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Birth in hospital - do I have to stay at the hospital?

(24 Posts)
PregnantAndEngaged Sun 04-Jan-15 13:33:56

I'm currently looking into my birthing options. I don't want a home birth as it is my first pregnancy and my mum had 2 complicated labours leading to c-section. I want to ensure I have specialist medical care and hospital facilities if me or baby require it. However everytime I read about pros and cons of hospital birth, people say the food is horrible and it's difficult to get a wink of sleep and they miss their home comforts. It makes me wonder, if everything goes smoothly, can I not just say "OK I've had the baby, me and baby are OK, I'm going home now". Or do I HAVE to stay the night/a couple of nights? Not too fussed about horrible food as I'm sure I can just have cafe food if necessary, but I do like the idea of spending the first night with baby at home with my fiancé...

DropYourSword Sun 04-Jan-15 13:40:04

If everything's ok with you and your baby you should definitely be able to go home. Remember, it's not a prison, they can't make you do anything you don't want to do! If they think for any reason it's better that you stay in they could advise you not to go, but you can sign paperwork to say you are self discharging from the hospital. That's just legal paperwork to cover themselves so later on you can't turn around and say they didn't tell you not to go home. If you do self discharge you should know that they will still absolutely welcome you back if you develop a problem and need to be re admitted. Some people are worried once they've gone it'll cause offence or stop them for receiving further care.

Just one thing though, if they have a reason to be concerned about your baby it's another matter. You can't just discharge them from hospital if they are sick as they have a duty of care to your baby, who themselves has a right to receive care. However most women absolutely understand that their babies health takes priority, and will stay in hospital if necessary.

KittyandTeal Sun 04-Jan-15 13:45:29

I ended up staying for 5 days as dd wasn't feeding properly. I could have upped and left if I'd wanted to but I quite enjoyed being in hospital knowing there was a MW close by for all my stupid pfb questions.

As it was I LOVED the hospital food. It was disgusting apparently but I hoovered up every morsel! I particularly enjoy mac and cheese with potatoes 4 ways. My DH still jokes about it smile

museumum Sun 04-Jan-15 13:54:00

Do you have a "midwife led unit" option? I gave birth in a MLU quite straightforwardly but it's attched to the hospital so I'd it hadn't been straightforward we would have just been sent upstairs or a paed or obstetrician brought down.
Anyway, MLU was amazing that night. So quiet and restful. So different from the normal post natal award (which we did go to briefly while waiting for ds blood tests).

AnythingNotEverything Sun 04-Jan-15 14:02:26

A lot depends on how your labour goes and what time the baby is born, and how busy the labour ward is.

I know friends who've gone home from delivery suite after a few hours there after birth.

As a minimum, they seem to like you to stay long enough for baby to be feeding well and for you to be sure you're weeing and pooing normally.

PregnantAndEngaged Sun 04-Jan-15 14:03:02

Thanks for replies everyone smile

DropYourSword yeah definitely, if the baby needed care I wouldn't try to discharge him/her of course smile

KittyandTeal haha, glad the hospital food isn't actually as bad as people make out! :p

museumum unfortunately the closest MLU is about 50 minutes drive away and I can't drive therefore I'm not really considering that option. If they were closer then I would probably have gone with that as it is a happy medium between hospital and home birth smile

Annbag Sun 04-Jan-15 14:09:01

I was in 8 days which was totally rubbish. I did go to discharge myself but was told that they would frown upon it and I'd end up back in for longer. Probably not what you want to hear sorry, but I think if you have a straightforward birth they kick you out pretty quickly!

I too liked the food. I was in so long that I knew the food lady and she'd recommend me the best dinner and save me a strawberry yogurt grin

OrangeRhinoInTraining Sun 04-Jan-15 17:07:17

I had a forcep delivery with dc1 and left a night earlier than they wanted me to - once my catheter was out, as long as I was passing enough urine they couldn't really justify keeping me in. In hindsight I probably should have stayed the extra night!

With DC2 I had a water birth in midwife led unit and was home again five hours later! smile

I would say listen to any medical reasons they may have for wanting you to stay in, but don't be afraid to stand up for what's right for you!

GooodMythicalMorning Sun 04-Jan-15 17:10:40

I gave birth at 9pm so there was no one there to check and discharge us properly by that time. I wasnt in any state to be leaving at that time any way.

Clobbered Sun 04-Jan-15 17:11:54

I'd keep an open mind and see how you feel at the time. I went home the next morning after an overnight birth with my second, but was jolly glad to stay for a couple of days with my third. Your other half / friends and family can bring you in food if you don't like what's on offer. You have the rest of your lives to be at home together, so don't be in too much of a rush to get home if you don't feel 100% up to it. Much easier to get help and advice when it's on tap in the hospital.

Hassled Sun 04-Jan-15 17:13:12

I was home 4 hours after having had both DCs3 & 4 - and DC3 was a long, protracted induction. Luck plays a part - this may have changed but back then a paediatrician had to have checked the baby out before you could go, and in both cases there just happened to be one around at the right time.

MuffinMcLay23 Sun 04-Jan-15 17:22:59

It all depends on what happens, if you and the baby are well enough to go home, then obviously you can go home. If you and the baby are not well enough to go home then you would be better off staying. If the reason that you have to stay in is that you have had a bad time, they might take pity on you and allocate you a side room - you can always beg for one - that's what I did - after three full days in labour followed by crash section they gave me my own room and I managed to avoid the horrors of the post natal ward!

