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From labour to going home

06 April 2018 Blog
Maternity
Your day-by-day guide to your maternity hospital stay.

How long you stay in hospital after giving birth can vary greatly, depending on whether you have vaginal or caesarean delivery and the health of you and your newborn.In general, many women can expect to stay in hospital for three to four days.During this time our doctors and midwives ensure the new mum is recovering well and adjusting to motherhood.

What new mums can expect at hospital

Day 1

Vaginal birth –midwives will do regular observations, offer pain relief management and ensure you can go to the toilet normally. You will be able to move freely and independently around your room.

Caesarean birth –midwives will do regular observations, offer pain relief, provide wound care for the caesarean section incision and assist you to stand six hours after delivery. You will wear anti-embolism stockings and calf pumps to prevent any clots in your legs. You will need assistance with breastfeeding and baby care.

Baby – get weighed, have a paediatric check, receive Hepatitis B vaccine and vitamin K injection, and midwives will assist with feeding.

Day 2

Vaginal birth –midwives will do regular observations, offer pain relief and help you to become more independent in caring for baby.

Caesarean birth – midwives will do regular observations, offer pain relief, wound care for the caesarean section incision and you will become more independent in caring for your baby.

Baby – demonstration bath, assistance with feeding if needed, newborn hearing test and baby photographs (optional) can be taken.

Day 3

Vaginal birth – offer pain management, become independent in caring for baby.

Caesarean birth – manage pain, wound care for the caesarean section incision, become more independent in caring for baby.

Baby – assistance with feeding if needed, screening for congenital heart disease and blood spot heel prick test.

Day 4

Vaginal birth – if all healthy, discharged before 10.00am.

Caesarean birth – manage pain, wound care for the caesarean section incision, become independent in caring for baby.

Baby – paediatric and midwife check, referral to child health service.

Day 5

Caesarean birth – stitches removed from wound, and if all healthy, discharge.

Baby –paediatric and midwife check, referral to child health service.

While the above is a guide, every mum and baby is different and will progress at different rates. Sometimes your stay will be shorter or longer than expected, but please make sure you speak to your obstetrician or midwife if you have any concerns about your length of stay.

You may also be able to access care from our Health Choices home visiting service for care once you return home. 

Sue Bradshaw - Midwife

Sue Bradshaw is the Midwifery Services Manager at St John of God Murdoch Hospital and has more than 30 years’ experience as a nurse and midwife. She is an accredited lactation consultant and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.