Postnatal Care - Introduction

After your baby is born, our team will be on hand to support you every step of the way, to make sure you and your baby get off to the best possible start.

Following a birth centre delivery

Immediately after your birth, you and your baby will be made comfortable in the birth centre.

Soon after that, your baby will be examined by your midwife, who will then leave you to enjoy your first moments together, during which time you can have breastfeeding guidance from the midwives to ensure you are comfortable.

If there are no complications, most women tend to stay between six and eight hours after the birth before going home. If you have had a more complicated birth you may be moved to a postnatal ward, where you will be with other mothers and babies, and stay with us between 24 and 48 hours.

Your baby will be examined by your midwife and two labels will be checked with you and placed on your baby's ankles. These labels must stay on during your stay in hospital.

Following a hospital delivery

As soon as your baby is delivered, both you and the baby will be made comfortable in the delivery suite.

Your baby will then be examined by your midwife and two labels will be checked with you and placed on your baby's ankles. These labels must stay on during your stay in hospital.

You and your baby will be transferred to the postnatal ward, where you will recuperate and receive additional support to enhance your recovery.

If you have a straightforward birth you may be able to go home shortly after. From the delivery suite or the maternity ward, if you have an instrumental birth or caesarean section, the average length of stay in hospital is one to two days following birth.

There may also be occasions when a mother and/or her baby may require a longer stay in hospital, and this will be explained to you as soon as possible if this applies to you.

At Whittington Health, your birth partner, whoever you choose, whether that's your husband, significant other, mother, sister or friend, can stay with you throughout your stay, to support and help you. 

Following a home birth

If you have your baby at home, your midwives will make sure you and your baby are happy and comfortable before they leave.

They will also be able to give you advice and support, for example with breastfeeding, before they go.

Additional care in the weeks after the birth

Community midwives will provide you with lots of additional support in the days after your baby is born.

This will happen either at your home, or in a postnatal clinic near to where you live.

You will normally receive a home visit by a member of the team the day after you have arrived home.

A plan for ongoing postnatal care will be agreed with your community midwife when you meet, to ensure your specific needs are met.
Please be aware that all babies require a blood spot screening test on their fifth day. 

In most cases you will be discharged by your community midwife around ten days after the birth of your baby. Your ongoing care will then be provided by a Health Visitor until your baby is five years old.