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Going home after birth

(33 Posts)
quellerosiel Wed 19-Nov-14 12:09:08

Hello knowledgeable women of MN.

I am trying to do a bit of research here. I am not pregnant but will be TTC soon(ish) but am really struggling with anxiety issues at the moment associated with my own ability to cope with the whole pregnancy/birth/being responsible for a whole other human (I collect lego and watch princess movies for crying out loud) thing.

One particular thing I am really struggling with right now is how soon people seem to get sent home after giving birth. I cannot imagine having gone through such a major thing and being sent home to cope with just my DH mere hours after giving birth. How on earth do you people do it?? A home birth is really not an option for me because A) it sounds like hell on earth (no disrespect meant, I have a HUGE amount of admiration for women who choose to do it of their own free will and can cope with it, I will never be able to) and B) I live a good 30-40 mins drive from the nearest maternity unit, too far (IMO) to be considered safe in an emergency.

So what I want to know is:

How long were you kept in hospital after giving birth?
Did you feel rushed out?
What was the after care like? (Did they help with breast feeding etc?)
How did you cope at home initially?

Anything else that would be helpful here is greatly appreciated!

Quell xx

Mrsgrumble Wed 19-Nov-14 12:12:04

I think I was lucky but I had five nights in hospital after emcs. They wanted me to go home after four, but bf wasnt established and I was happy in there so they were fine.

Not in uk hospital though so I know it's different everywhere.

Mrsgrumble Wed 19-Nov-14 12:16:37

Sorry, in answer to your post, I think you will be suprised how much comes naturally and I actually was happier at home once I got home.

Try not to let the worries overshadow all the good things about it all. You will be organsied and ready (yep, maybe too ready)

Get your freezer stashed with easy dinners. Bf is tricky initially but you will get in on it.

The midwives and nurses were absolutely lovely to me. I will never forget them for it. Brought me hot milk at night, the student midwives were great also.

Heatherbell1978 Wed 19-Nov-14 14:01:03

You'll get quite a variety of responses on this as hospitals across the country will all vary with regards their care. I'm in Scotland and DS1 is 12 wks old. We were out the next day. I had an uncomplicated birth in the birth centre, just gas and air and 1 stitch. Had a few issues getting baby to latch but we got there overnight. The next day I was asked what I wanted to do as they tend to let you go once breastfeeding is going ok. I chose to go home but I could have stayed another night. My friends experiences are all that they didn't go home until they were feeding ok, for some that meant a week in hospital.

You'll be fine though, as soon as you can feed ok, whether that's bf or ff that's the main thing! Newborns just eat, sleep and poo, everything else you will learn gradually!

badfurday Wed 19-Nov-14 14:51:22

I went into labour at 4am, delivered at 11am and was out the door at 7pm. I was really lucky and had a straightforward delivery, had stitches and yes it hurt but I hated the thought of staying in hospital. My choice entirely. Everyone is different but I wanted to be at home and I personally learn best when thrown in at the deep end.

You'll be surprised at how much comes naturally to you. I was like you and had no idea, never changed a nappy, fed a baby etc. Try not to be afraid of the unknown, easier said than done I know.

afreshstartplease Wed 19-Nov-14 14:54:03

Dc1 stayed in over night
Dc2 six hours after birth
Dc3 five hours after birth

Couldn't Wait to get home each time staying in hospital is grim

NellyBluth Wed 19-Nov-14 15:00:48

I can't imagine there is a standard, as a lot of it will depend on how your birth is. If you are quite physically well, you might well find that you want to be at home and want to leave the hospital quite soon. If you're not physically well than you can fight to stay on.

Yes, that first night at home is a bit weird. Most of us can probably remember sitting in our living room staring at the baby thinking, "shit - what now?" But it does start to come to you. It does start to feel natural.

