physical examination soon after birth to check their eyes, heart, hips and, in boys, the testicles (testes). This is to identify babies who may have conditions that need further testing or treatment.
There are sometimes delays with completing this screening on the day of your discharge if the paediatrician or specially trained Midwife is busy caring for poorly babies. We aim to complete this examination as soon as possible.
The newborn hearing screening test is done soon after your baby is born. If you give birth in hospital, you may be offered the test before you and your baby are discharged. Otherwise, it will be done in a clinic within the first few weeks of going home and an appointment will be sent through the post. Newborn hearing screening - NHS (www.nhs.uk) (links to an external website)
If going home by car we strongly advise you to use a well-fitting car seat for your baby and to have read the manufacturers installation instructions before fitting the car seat. Choosing a baby car seat - NHS (www.nhs.uk) (links to an external website)
Before going home your midwife needs to provide you with lots of information about what happens once you take your baby home. You will also be given your baby’s Red Book. The discharge pack is available electronically for you to download and keep. Postnatal Information for Parents - CHFT (cht.nhs.uk) (links to an external website)