PorkyMinch Sun 04-Jan-15 17:28:21

You don't have to stay, but you do need them to sign off that the baby is ok.

I kicked up a bit of a fuss about leaving immediately, due to a previous nightmare stay on a ward, but was out with everything signed off within a few hours of giving birth.

Essexgirlupnorth Sun 04-Jan-15 17:30:49

I had a straightforward birth on a midwife led unit baby was born at 6am and discharged by 8pm which included waiting to get my anti-d injection. I never made the postnatal ward.
If everything is well with you and baby you can be home quickly if you want to be.

Dogsmom Sun 04-Jan-15 21:04:46

I had dd after a very long, overnight, back to back labour which ended in episiotomy and ventouse.

She was born at noon and we left at 8pm that night.

I was adamant all along I didn't want to stay in (obviously would've if she'd needed extra care), I also wrote on my birth notes that I wanted to go home asap if we were both ok

I'd decided to formula feed from birth so she'd fed easily twice and we'd both done a wee (had epidural at the end), the doctor had been and done the routine exams on her so when I felt ready I strapped her into the car seat and asked the midwife when we could go!

She was a bit shocked but lovely and turns out they'd simply expected I'd want to stay after having such a rough labour but happy enough to discharge us.

If you and the baby are ok and it's not too late in the day just ask what time you can go, on a busy ward it can be easy to be overlooked, as we were leaving I could hear the lady in the next bay to me really fed up because she'd left it too late and they didn't have time to do her paperwork so she had to stay in.

skitter Sun 04-Jan-15 23:52:58

I'm another who liked the food and had a good experience on the postnatal ward. I'd see how you go and make your decisions based on how you feel at the time. I had a traumatic delivery and definitely needed to stay for medical reasons (I had ds at 1am Saturday morning and left at 5pm Monday) and the support of the midwives on the postnatal ward helped me understand what had happened and get breastfeeding off to a great start. I also had a good laugh with the other new mums in my three bed room and their partners were really respectful of the other women's privacy. I'm actually looking forward to my postnatal stay this time.

HoldenCaulfield80 Tue 06-Jan-15 02:49:10

DD was born just after midnight and we were home by 7pm that day. We transferred to the ward from delivery at 6am and DH was allowed to stay the whole time. We napped, ate (pretty good food!), had all the checks and we're discharged just after visiting.
It was lovely to be in our own bed equally my experience of the ward was much more positive than I thought it would be.

Chunderella Tue 06-Jan-15 10:44:28

It isn't a prison. If you want to leave, do it. Saying that, plenty of us have positive experiences on postnatal. I confidently expected it to be awful, and it wasn't at all.

wavesandsmiles Tue 06-Jan-15 10:53:17

I delivered DS2 at just after 5pm and was tucked up in my own bed with him and my older DCs by 10pm. Stayed in the room I delivered in, DS2 latched on like a pro, I had a cup of tea and a sandwich then just had to wait for a friend to give me and the baby a lift home.

DM was mega shocked when I asked her if she wanted to come to see DS2 the next morning and she queried "visiting hours" and I told her I was at home already.....

weeblueberry Tue 06-Jan-15 14:53:55

I had the best liver and chips I've ever eaten in the ward. Mind you I suspect it had been my massive cravings for liver that I wasn't allowed to indulge in that made it so good. grin

I wanted to be out ASAP too but I found out after I'd given birth that I'd tested positive for strep B while in labour and so between that, and her slight jaundice, they wanted to keep her in. I stayed in the family support area of the ward while she was in NICU. I didn't enjoy it initially but got superb breastfeeding support from the midwives and it definitely strengthen my ability to feed her. I suspect if I'd gone home earlier and not had the support I'd have given up the breastfeeding MUCH sooner!

sunnybobs Tue 06-Jan-15 14:56:47

I've just had my 3rd baby and was on site for a total of 4 hours including the birth itself. That was fine for my 3rd but I'd have been in pieces and shocked if they'd sent me home that fast with my first. See how you feel when in but generally if well they're very keen to discharge you ASAP these days.

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 06-Jan-15 14:58:34

any food is good if is brought to you on a plate......

GotToBeInItToWinIt Tue 06-Jan-15 15:08:25

We were discharged after 3 hours, it was amazing. I couldn't face the thought of a night on the post natal ward and they offered a 3 hour discharge policy. Giving birth at a different hospital this time and it's a 6 hour policy there, and I'm fully intending to take advantage of it as long as it's a straightforward birth. One of the reasons I didn't have an epidural was that I knew id be kept in longer.

NickyEds Tue 06-Jan-15 16:05:06

Ds was born at 1pm and I stayed overnight and went home at lunchtime the next day. I had diamorphine during labour and it made DS a bit sleepy so feeding was hard. They essentially want to make sure you're ok (this involves a lot of wee talk!), baby's ok (paed check up/hearing test/sorting out red book and other paperwork etc) and you have a plan for feeding in place.
I got no sleep in hospital. Literally none. It was a nightmare. I hadn't passed a sufficient amount of wee so was told to sit and sip water for bloody ages. They were literally taking the piss. In the morning we just had a bloody parade of people in and out of the room. I think I would've benefitted from more bf help on the ward but by lunchtime I hadn't slept in nearly 60 hours, 30 of which I was in labour so was just absolutely desperate to go home.
I'm expecting no 2 now and I think I'll want to get home quickly this time to be with DS.
The food was ok though. The best tea and toast you'll ever have is that which you are given straight after giving birth!

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