After your baby is born

Important postnatal information for all women to read

This information pack is designed for women who are going home from hospital, following the birth of their baby in North West London. We recommend you read this booklet before you leave hospital. This pack should be given to you by your midwives, along with any relevant information and contact numbers you may need, and contains information and advice about what to do in the days and weeks following birth.

Where will my care be based?

If you had your baby at home and there are no complications you will stay at home. The midwife will make you comfortable and complete any documentation before leaving. The midwife will give you emergency numbers to ring and visit you 4–8 hours later.

If you have your baby in hospital, immediately after the birth of your baby you will be made comfortable on the Labour Ward. If you require stitching of a wound this will be done by a midwife or doctor involved in your care. Your baby will be examined by the midwife and two labels will be checked with you before placing them on your babys ankles. These labels must stay on during your stay in hospital. After an hour or so you and your baby will be transferred to the postnatal ward.

If you have a Caesarean section or complicated instrumental delivery you will be transferred to the Simpson Unit for close observation over the first 6 hours.  When your condition is stable you will be transferred to the postnatal ward.

Amenity Rooms

If you would like the privacy of your own room after your baby’s birth, we have a small number of amenity rooms on Josephine Barnes ward which are subject to availability. Each room has ensuite facilities and costs £300 per night. As you will only be paying for the room, you will continue to receive NHS care.

Please be aware that we do not accept insurance company cover for Amenity rooms. We are also unable to book rooms in advance and ask you to request them once your baby has been born.

Who will be involved in my care?

  • Midwives—Once you have been transferred to the postnatal ward, the ward midwives will plan your care, carry out your postnatal checks and also give you advice and arrange your discharge from hospital.
  • Nurses—Nurses are the main care givers in theatre and the Simpson Unit. They are especially trained to care for women in these areas, and midwives are involved in the care of you and your baby.
  • Maternity Support Workers—There are maternity support workers who will also look after you and provide you with the support that you need, especially in learning new skills in caring for your baby, under the guidance of midwives.
  • Medical staff—Medical staff will also be on hand if they are needed. Your baby will be examined fully in the first 24 hours of life by a neonatologist/midwife before leaving the hospital.
  • Neonatal Hearing Screeners—A first hearing test is also usually conducted on babies prior to discharge home. The screeners attend the ward area every day, and will undertake this test for your baby before you leave.

How long will I be in hospital?

Providing that you and your baby are both well you can go home whenever you wish.  Some women choose to go home 2–6 hours after their baby is born. Other women may wish to stay on the postnatal ward, Ann Stewart Ward, 3rd Floor, Lift Bank D.

Average length of stay in the unit is:

  • 1 night following a normal birth
  • 1–2 days following an instrumental birth
  • 3 days following a Caesarean section

Obviously, if you or your baby requires a longer stay due to complications, you will be advised to stay longer. Doctors and midwives will keep you informed of developments.

Registration of your baby’s birth

All babies must be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 42 days of the birth.  If you are married, either parent may register the baby. If you are single, you are responsible for registering the baby. If you are single but you want your partner’s name to appear on the birth certificate, your partner must be present with you at the time of registration. You will be given more detailed information on where and how to register your baby before you leave hospital.

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