The advice I would give you now is that before you get pregnant, everything can seem like a worry or a stress because there is just so much of it - so much that it is easy to get overwhelmed by it all. And so you ask questions like you have, and you might get so many different answers that it is confusing and more stressful (though please don't think that means I think you shouldn't have asked smile)

But MN is here throughout your whole pregnancy and when you get your baby at home, and whatever time of day or night, there will be someone to help you with all the little specific worries you have and questions you want to ask. It's here to help you cope. Just have a wander around the boards and you'll see how much help there is.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 19-Nov-14 18:10:19

Three nights, 4.5 days after an EMCS. Hospital were happy to keep me in until bfing was established which was great as DD1 wasn't really on board with the whole thing and dropping tons of weight.

One option is to start a little fund now which you can choose to use for a doula, a cleaner, a mothers help or even a maternity nanny to support you. If you are feeling confident and it's all going well, then you have a lovely little fund set aside to use during your maternity leave.

I went into labour early with both my children and particularly the first realised that I had totally focussed on getting the baby out, not in the care and aftermath afterwards. Some stuff like nappy changing I was well practised at, but breastfeeding was a mental wasteland. Some websites such as are great for giving really practical advice.

The biggest hurdle as a first time parent is not knowing what's normal. You'll spend ages googling for pictures of nappy rash trying to decide if it's thrush, well rashes generally to be fair; and asking questions on online forums as to whether green poo is something to rush to A&E with. grin

Unless you have access to the funds for a particularly nice hospital you will want to get home to your own bed and get a decent nights rest [or what passes for one with a newborn]. Even Kate and Wills got the hell out of whatever hospital Prince George was born in within what 2 days?

LetticeKnollys Wed 19-Nov-14 21:34:35

I gave birth at 6 am and was kept in overnight, finally let out the next night. They wanted to keep me in that night too, but I was the opposite to you and desperate to leave! I had a planned home birth but had to be transferred to hospital towards the end of the labour. They kept you waiting around for hours for every little thing so no I didn't feel rushed, quite the opposite!

I'm afraid to say that a lot of postnatal wards are quite understaffed, there's a chance you might not be so keen to stay at the time.

What I will say, however, is that (at least where I am in Norfolk) the community support is very available to help, much better than what I got on the ward. If you are particularly anxious then the hospital should be able to request an early visit from the community midwife, so you are not by yourself for too long. The comm. midwives here were great and would come for lots of visits (we had early BFing problems), so I never felt abandoned at all.

Could your mum or someone come to stay and help you? I coped alright but would have struggled if I had had to do all of the housework and things as well.

Breastfeeding support is variable. I think you need to bear in mind that midwives are not automatically breastfeeding experts, because I was given a lot of conflicting advice from midwives when I was struggling to get DS to latch on. The hospital support was rubbish because no one had any time for me. The community support was well meaning but not all that helpful. However, when I was visiting family (in Oxford) I visited a breastfeeding clinic there and that was amazing, really helpful.

So I really advise looking for what support there is which isn't just the hospital/community midwives you would be seeing anyway, in case you have problems. Have a look to see if there are any breastfeeding groups/clinics/cafes in your area. Often groups like the NCT and LLL can help to give you advice and sometimes can send someone with training out to help you.

The fact that you are worrying about it suggests you will be a good mum. smile

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 19-Nov-14 21:43:25

27 hours ( I counted every minute), I hated it I couldn't sleep, felt very self concious sharing a ward, hated the whole trying to manage baby in open ward and trying to loo or shower. I felt I couldn't trust turning and asking the key in the cot, I went to the loo once in 27 hours and didn't shower. I saw a midwife three times in 27 hours for about three minutes each time and one of those times was to escort me to the car, so quite frankly was better at home.

Wigeon Wed 19-Nov-14 21:45:25

Dd1: 6 hrs after birth, DD2: 4 hours after birth. Both times I was v keen to be back home! Really didn't want tp stay on noisy, uncomfortable post natal ward, and fortunately I got to stay in the delivery room both times and go home straight from there. They did check I was BF fine both times, which I was, and did all the other routine checks. A midwife or health visitor also visits you at home every day for a few days after, so there is definitely opportunity for help & support. Honestly, with newborn you just need to focus on feeding them somehow, amd sleeping as much as you can! Which is much more pleasant if you are at home, IMO.

