After your baby is born 

  • How long will you stay in hospital post-birth?

    If your baby is born on the The Birthing Centre, you will be transferred home directly from there. However, if the Birthing Centre becomes busy before you are ready to go home, and the room that you are in is needed by a woman in labour, you may be moved to the transfer lounge or into the maternity care area.

    If your baby is born in the Labour Ward you will usually be transferred to the Postnatal Ward. If there have been no complications you can be discharged directly from the labour ward within six hours after birth. If you are on the postnatal ward you will stay with us for a period of about six to 24 hours, depending on your individual need.

    If you have an instrumental birth, (ventouse or forceps) it is anticipated that you will stay for approximately 24 hours, although you may choose to go home before this if both you and your baby are well.

    If you have a caesarean section, it is anticipated that you would stay in hospital for about 24 to 48 hours - again depending on the condition of you and your baby.

    This is the advice provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

    While you are in hospital, and also once you go home, help and support is available 24-hours a day from midwives and the wider maternity care team. On the Postnatal Ward staff are made up of a team of doctors, midwives, nurses, maternity care assistants, nursery nurses and student midwives.

    Once home you will be visited by midwives together with student midwives and maternity care assistants. They are all there to assist you and your family adapt and enjoy your new life together and to help you become confident in caring for your new baby.

    In hospital the safety of you and your baby is of paramount importance to us. To help us with this, your baby will have two labels and a security tag. It is very important for your baby’s security and safety that they are present. Please inform a member of staff if these become loose. Security is extremely important and these must be replaced if they fall off.

    If you notice any other security problems or suspicious behaviour from anyone please inform a member of staff.

  • Meal times

    At the hospital we have protected meal times. This means we do not allow any hospital procedure or visitors to disturb your meal time as we realise that it is very important that you have time to eat during your stay in hospital. However your partner can help you with your meal by caring for your baby during this time.

  • Visiting hours

    We welcome family and friends but visiting times are restricted as we know that new mothers and fathers need time together to get to know their new baby.

    It would help us in the care of you and your baby if you let your relatives know the following information:

    • Your partner will be allowed to visit from 14:00 until 20:00
    • Visitors may be asked to wait if it is not a convenient time to visit when they arrive
    • Please do not to bring any babies or children to the hospital unless they are brothers or sisters of the new baby. New-born babies are vulnerable to infection
    • Only two visitors (in addition to your partner) will be allowed at a time
    • Please ensure your visitors observe hand hygiene measures when entering and leaving the ward. This is to protect the new mothers and babies. Hand gel is provided at the entrance and exit to the ward to clean hands
  • Discharge home

    You and your baby will be discharged home as soon as you are clinically well to do so; this will usually be within 24-48hrs after birth. Please be aware that discharges occur throughout the day and into the evening Monday to Sunday. For your discharge to be completed, the following milestones will need to be met:

    • Satisfactory postnatal check of the mother by the midwife
    • Doctor review if clinically indicated
    • Satisfactory examination of the newborn
    • Medication for you or your baby to go home when necessary
    • BCG vaccination will be offered for your baby on the day that you go home or you may be offered an appointment at a weekly catch-up clinic
    • Hearing screening will be offered during your stay in the Maternity Care Unit, or you may be offered an appointment in the community

    In addition to this, midwives will provide you with the following discharge documents:

    • Transfer papers for the community midwife
    • Transfer papers for the health visitor
    • A child health record book
    • Information leaflets about your recovery, contraception, emotional support, safe sleep for babies, birth registration and useful contact details of support groups for parents in your community
    • List of contact details for hospitals in your area as well as UCLH, in case you become unwell

    Depending on the ward capacity and the activity in the Maternity Unit, we may ask you to transfer to the discharge lounge, which is situated in the maternity care area, while you wait for your discharge to be finalised.