Most women who experience an uncomplicated vaginal birth can expect to go home within six to 24 hours. Women who are under the care of a midwife will receive home visits and may go home before six hours after a vaginal delivery if mom and baby are well.
Women who have a Caesarean birth are usually well enough to go home within 48 hours. Your doctor, midwife and nurse will ensure that you and your baby meet certain criteria before you are discharged home.
You may be choose to go home early depending on the circumstances. Your healthcare team will ensure that you are well and safe for you and baby to go home early. Please speak to your health care providers to learn more.
The first 6 weeks after the birth of your baby is the early postpartum period. Your hormone levels and uterus shift back to a non-pregnant state. You transition to parenthood, and your baby depends on you for everything. It can be an exciting and challenging time.
Your healthcare provider (doctor or midwife) will want you to book a postpartum visit – an appointment about 6 weeks after the birth of your baby. If you are being cared for by a midwife, you may have a visit with them sooner than 6 weeks.
Please seek additional care if you experience the following
- Go to the emergency department or call 911:
- Pain in the chest;
- Obstructed breathing or shortness of breath;
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby;
- Chills or feeling very cold;
- Severe pain.
- Call your care provider, or go to emergency department:
- Any incision that is not healing or smells bad
- Red or swollen leg that is painful or warm to touch
- Bleeding, soaking through one pad per hour, blood clots the size of an egg or bigger
- Temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher
- Constant headache (with our without vision changes) where medication provides limited relief
- Pain or burning with urination
- Red and painful breasts, with or without lumps
- Contact your/your baby's health care provider (or go to the emergency department if they are unavailable):
- Baby is not feeding well or is refusing to feed;
- Baby is sleepy all the time and is hard to wake up;
- Baby's skin and/or whites of the eyes appear yellow or becoming more yellow;
- Baby under three months of age has a fever over 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit)
- Baby has difficulty breathing;
- Baby is showing signs of dehydration. These could include:
- Decreased urination
- Difficult to wake and sleepy
- Dark and strong-smelling urine
- Weak cry
- Increased thirst
- Absence of tears
- Dry skin, mouth and tongue
- Faster heart beat
- Sunken eyes
- Greyish skin
- Sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on your baby's head