Hollycopter Wed 19-Nov-14 21:50:21

I was kept in for 3 nights and it felt like an eternity! I just wanted to go home with DS and DH. It seems lovely and reassuring in theory to be in a hospital bed with experienced midwives and people bringing you food, but the noise drove me insane! It was constant beeping, people talking and if you're tied to the bed by drips etc having to buzz for midwives to bring you your baby.

I felt similar to you, the thought of all that responsibility was so daunting but when it happened I couldn't wait to get on with it.

The breastfeeding support wasn't great at my hospital, DS went onto bottles before they'd let me leave. He had a tongue tie and just couldn't breastfeed at all, but it wasn't diagnosed in hospital. My mum found details of a LLL breastfeeding consultant and she came out and diagnosed it and then when it was clipped he could breastfeed.

The other thing is even when you're discharged, midwifes will do home visits for 10 days (not every day but you can ask them to if you want it) and then when they discharge you from midwife care you'll get Health Visitor visits so there's support there for you.

ChunkyPickle Wed 19-Nov-14 21:54:16

I seem to have my babies in the evening. With the first (EMCS) I stayed 36 hours after the birth (two nights, and out late in the morning) - in another country, I was ready to get out of there and go home to my own bed/kitchen/eager to get started with my new baby.

Second, had him in the afternoon again (also EMCS), stayed over and got out the next afternoon (< 24hrs).

Each time I was the one pressuring to leave - each time I actually went and sat in the waiting room while they rushed through my discharge notes (each time I'd been asking for them from first thing in the morning)

I just didn't find hospital at all restful or generally a place I wanted to be (in all honesty, not that bad either) - I wanted to be home rather than living out of bags and suitcases.

And you cope. Thank goodness they're generally sleepy and fairly easy for the first bit.

Heleng1982 Wed 19-Nov-14 21:57:06

I had my first baby at 19 and he wasn't even 24 hours old when we got home . I felt I got no after care at the hospital hmm . I was 27 with my 2nd I was in labour 6 hours with him he was born at 4.03am and we were home before 9 am . We were rushed out again but I liked been at home . Then with my third I had him at 12.41 in the early hours and if the midwife in charge hadn't been so busy we would of been discharged at 3 in the morning . I didn't even realise they let you go home in the middle of the night lol I did get to go home at 5 am . I felt I was kind of left to it and I wasn't really showed anything hmm

JuniDD Wed 19-Nov-14 22:03:06

I was in hospital for six nights plus one night in labour there. I was so ready to go home but couldn't due to treatment for me & DD. The care I got was great but I was really ready to go home and have all my stuff that I'd prepared around me. It won't be that bad, and honestly, it would've been better to go home quickly than have to hang around for so long. Good luck!

NickyEds Thu 20-Nov-14 12:10:51

I had DS at 1pm, stayed the night then went home at 10am next morning.I didn't feel rushed out, I think I could have stayed another night if I had wanted to but I was desperate to go home as I hadn't got a wink of sleep in the hospital after a long labour and just needed to go to sleep. Bf support was rubbish at the hospital but better with the community mw and better still on mn. As pp have said you can always call your mw in those first few days and although it's hard and overwhelming we all muddle through somehow!

TurquoiseDress Thu 20-Nov-14 16:06:12

Don't stress too much at the moment, honestly, like some others have said, things will come naturally!

I had ELCS and spent 2 nights on postnatal which was quite enough, it was totally grim- dirty bathroom, people coming & going all the time, babies crying (obviously), people taking on their phones at all hours.

Midwifes seeming pissed off as if we were just a pain in the ass.

No established BF when I went home, went with formula as it meant we could get the hell out of there quicker!

