Local Maternity System

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After the birth

After the birth - staying in hospital and going home

Births are all different, and you may have your baby in a hospital setting, in a midwifery led unit or at home. Here is some information about what you might expect in the first hours and days after giving birth. 

Hospital births

If you have given birth in a hospital setting it may be that you have had a planned or unplanned caesarean section. You may also have been at slightly higher risk in some way - or simply wanted to birth in a hospital. The hospital team will make sure that you and your baby are well in the first hours after birth, and if there are any risk factors you may be monitored to ensure you are both safe. 

Once the hospital team are happy you are well you will be asked to arrange transport home. You will need a car seat for the baby and if you have had a caesarean section you will not be able to drive yourself. For a vaginal birth you may only be in hospital for a few hours, for a caesarean section you may be in overnight or even for two or three days depending on how well you are and how well you are recovering from surgery. 

A midwife will visit or contact you within 24 hours of you going home. If you have any concerns you can contact them sooner. 

The midwife will arrange to do new born tests at home if they have not been done at the hospital. Hearing tests are usually done straight away and then the metabolic screening (heel prick) tests take place when your baby is 5 days old. This test is carried out by a midwife or specially trained midwifery support worker.  

Births in Midwife Led Units (MLU)

If you have given birth in an MLU you will be low risk and have had a relatively smooth birth experience. Therefore you will probably be able to go home the same day. Again the midwives will check you and your baby are well before asking you to arrange your transport home. 

If you have any concerns about your medical condition or any questions about supporting your new baby please ask your midwife before you leave. 

A midwife will visit or contact you within 24 hours of you going home. If you have any concerns you can contact them sooner. 

The midwife will arrange to do new born tests at home if they have not been done at the hospital. Hearing tests are usually done straight away and then the metabolic screening (heel prick) tests take place when your baby is 5 days old. This test is carried out by a midwife or specially trained midwifery support worker.   

Visitors

Different hospitals and units have different advice around visitors - please check with them for information. 

Home births

Please see the section on home births for more information, but once the two midwives who have been in attendance are happy that you and your baby are well, and you have appropriate support, you will be left at home. Someone will need to tidy up! However, on a more positive note you won't have to organise any transport and can stay in your pyjamas if you wish!

Your midwife team will check up on you in the days following birth before handing over to a health visitor. 

2019-07-03 (7)

Your baby is now officially an embryo and is about the size of a poppy seed.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/4-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (4)

Your baby is now the size of a kidney bean and weighs 1g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/8-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (6)

Welcome to the second trimester!

Your baby is about the size of a small lime and weighs approximately 14g.

You have hopefully seen your midwife for your 'booking in' appointment, if you have not yet seen a midwife please make an appointment quickly, so you can have all of your choices about screening tests explained and offered to you.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/12-weeks-pregnant/ for more information. You can also link to the 'Pregnancy Journey' area here.  

2019-07-03

Your baby is about the size of an avocado and weighs approximately 100g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/16-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (2)

Your baby has grown in length and is now the length of a small banana and weighs approximately 300g. Around this time you will be offered your '20 week' scan, also known as the 'anatomy' or 'anomaly' scan.Click here for more information about screening. 

This is a also a good time to talk and sing to your bump as your baby can now hear sounds. This is great way for you and your partner/family to bond with your baby.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/20-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (8)

Your baby has grown again to the approximate length of an ear of sweetcorn and weighs about 600g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/24-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (1)

Welcome to the third trimester!

Your baby is now approximately the weight of an aubergine; about 1kg and approximately 37cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/28-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (3)

Your baby now weighs approximately the same as a coconut; around 1.5kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/32-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (5)

Your baby is now around the same size as a lettuce, approximately 47cm long and weighs around 2.6kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/36-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (9)

Your baby is now the weight of a small watermelon which is approximately 3.3kg and around 50cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/40-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.