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How long will I HAVE to stay in hospital?

(29 Posts)
JontyDoggle37 Thu 04-Dec-14 18:44:41

I'm not due for a few months yet, but one of the few things causing me anxiety is the thought of being stuck in hospital for more than 24 hours. Obviously if there are any complications etc I get no say and have to stay as long as I/baby needs, but if all goes ok, are there certain things the hospital want to see happen/ I should have a go at doing before we leave? I'm a first time mum, so I know I need to learn a few things, but at the same time the thought of being stuck in ultra-hot atmosphere, with no real privacy, unable to sleep even if the baby is quiet, with crap food and possibly people telling me I should breast feed even if I really don't want to is enough to give me the screaming Heebie-Jeebies. Any experience anyone can share?

NorwaySpruce Thu 04-Dec-14 18:47:58

AFAIK, you only have to stay until you are well enough to leave.

I was out in under four hours both times (the second time at 4am) after a shower and having a midwife do basic checks on the baby.

It was a very busy unit, and they were practically throwing people out.

HeyMicky Thu 04-Dec-14 18:48:24

DD was born just before 11pm. I was ready to go home by 9am the next morning but has to wait til 6pm as she needed her hearing test and there was no one to sign me out.

MrsNutella Thu 04-Dec-14 18:50:30

DD was born at about 6pm. I stayed overnight because that was easier for me DH, DS and everyone really. I was home around midday the next day.

confusedandemployed Thu 04-Dec-14 18:53:37

I was in for 48 hours after EMCS. In truth I could have left much sooner.
My friend recently had a VBAC and was our within 4 hours.
Being in hospital is fine though. You have the support of the midwives and have literally nothing to do except sleep and feed your baby. I quite enjoyed it.

bakingtins Thu 04-Dec-14 18:54:36

You need to have passed urine (and probably poo as well) and have stable obs (temperature, blood pressure, bleeding etc) baby needs to have fed well, easier with bottles if you're not intending to BF, had paediatrician check and hearing test. If you don't have these done before discharge you'll have to go back in for them, or separately to audiology and GP.
I've never managed to get out in less than 24 hrs despite hating postnatal wards. Even when you are all sorted they take an age to do the paperwork. 1st birth in for about 36 hrs, 2nd one 2 days ( me poorly) 3rd one 5 days (baby poorly)

LetticeKnollys Thu 04-Dec-14 19:00:30

Your worries are extremely similar to what actually happened to me, sorry. But what I wish I had been told was that when they tell you that you 'can't' leave, really they just don't want you to. You can leave hospital at any time unless you are sectioned.

WaitingForMe Thu 04-Dec-14 19:01:58

My waters went but I didn't go into active labour. It was hospital policy that after 24 hours baby needs to stay in 48 hour of observation. Had I known I'd have pushed for inducement earlier. Due to being kept in and associated stress, DS ended up dehydrated and had to stay in even longer. Getting out of their Catch 22 was a nightmare.

So know their rules for being kept in so you can fight them. It's not the staff's fault, they have to tick boxes. So learn the boxes.

Dogsmom Thu 04-Dec-14 19:03:17

I think it depends on the hospital, my mw said mine was minimum of 6 hours or 24 hours with a caesarian.

Obviously it depends what time of day the baby is born, you wouldn't want to be leaving the hospital in the middle of the night.

I was like you and really didn't want to stay in, dd was born at midday and I'd had an epidural, ventouse and episiotomy, we left at 8pm and would have been sooner but mw had assumed I'd want to stay as it had been a very hard labour and birth, in the end I sent dh to fetch the carseat, we strapped her in and stood at the desk asking to be discharged.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 04-Dec-14 19:05:29

Its different at different hospitals. Where I work women can go as long as they and the baby are well enough even if that's an hour later.

They can come back for paed checks and hearing checks as an outpatient appt.

LetticeKnollys Thu 04-Dec-14 19:12:59

You don't need to poo by the way, just wee. Postnatal constipation is really common, they will just prescribe you softeners and laxatives before you leave if you haven't pooed before you've gone.

JontyDoggle37 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:13:27

Thank you ladies for such swift responses! I'd definitely be tempted to go back for hearing tests etc separately if that will substantially delay me getting out. I think I'll make sure to ask how soon they can be done once baby is born (or ask DH to ask in case I forget!). I'm also likely to be the person stood at the desk staying 'we're going, sort your paperwork out now'. I think being prepared for the different scenarios will help me feel less anxious about it all.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Thu 04-Dec-14 19:17:09

DD was born at 4pm, we were tucked up at home with a glass of champagne by 8pm. Staying on the postnatal ward was my worst nightmare. I got to go home, spend the our first night as a proper family and actually get some sleep.

Lookslikeimstuckhere Thu 04-Dec-14 19:17:49

May be impossible at your hospital but a friend managed to get a private room at the NHS hospital for £80 a few years ago. Sounds a lot I know, but maybe worth it for your peace of mind?

To be fair, I guess it's just luck if you happen to actually get it though since you can't be certain when little one will turn up! Wish I'd have been able to do that (for all the reasons you have listed - sorry!). It had an en-suite and a sofa. Like a hotel room really.

Maybe worth calling the hospital or talking to your mw about it, if it would be within your reach financially.