Once at home we got a handle on BF. I think it was due to being back in relaxed & familiar environment.

I will never forget the sheer joy of coming back to my own home, being able to take my time in the loo etc.

I really don't get why somebody would want to stay in hospital longer- unless they are having fabulous care.

Good luck, try to enjoy things, everything passes by so quickly!

happypotamus Thu 20-Nov-14 18:01:10

I had to stay 3 nights with both DDs. The staff would have had us stay longer but I was going insane with lack of sleep etc so we insisted on leaving. We were kept in to establish breastfeeding, but the MWs had no time to give any advice or help. I was expressing milk for DD2 and feeding it to her by syringe and bottle. We coped much better at home both times. As DH said to the MW, we aren't doing anything here that we can't do at home anyway.
DD2 was a very quick, straightforward delivery, so the MWs in MLU mentioned us going home the same evening. and would have been happy for that except there was nobody available on a Sunday evening to do her checks so we had to stay.

TheBooMonster Thu 20-Nov-14 21:22:22

I was induced at 36+2 having only made it to one antenatal class because they were scheduled so late, it does come much more naturally than you'd think, but I didn't have a clue what was going on with labour and was mostly terrified! I had a PPH and lost a lot of blood (but they decided I was fine to go home and that I had plenty of iron even though I have no recollection of them taking blood for tests)

I had DD at 7:12am on the Friday, we were moved to the post labour ward late afternoon once they'd established I was no longer bleeding enough to worry about me. We stayed on the post labour ward overnight with a transitional care nurse helping me hand express, by early afternoon on Saturday all the medical staff decided I was fine and baby was fine despite the fact I couldn't make it to the bathroom unaided and DD was most defiantly not breast feeding properly and I was discharged at about 7pm on that Saturday, so we were in for a day and a half.

In future I know to fight more to stay if I am concerned, because I was found to be anaemic and in very definite need of iron tablets a good week and half later (so would have been low when I left the hospital too), and DD lost 12% of her body weight in the first three days, but ho-hum, we both survived!

Redling Fri 21-Nov-14 09:18:04

I gave birth early afternoon and as I'd needed a last minute spinal block to have a ventouse I had to stay overnight. It was fine, the midwives were kind and helpful, I didn't see anyone else on the ward as we were all curtained off. I just buzzed them to get me things and cuddled and fed DS. Next day after I'd proved I could wee they discharged me. Even though I had an instrumental delivery and episiotomy I wasn't in as much pain as I expected. Also you do just get on with it, don't underestmate the adrenalin and hormonal surge you get! Also newborn care is literally feed, cuddle, change and repeat for days. So if you have someone to physically bring baby to you, change them and bring you food you can give your child as much care as they need from the bed. My family brought us food and cooked for us. You won't sleep much, but take shifts. Newborns want to be on their parents and it may take a few days to coax them into sleeping in whatever basket or crib you've carefully prepared for them! On day 5 I managed a little walk with the pram (the pram was like a walking frame!) and after two weeks I felt almost normal. Post birth for me was less hard than being third trimester pregnant. Don't underestimate what you can do when you have the baby, you can't not step up!

quellerosiel Fri 21-Nov-14 21:43:53

Thank you so much for your responses ladies!! Its so great to hear your experiences and know the help is there if I need it, particularly staying in hospital as long as is needed. I now it sounds a little insane wanting to stay in but it just feels more reassuring to me somehow!

I am just so 100% sure I am going to be awful and totally mess up any kids I have its good to hear how people just manage to cope. Still convinced I won't but its good to hear the positive side!

WantToGoingTo Sun 23-Nov-14 10:14:59

Where I live, aim is for women who have had normal vaginal delivery to be discharged home 6 hours after birth, unless:

it is in the middle of night and therefore more practical for lady to stay overnight
baby/mother is ill
mother has had a c-section in which case I believe it is aimed for a 3 day stay, though obviously could be longer
problems with BF.

