A Guide for your Stay
As your delivery date nears, you might be feeling butterflies about all the uncertainties of childbirth. Some of the more common questions that go through mothers' minds are, how will labor pains feel or what color eyes will your new baby have. One question in particular that should be considered is planning how long you will stay in the hospital after giving birth.
At Baptist Health, we want your baby’s birth to be a memory you look back on fondly for years to come. Reviewing a summary of your hospital’s policies before the big day arrives can help prepare you for a positive birth experience.
What to Expect During Your Labor and Delivery
When it’s time to have your baby, we’ll first meet you in our Labor & Delivery unit. After your obstetrician determines that labor has begun, we’ll settle you into one of our labor, delivery and recovery (LDR) rooms. These rooms are fitted with everything you’ll need to labor, deliver and recover in one place, safely and comfortably.
Soon after you’re admitted, we’ll ask you to pick one primary support person. This could be your partner or anyone who’s ready to support you unconditionally throughout your labor and delivery and the rest of your hospital stay.
If you are scheduled for a cesarean section or if you are in labor and a c/section is the safest choice for delivery, you and your primary support person will be taken to a surgery room. Your baby will be delivered in the surgery rooms located in the Labor and Delivery suite.
Bonding After Your Delivery
You’re undoubtedly excited to get to know your baby now that he or she is here. As long as mom and baby are healthy, mother and baby will room in for your hospital stay.Routine exams of the baby will be done in the mother’s room. You and your baby will remain in the Labor and Delivery suite for about 2 hours after delivery. Then you and the baby will be moved to the Mother/Baby unit located on the third floor. The Mother/Baby unit features all private rooms with restrooms.
- A commitment to keeping mothers and babies together: We encourage you to spend as much time as possible holding your baby. One of the best ways to bond with your little one is skin-to-skin contact. This practice is called “kangaroo care” and it has health benefits for both of you.
- Reassuring care from mother and baby specialists: After thoroughly checking you and your baby, and giving you time to recover, your Baptist Health team may move you to a private postpartum room. You’ll stay in the hospital for approximately two days if you had an uncomplicated vaginal birth and up to four days if you underwent a C-section.
- Comfort for you and your support network: Depending on the Baptist hospital where you give birth, your room may include a reclining chair or cot so your partner or support person can nap or stay the night. Family togetherness is important after a baby is born. You may have one adult visitor stay overnight with you.
- Expert attention for breastfeeding: During your stay, our compassionate lactation consultant or nurses will give you guidance on breastfeeding and caring for the baby, however you choose to do that. Every Baptist Health hospital has nurses or certified lactation consultants on staff who are specially trained in breastfeeding basics. These professionals provide breastfeeding moms one-on-one guidance and compassionate support.
Should you need anything or if questions arise, just ask. We’re passionate about providing extra-special care for growing families.
Please learn more about our updated visitor policy here.
How Long Do You Stay in the Hospital after Giving Birth?
It is normal for mothers to want to return to the comfort of their own home with their newborn as soon as possible. The duration of the mother and baby’s hospital stay is dependent on several factors, including which procedure is used for delivery. Mothers who give birth vaginally, without complications, will typically have a shorter stay than mothers who have a cesarean delivery.
After Vaginal Delivery
In the case of an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, a mother and her newborn can go home from the hospital after 24-48hrs. Staying at least 24 hours in the hospital allows for the mother to rest and for any effects from the anesthesia to wear off. Additionally, after labor and delivery, a doctor will want to monitor the mother and baby’s health for the first day to make sure no problems arise. If for some reason you need to have an early discharge (before 24hrs), please communicate with your healthcare provider before going into labor to discuss appropriate follow up.
After Cesarean Delivery
Women who have delivered by c-section without any complications, are recommended to stay in the hospital for 2-4 days. If there are complications, the hospital stay may need to be longer. A doctor will monitor the mother and baby’s health during their stay. As part of delivery care after a cesarean section, the mother will not be able to be released from the hospital until she is able to do the following:
- Urinate without a catheter
- Walk to the bathroom
- Pass gas
- Eat and drink without vomiting
Getting Ready to Go Home After Delivery
We’ll work with you to make your transition home from the hospital as smooth as possible. We’ll do a few last-minute health checks, such as blood pressure, heart rate checks on you and your baby. We’ll also give you some tips on caring for your baby at home.
Are you going home but the baby is staying in the hospital for further observation or care? In many cases, our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) keeps families together. We can also help you get information about visiting and/or staying in another hospital room for a short time.
Before you go home, you’ll need to:
- Fill out some paperwork: You will need to decide your baby's name to complete paperwork for the baby’s birth certificate and Social Security number. If the baby’s parents are not married to each other, the father can complete a voluntary paternity form while mom is still in the hospital.
- Make an appointment with the baby’s primary care provider: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a checkup for your baby between two and five days after birth. We need your doctor’s contact information within the first 24 hours of your baby’s birth in order to complete required tests and immunizations.
- Prepare your car seat: Every state requires your baby to sit in a rear-facing infant car seat in the back seat of your vehicle when you leave the hospital.
When you’re all set, we’ll send you home with lots of well wishes and some baby care samples to help get you off to a great start. Mom and baby will enjoy a wheelchair ride to our discharge exit and then you’re off to start life with your newborn.