How do I decide how long to stay in the hospital after my baby is born?
Your baby is born, you fed her while your partner fed you. The family popped in, and fed you some more. Now your midwife is asking whether you’d like to go home or stay in the hospital for your first 24 hours. What should you do?
If you had a doctor, you wouldn’t be given the option of staying or going right away, but having a midwife means you do have the option. The reason is that your midwives are on call for you and you can access them 24/7. So if you have a concern about yourself or your baby, you can reach them anytime.
Why you might want to go home:
As nice as the hospital is, there is a lot going on. So if you are looking for peace and quiet, your home might be the best place. At home there aren’t any other babies, no alarm bells going off or people wondering by your door with their own crying baby at 2am. When my first little one was born I remember spending the night hearing some poor father walk with his crying child up and down the hallway.
At home you have the comfort of your own bed, your own food and no roommates other than the ones you chose. And if you have any concerns, your midwives are just a page away.
Why you might want to stay in the hospital:
Some clients choose to stay in the hospital to receive assistance with breastfeeding, especially if it’s their first time. When you are on the postpartum unit, the nurses will be looking after you and can help show you how to breastfeed.
If you have had a vacuum or forceps delivery, or bled more than usual, your midwives might suggest you stay for 24 hours for extra observation or care. Your midwives will let you know if they think there is a medical reason for you to stay in the hospital after the baby is born.
Ultimately the choice is up to you. You and your midwife can discuss after the birth what the best decision is for you. But it’s important to know that when you have a midwife, you do have the option to go home a couple hours after baby is born.