Bondy83 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:18:52

Depending on how you and baby are after delivery and what type of pain relief you have you can generally go 4-6 hrs later. I wouldn't worry too much about being pressurised to breast feed i put it in my birth plan I wanted to bottle feed my decision was never questioned (apart from asking me what brand milk I wanted). They do encourage skin to skin contact early on but you can still benefit from this without having to breastfeed.

strawberry1202 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:20:35

Hi, I'm also pregnant with my first so have no first hand experience to offer, but the experience of friends/colleagues has been mixed. Some have been v keen to leave after a difficult birth experience, been allowed to and then found themselves heading back the next day with an issue they were worried about and felt in the end they might have just been better off staying. Others have left within hours and had no problems like other posters, but myimpression has been it's worth keeping an open mind.

ShoeJunkie Thu 04-Dec-14 19:20:49

I had DS at 7pm and we were home by 1am. We went back for checks and breastfeeding support the next day and the hearing test a few days after.

BlingBubbles Thu 04-Dec-14 19:21:42

DD was born at 7:02 and we left that night at 20:30, would have been a lot of earlier but the midwives were so busy they kept forgetting to come with my discharge papers. Eventually at 20:00 my DH told them he was putting the baby in the car seat, taking me and we were leaving if no one brought the papers! They eventually did.

We didn't have to have the hearing test that was scheduled for a later date, we just had the usual tests with the pead etc. I have a very straight forward labour so was happy to just go home.

Good luck smile

Enjoyingmycoffee1981 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:24:15

I could have been out in less than four hours with my second, it was so straightforward. But no way!!!! It is an unusual hospital in that it has no wards, all single bedrooms with ensuite (nhs). And I loved it. I loved having the midwives on hand, my food cooked for me, not having to think about any ting other than my newborn. They practically had to kick me out after the night there.

FortyFacedFuckers Thu 04-Dec-14 19:26:11

I had DS at 11am and was discharged at 5pm although they told me if I wanted to breast feed I would need to be in for much longer so I ended up giving Ds a bottle so that I could leave which I have always regretted.

catellington Thu 04-Dec-14 19:41:02

I'm sorry to say this, but my experience of staying in the postnatal ward was far worse than actually giving birth. Uncannily like your description in the op. There was nothing wrong with us but we were under observation. I got no sleep on a hot noisy 4 bay ward room, where (unknown to me or dh might have stayed) partners and husbands were allowed to stay overnight unofficially. So there were 6 adults and four newborns in a very small room. No privacy, hourly obs even overnight, but no actual support or help with anything. Overhead strip light on until nearly midnight while they did checks etc.

If I could be constructive I would suggest that if you were to need to stay in, these things would have helped me in hindsight
1 make sure I had enough food, nappies, drinks, etc before dh left as the nurses didn't respond or help and I couldn't get things I needed in the middle of the night. Food was poor and insubstantial given that we had all just given birth.

2 having said that, if possible get partner to take away any surplus luggage so you aren't tripping over it all night. The space was very small and I literally had to climb off the end of the bed every time I got up because of too many bags.

3 ask as early as possible if there is a private room available. There may be but in my hospital they didn't offer as a matter of routine, but as soon as someone asked (another lady had a massive meltdown about 2am because of the noise etc) they obliged and gave her a private room straight away

But different hospitals are obviously different - yours might be a lot better!

harrowgreen Thu 04-Dec-14 19:47:54

#1 - was in for 24hrs post birth. She was born at 6pm so we had to stay overnight but spent most of the day after hanging around waiting for the pediatrician to sign her out (that and watching other people's kids run around the ward screaming / extended families eat curry seemingly constantly / try to ignore the incredibly loud TV blaring in the background...).

#2 - was in for 24hrs again. Could have stayed two days (was in the USA so all paid for by insurance, private room etc) but was keen to leave to get home. Baby ended up developing severe jaundice and we were back within four days to the NICU. I regret leaving so soon: I should have stayed, slept, focused just on him and had his weight/feeding patterns checked more before rushing out.

#3 - due in a few weeks. If a private room is available, I intend to stay for at least one night, if not two (I know that once I go home I will be back in mummy mode for my other two). If no private room is available, I will go home pretty much immediately (assuming all goes to plan birth-wise) and return the next day for all the checks. After my experiences with #1, there's no way I'm staying on a shared ward (sorry to scare you, but it was fairly awful).

This is hospital dependent though. Hospital for #1 wouldn't let you leave until all checks etc completed. Hospital for #3 basically says you can leave as soon as you've put your knickers back on...

And the push for BF is for the benefit of you and your baby. You're so so so much more likely to be successful if you leave hospital confident and competent. Might be worth the sacrifice of a night in hospital to get it sorted.

tomanyanimals Fri 05-Dec-14 07:32:51

Ask your hospital what the policy is I have changed hospital and policy is different at this one once I have had baby we can stay for a couple of hours but then go home but first time breastfeeding they like you to stay in till you have got the hang of it. With an elcs stay in 24 hours with a emcs stay in three days

Pooka Fri 05-Dec-14 07:35:27

No1 - had dc at midday, was home at 10.30am next day.
No 2 - supposed to be home birth but no midwives available. Arrived at hospital at 8pm and was home at 11pm. I was quite emphatic about wanting to go home and not overnight in hospital, and as was planned to be a home birth, had paediatric postnatal check already in system to be done at home.
No 3 - home birth.

PickleMobile Fri 05-Dec-14 07:47:22

Dd was born at 8am Monday and we left around 5pm Wednesday. They asked me to stay an extra day as me and ds hadn't got the hang of bf yet. I was very glad for the help I received but spent most of the wen essay waiting to be discharged!

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