Justgotosleepnow Sun 23-Nov-14 10:31:02

I'd say trust your own body and your own capabilities. I'm pretty sure that you are great with kids. And I'm absolutely sure you will be a great mum. Rely on your instinct and let it guide you.

And little babies are pretty straightforward- feed, change their nappy, too hot/ cold, cuddle. That's it really.

I recommend you research the Breastfeeding support in your area. Look up the children's centers, Nct & la Leche league. Yes midwives have a duty to help you get the latch right in hospital, but their training in bf is not very thorough. And many sadly pass on their bf baggage to the new mums.

Once you are pregnant go along to a bf drop in, if you can see mothers successfully feeding their babies it will give you confidence.

I also recommend doing a hypnobirthing type course. It will help you trust your own body and learn how to relax a good bit.

Good luck!

mrsnec Sun 23-Nov-14 10:39:01

Same experience as Mrs Grumbles for me. I had complications after emcs though. I was ready to go home after 3 days but stayed 5.

Picked everything up very quickly but had more support at home.

Hospital wouldn't do much for me, very limited visiting hours and a room on my own. My parents came to stay for 3 weeks, they stayed out of the way when I wanted them to, dh only worked in the mornings and friends and neighbours bought food round.

I think I would have struggled without support like that at home.Don't have health visitors here but we are paying privately for a pediatrician who has been brilliant, with advice for me too not just dd.

Will you have anyone else to help at all?

Also we're about the same distance from the hospital too and that didn't worry me because I was so closely monitored for everything.

Showy Sun 23-Nov-14 10:53:15

Can you clarify exactly why you'd want to stay in hospital? It might help with thinking through how you'd do things at home? Because you have to bear in mind that hospitals have visiting hours so say you give birth later on in the day and your partner then has to leave (our hospital has two slots for visiting hours, 2hrs in the afternoon, 2hrs in the morning), it some respects you are on your own. It would be lovely to rely on there being help on hand and the reassurance of staff to guide you through it BUT when there are 7 other women in the same under staffed bay as you, some with quite specific and time-dependent needs, 7 babies all seeming to cry at the same time, lights out because it's night time and you're pretending that still means something and you've pressed your buzzer but there isn't somebody to help right now or they can't help because the baby is just crying and sometimes they just do, it can feel lonely and isolating and very tough. At home, you can have your partner, your friend, your Mum/Dad/Grandma there all the time. You can hand the baby over and walk away to the loo knowing they're safe. You can watch box sets at 3am. You can know that somebody loves you and will help you now whatever it is you need (all assuming you have a supportive dp/friend/whatever). You can shower/bath without having to wait for a visitor to turn up and watch the baby for you. A lot of women find that much more reassuring.

All of the above isn't meant to scare you. I have had two very different postnatal experiences. Both of my children were born by emergency caesarean and I was practically forced out of the door 12 hours after the first. I had no help with anything for those 12 hours. Second I was discharged (through choice, desperate to go) after 36 hours. Second experience was lovely tbh. Nice hospital, staff all recently trained in bfing, brand new ward etc. BUT all care of the baby was done by me. I changed every nappy, got up and down to pick the baby up, wheeled the baby to the loo with me in its fishbowl, showered only when I had a visitor etc. The staff were there and would have stepped in if there was medical need but really they didn't have the resources to do much beyond that. For example, I requested peppermint water for trapped wind (excruciating after a cs) and it took over an hour to get it. This is fine and I understood why- lots going on with other women and babies - but at home my husband would have just gone and got it and it would have taken 5 minutes.

Staying in afterwards is good if you have a medical need but being at home is actually quite comforting. Can you think about having something like a postnatal doula? Or do you have a friend/family member who is v good with baby things who is happy to come and help?

I think probably you're worrying about nothing actually. You don't know what it's like having a baby and you're concentrating on the worry. You don't know how bloody brilliant it can be too. The joy of holding your tiny new baby rather overshadows a lot of concerns and you learn as you go. You have to experience this though.

Good luck with TTC.

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