Postnatal care


If you had your baby at home and there are no complications you will stay at home. Your midwife will help make you comfortable, complete any documentation and give you emergency numbers to call before leaving. A community midwife will return to visit you within 24 hours.

If you had your baby in hospital, you and your baby will be examined by a 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.  You and your baby will be transferred to the postnatal ward usually around 2 hours after birth, or if you are returning home straight from the labour suite, this will be encouraged around 3–6 hours after birth.

If you have a Caesarean section or complicated instrumental birth you will under close observation over the first 2–6 hours. When your condition is stable you will be transferred to the postnatal ward.

Before you go home our maternity team will:

  • Check to ensure you and your baby are recovering well and are safe to leave
  • Ensure you baby has a paediatric check and hearing screening test completed or arranged
  • Give you leaflets, details of follow-up appointments and any medication you may need
  • Check if you have any questions before you go

You will need to ensure you know how you are travelling home with your baby, including bringing an appropriate car seat if taking your baby home in your vehicle


Postnatal schedule of care at home

If you and your baby are well, generally three postnatal visits are provided. If you or your baby need extra support, further visits can be arranged.

Visit One

The first visit by the community midwife is on the day after you leave hospital. Both you and your baby will be examined to ensure you are both well. Your physical and emotional wellbeing will be discussed and your baby's feeding patterns. Please take this opportunity to ask any questions or share your worries and concerns.

Visit Two (day 5)

The midwife or maternity care assistant will check you and your baby to ensure you are both well and will weigh your baby and take the Newborn Screening blood test.

Visit Three (day 9/10)

The midwife will check your physical and emotional wellbeing and weigh your baby. Your midwife will discuss with you:

  • postnatal exercises
  • registering the birth of your baby
  • contraception
  • the 6-8 week postnatal check for you and your baby with your GP
  • any other concerns you may have

If all is well the midwife will transfer you to the care of the Health Visitors.

Please register your baby with your General Practitioner (GP) as soon as possible and arrange for your GP to see you and your baby 6-8 weeks after your baby is born. Find out more:

If you have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy it is recommended that you have an annual check with your GP.


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