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Are you sent home too quickly after childbirth these days?

(53 Posts)
canella Mon 11-Jan-10 19:07:42

I had all my DC (3 of them) in the UK and the longest i was in after the birth was 48 hours and that was with my first. I was quite happy with dc 2 and 3 to go home the next morning and get on with things at home - never felt like i needed longer to recuperate in hospital since i felt a bit sore down below but otherwise well.

I've now moved to Germany and a good friend had a baby in the early hours of sunday morning. It's her 4th baby and was a natural delivery following induction and she's not expected home till Wednesday at the earliest. I went to see her yesterday and she was in bed and the staff encourage the mums to stay in bed as much as possible and to do as little as possible.

But this is not a "slag off the NHS thread"! I got in the car on the way home and was muttering to myself "She's not ill - she's done a natural thing - no need to lie in bed for 4 days - why doesnt she get up and get home!"

But then started wondering - is this the right attitude - should women be allowed to recuperate for longer in hospital especially when they've got other children and at home there's no chance of rest?

just wondered what others thought?

OP’s posts: |
craftynclothy Mon 11-Jan-10 19:17:22

I stayed in 2 days with dd1.

With dd2 I had an Independent Midwife. I transferred into hospital for pain relief. I was discharged 6 hours after the birth (5 hours after placenta delivery) even though I'd had an epidural because it was in my birth plan and they knew I had IM I could call if needed. My IM insisted on a week doing nothing but being in bed with baby feeding & recovering. The second week she said I could get up but not to do much (I only got dressed about once that week to go and register dd2's birth).

At the time I didn't enjoy being in bed etc BUT I recovered so much better. Postnatal bleeding last 5 days compared to 5 weeks and tear healed by 1 week rather than just over 10 weeks.

I guess what I'm saying is that we don't need to be in hospital but we should take life a lot easier after giving birth. Years ago people had family/friends who would do allsorts to help out after a baby but that doesn't happen so much anymmore and it's so easy to just get back into 'normal' life without allowing time to rest.

Sonilaa Mon 11-Jan-10 19:18:37

Rest? In a six bed room?

I wanted to go home as soon as possible, but understaffing in the RLH meant that it took them ages to get the discharge papers ready. I had to spent a second night in the crowded room, which I really wanted to avoid...

lou031205 Mon 11-Jan-10 19:18:47

I think that if a woman is well, feels well, and feels ready to go home, she should be released willingly. Equally, a woman who feels the need to stay should be accommodated.

After DD3, I wanted to stay a few days (Had 2 under 3.6 at home, and DD1 has SN, so full-on). But they were full, so I went the next morning. I was fine.

ShowOfHands Mon 11-Jan-10 19:19:35

I was discharged 12hrs post em cs.

It was a little hasty I think but they had a bed shortage.

That said, the best thing for my recovery was to be up and about.

nickytwotimes Mon 11-Jan-10 19:19:38

I wish I had stayed in longer than one night with ds 1, but felt it wasn't the done thing and was encouraged to go home.

I would have had a better start at bfing and would have had less carry on with the endless stream of visitors that came to see us.

I plan on staying in longer this time, but not sure I want to leave ds for any length of time.

lal123 Mon 11-Jan-10 19:20:27

I don't see any reason for women to be kept in hospital to "recuperate" - I got home morning after I had DD2, was glad to be at home in my own bed!

Both grandmothers were quite horrified - and told stories of how they weren't allowed out of bed for weeks after having their children - but this didn't stop them from sitting at my dining table night I came home drinking coffee while I did the dishes...

ruddynorah Mon 11-Jan-10 19:20:37

nope. i was much happier back home. it's an individual thing surely. i had dc2 at 6.15am and was home by midday.

shonaspurtle Mon 11-Jan-10 19:21:34

I thought I'd want to stay as long as possible as I knew nothing about babies and thought it would be easier to stay in where there was help.

In reality, I had far less help and felt far more isolated in a four bed ward listening to other babies cry, worrying what to do with ds if I went to the loo, sitting up all night watching the sun rise with noone for company.

If there's a next time I'll be home like a shot.

MrsMattie Mon 11-Jan-10 19:22:28

I had two very different experiences, so I would say it really depends on the care you receive while in hospital.

First birth - emergency c-section, discharged myself after 4 days (they wanted to keep me in a fifth day) because the hospital was so filthy and the staff so horrible.

Second birth - elective section. They booted me out exactly 48 hours after the birth. I would have loved another 24 hours in there. It was very cosy and staff were nice. It felt like a little cocoon for just me and my baby, and I wasn't ready to leave it!

shonaspurtle Mon 11-Jan-10 19:23:32

Oh, I forgot to finish that paragraph blush - far less help than if I'd been at home with dh around all day and all night, and my mum visiting for more than 1 hr a day.

Granted though, I had a straightforward birth with just a few stitches and didn't really need to stay in bed. Would have been nice to have had someone bringing me tea & helping with ds in hospital - I had to go home to get that.

