After your baby is born - postnatal care

Labour Ward Room

Where will your care be based?

If you have your baby at home you will stay at home, and your midwife will make sure you are comfortable before s/he leaves.

If you have your baby in hospital, immediately after the birth of your baby you will be made comfortable in the Birth Centre or Delivery Suite.

Your baby will be examined by the midwife and two labels will be checked with you before placing them on your baby’s ankles. These labels must stay on during your stay in hospital.

After an hour or so you and your baby will be transferred to the postnatal ward or you will be able to go home from the Birthing Centre or Delivery Suite.

All babies will be offered a full examination with 72 hours of birth either in the hospital or at home.

On our maternity wards you will be cared for by experienced midwives and support workers. Partners are welcome to visit 24/7 and further information on your stay can be found in our useful  Postnatal_information_booklet_v2_rev9_April_2017.pdf

How long will you be in hospital?

If you have a straight forward birth you may choose to go home soon after the birth of your baby.

If you have an instrumental birth or caesarean section the average length of stay in the unit is:

  • 1–2 days following an instrumental birth
  • 2 days following a caesarean section

There are occasions when a mother and/or her baby may require a longer stay in hospital.

Your partner/support person is welcome to stay with you overnight.

Community – Postnatal Care

Community Midwives (CMW) and Maternity Support Workers (MSW) undertake your postnatal care in the Community.  This may be either at home or a postnatal clinic.

It is usual to receive a home visit by your CMW/MSW the day following your transfer from hospital.

Your further plan for postnatal care will be agreed between you and your CMW/MSW to meet your individual needs.

All babies require a blood spot screening test on their fifth day.

It is usual to be discharged from Community Postnatal Care at around 10 days following the birth of your baby.  Your Health Visitor will contact you during this early postnatal period and arrange a visit.  They will be your continued contact until your baby is 5 years old.

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The BCG vaccine and your baby

Due to falling rates of tuberculosis in London, the need for every baby to receive a neonatal BCG vaccine has reduced.

From 1 September 2020, babies born in London will only be eligible for the BCG vaccine if the answer to any of the following questions is ‘yes’:

  • Does your baby, the baby’s mother, father, grandparents or anyone who lives with you come from a country with a high rate of TB?
  • Will you and your baby be going to live or stay with friends and family in one of these countries for three months or more?
  • Has anyone who lives with you or spends a lot of time with your baby had TB now or in the past five years?
  • Do you live in the London Borough of Newham?

This video from Public Health England explains the changes: