Early Discharge from the Hospital
If you gave birth in a birth center, you and your baby will usually be discharged within 12 hours after birth. The keys to successful early discharge are comprehensive prenatal education (so you are well prepared to take care of yourself and your newborn); home follow-up (usually by a registered nurse) between 48 and 72 hours after the birth; help at home with meals, laundry, and other chores; and telephone access to a health care provider 24 hours a day.
If you have your baby in a hospital, you'll be offered the opportunity to stay for about two days after the baby is born. Know your options ahead of time. Only you will know what feels right for you. You can make your decision after the baby is born and you have had a chance to discuss with your health care provider whether you are ready for early discharge. Or you can plan on it in advance and see how you feel once you've given birth.
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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010