Lulumama Mon 11-Jan-10 19:23:35

staying in bed immobile is one of the worst things you can do post birth and epsecially post c.s

there needs to be more oa shift in society's expectations of what a new mother should do

some people refer to the 6 weeks post birth as the 4th stage of labour, whihc i think is quite interesting

you should be treated more gently for sure in teh first 6 weeks, and be given the opportunity to bond , feed, nurse nurture and stay in your PJs if you want. i think that if women could stay in hosital in private, clean rooms, with brastfeeding support on tap and all the help htye needed, that would be a different story to staying on a n overcroiwded ward with too few staff

being at home but not being expected to get back to cooking/cleaning etc like nothing happened would be good.

other people wnat to come and visit with the baby and cuddle and coo,but doing a bit of shopping /ironing/cooking /school runs for older siblings while the mother and father look after the newborn wold be fantastic

Lulumama Mon 11-Jan-10 19:25:24

i was discharged 4 days post em c.s with DS and would happily have stayed there for a week or more, as i was so nervous and frightened, DD was a VBAC and i was home 17 hours later, would have b een sooner had anyone been aroudn to discharge me, was desperate to get home, but ws so high on adrenalin i did way too much and crashed 2 days later into a sobbing wreck

shonaspurtle Mon 11-Jan-10 19:26:52

I felt that I was literally on my own with ds for the 12 plus hours in hospital that dh wasn't able to visit (ie overnight). Didn't help of course that I barely slept. I felt so much better when I got home and there was someone else there that cared for ds.

Wiseoldelf Mon 11-Jan-10 19:31:47

lal123 - exactly the same story here. My MIL was horrified I was discharged 4 hrs after having DD. Delivered DD, delivered placenta, fed DD, had shower, packed bag, found DP sleeping in cafe, went home.

Whilst I was cooking supper that evening (so less than 12 hours after delivery) all she went on about was how 'in her day' 2 weeks minimum to recuperate and rest blah blah blah. Then asked if I was doing garlic bread.
Sometimes you have to wonder.......grin

ten10 Mon 11-Jan-10 19:33:58

I don't think that the NHS is quite so brutal is many make out.

I was told that I could stay up to a week if I wanted to, if I felt I wasn't coping, I never felt like they were trying to get rid of me.

I ended up staying 2 nights after both my births as this was what I wanted and they were happy with this

RatherBeOnThePiste Mon 11-Jan-10 19:34:02

Stayed 2 nights with DD - but don't really know why, all was well.

Went home the same day with DS - he was born 7.30 am and we were on our way home in time for me to make DD's tea. My elderly next door neighbour was horrified!!

LadyintheRadiator Mon 11-Jan-10 19:35:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlauerEngel Mon 11-Jan-10 19:37:41

Ah, Canella, my experience of giving birth in Germany is very different. I was at home 7 hours after dd1 (and that included an operation under general anaesthetic to remove the placenta) and 2 hours after dd2. Admittedly they were both at midwife centres rather than hospitals, but I still know plenty of examples of people who left hospital 6 hours after a normal birth. However my midwife did give me strict instructions to stay in bed for a week, she came round to check me and the baby every day for 10 days, and my health insurance paid for a helper to look after dd1 during that period whenever dh was working, so I could concentrate on the baby rather than on chasing after a toddler. Under those circumstances, being at home was certainly more restful than a loud and impersonal hospital. You only stay 3-5 days in hospital if you want to here.

BikeRunSnowflake Mon 11-Jan-10 19:38:17

1974 - My mum was kept in bed for 2 weeks after an em CS and was waited on hand and foot by nursing staff.

2007 - I has an em CS and was kept in for 4 days - hospital policy (although by day 4 DS was too ill to go home, and we stayed in for a week altogether).

2009 - My friend had a em CS and was sent home after 12 hours. She lives in an uptairs flat with no lift and didn't manage to leave the flat for 2 weeks.

hester Mon 11-Jan-10 19:48:02

I think individuals really vary in how soon they are ready to go home, and that in some parts of the NHS (notably London) the resource pressures don't really allow for individual variation or preference. I was home 48 hours after my emcs, and yes I feel it was too early. I was still absolutely reeling, hadn't taken in much of the hastily-delivered lecture on aftercare - as evidenced by my distress when I finally unpacked my hospital bag, two weeks later, and found the heavy-duty pain relief they had given me and I had promptly forgotten about. Couldn't BELIEVE I'd been coping with all that pain with just aspirin, and for no reason sad

pointydig Mon 11-Jan-10 19:51:05

Not necessarily. The hospital I was in had avery large wards and was very noisy. Not good for recovery.

If you have a small ward, with sensible women and other children at home, then it would be lovely to stay in for a couple of days.

wasabipeanut Mon 11-Jan-10 19:52:04

Really interesting thread. My MIL thinks it's really shocking how quickly mothers are encouraged to leave hospital now and I can sort of see where she's coming from, although I suspect she is basing her thoughts on the quality of care she recieved 35 odd years ago.

I had an em cs ans stayed in for 4 nights - I was all set to go after 3 but DS had lost too much weight and had to stay in another night. I was desperate to leave.

Agree with Lulamama that there should be a shift in expectations. My MIL has offered to come and "skivvy" in her words when DC2 pops (if DC2 ever pops) so I can spend as much time as possible chilling with the baby rather than trying to entertain a very lively 2.5 year old DS.

An Indian colleague of mine told me when I was expecting DS that their tradition is that the new mother doesn't need to put the baby down for 6 weeks after the birth or something like that. She is cared for by family so she can devote all her time to the baby. Which struck me at the time, and still does, as a bloody brilliant idea.

Hopefully Mon 11-Jan-10 19:52:22

They certainly didn't boot me out, but as others have said, I felt very alone, especially as MWs were encouraging me to do everything for DS (with 24 hours of 3rd degree tear and reasonably large PPH). I actually figured it would be easier at home with DH to help. Which it was, but the ideal solution would have been to just have more help generally, either at home or in hospital.

shonaspurtle Mon 11-Jan-10 20:06:25

My mum's the same re: disapproval of how soon women come home, but then again she doesn't have very rosy memories of postnatal care in the early 70s.

It seems to have been almost the opposite of my experience: 10 days in bed, baby in the nursery overnight even if bf, sleeping pill to knock you out every night, no caring for your baby yourself - the midwives did everything which my mum reckons didn't exactly set you up for coming home.

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