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can you discharge yourself and baby?

(25 Posts)
bippityboppitypoo Tue 16-Jun-15 18:33:54

As long as everything is straight forward can you leave the hospital as soon as you're ready? Or do you HAVE to stay? I'm having my 4th at the same hospital I had my 1st and I remember being ready to leave V early on but them insisting I wait.. For what I don't know as there were no complications

Zeriously Tue 16-Jun-15 18:40:41

Well I imagine there's a minimum number of hours to make sure you're both okay, but apart from anything else there's paperwork (they give you your baby's red book when you leave) which takes time as maternity wards are busy... I don't imagine you can just set off without that.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 16-Jun-15 18:46:42

I guess in theory yes, but it's better to be discharged properly so they have your address, and you have medicine, red book, baby's NHS number etc.
I nearly discharged us after 8 days in with DS. I forget at what point it was bit there was a point I'd really had enough. They said I could but they wouldn't advise it because if we had to be readmitted it'd probably be for longer. If they ask you to stay there's usually a reason.

babyiwantabump Tue 16-Jun-15 18:50:55

You can discharge yourself but not the baby. You have to stay a minimum of 4hours (6 in some places ) so the baby is old enough for the newborn check. As long as that is done though and there has been no complications like meconium liquor (requires 12 hour baby obs) and everything is fine then you should be able to go relatively quickly anyway.

bikeandrun Tue 16-Jun-15 18:57:31

I would think the only way they could hold you in hospital against your will would be to section you and make the baby a ward of court, so technically no without some difficulty!

Athenaviolet Tue 16-Jun-15 19:01:57

Legally no, it's not a prison.

After home births midwives don't stay that long.

6 hours is the standard minimum in hospital. But their paper work is more important than what you want so they'll often keep you waiting. hmm

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 16-Jun-15 19:04:53

Our hospital had a 3 hour discharge policy. The newborn check was done the following day. We were home 3 1/2 hours after DD was born, it was amazing ��

Tangoandcreditcards Tue 16-Jun-15 19:08:35

6 hours is apparently the minimum. But I was allowed to leave after 4 hrs with DC1. I came back the next day for the newborn checks.

I don't think it was v normal, I wondered if there wasn't room on the ward and I was cluttering up a delivery suite.

I think as long as the baby has fed, weed and pooed, and you've had a wee, and there are no (even minor) complications, you can ask to be discharged; but same as my experience with hospitals outside of childbirth you have to catch the right member of staff in the right window of opportunity.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 16-Jun-15 19:09:36

Can I just point out in reply to a previous poster it's not "their" paperwork (sounds like you're referring to the staff) it's "your" paperwork.

I have known a woman walk off the ward with her baby without any paperwork. So she's the one with no discharge paperwork, she could have slipped through the net with community midwife visits. When the community midwife went to see her the next morning she wouldn't have had notes with her to tell that midwife anything which could have been important for her to know. The paperwork is for the benefit of women and their babies.

bippityboppitypoo Tue 16-Jun-15 19:09:56

I remember being in with my 3rd and the woman opposite would not stop talking on her phone, very loudly. I could not wait to get out.

This is my 4th so I'm expecting (hoping!) I will be in an out. I wouldn't leave if I was worried or thought I was putting baby or myself at risk but it's good to know it's not by law or something that I have to stay longer then I feel necessary

AnitaManeater Tue 16-Jun-15 19:12:30

3hr discharge here. It went by in a flash, hopped off the delivery bed,had a shower, dressed and went and sat in the lounge watching TV and cuddling DD until the papers were ready.

avocadotoast Tue 16-Jun-15 19:17:45

Ugh, I hated being on the ward; I stayed two nights and could've cried. The woman in the bed next to me had 3 other kids visiting who kept peeping through my curtains angry

Anyway, I digress. The paperwork is the thing that takes time really. I suppose in theory if you had the baby really early, and asked to be discharged straight away, you could go the same day. I'd imagine in most cases you'd be in a night though, especially if it's a weekend.

Barbarbarbarbarbaby Tue 16-Jun-15 19:20:20

There is no reason you can't have the baby jump up and leave. Like someone else said it isn't a prison.

But if you plan to do that why not have your baby at home?

780539gjg Tue 16-Jun-15 19:25:08

Just to say, you can of course discharge yourself and baby anytime you like, provided you are competent to make such decisions. Staff will prioritise other patients, the smooth running of the ward, hospital protocol etc. as well as your wellbeing, whereas you only have your (and baby's) wellbeing to think about. So your priorities may be different from theirs and that's fine. it's not the law that you have to wait for paperwork, and GPs can do a newborn check.

bippityboppitypoo Tue 16-Jun-15 19:25:23

Good question barbra, I've actually never even considered it. Now I am!

Alanna1 Tue 16-Jun-15 19:27:11

As others have said, it is not a prison and absent a court order or being sectionned you are feee to leave. But, its also about your child's best interests. You'll put yourself on the radar for further investigation to check you and baby are OK. If the hospital thought you werent acting in your child's best interests they could go and get an order pretty quickly. I think you'd be better off waiting a bit and then IF you have got bored / baby is doing well / and you are happy to leave, then politely tell the hospital that and that you will discharge yourself shortly unless they have a good patient-specific medical reason why you or your baby should stay. Eg (I'm also not a first time mum & was ready to go home) my baby developed very very minor complications a few hours after birth. I was glad to have stayed, then.

TheVeryHungryPreggo Tue 16-Jun-15 19:39:08

I was in hospital for 9 hours yesterday with DD. Two before the birth at 12pm and 7 after. They did the 6-hour check at 5 hours as the midwife was leaving at 5:30, otherwise we would have had to wait for the shift change and night staff to come in a few hours later, but we were two more hours waiting for the paperwork as "we didn't forget about you but a baby fell on the floor and it all kicked off out here"!

Still pretty efficient. Breakfast and dinner at home, baby by lunchtime, and settling in at home has been a breeze this time.

Sparklingbrook Tue 16-Jun-15 19:41:04

I discharged myself with DS1 after 2 nights. They wanted me to stay but I couldn't face another minute.

DS2 it was a matter of hours i couldn't face a single night.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 16-Jun-15 19:42:23

6 hours isn't the minimum, it depends on the individual hospital's policy. Ours was 3.

LauraHashley Tue 16-Jun-15 19:47:35

I discharged myself after about 7 hours with my first (the rest were CS so a bit different). I was told I "couldn't" leave because they had no-one to fill out the paperwork but I got ready to go regardless and made my intentions clear. They soon found someone to do the paperwork.

Zeriously Tue 16-Jun-15 20:03:39

I'm totally amazed to read some of you were out literally 3-4 hours after giving birth. We were left in the delivery room for that amount of time just to do skin to skin and recover from what had just happened! It felt like the MW just left us to it for a while, to enjoy our new baby.
Out of curiosity, those of you that were literally out after 3 hours - did the MW just force you to get up and have a shower straightaway? That seems really harsh of them!

Brices Tue 16-Jun-15 20:12:29

Ask them for self discharge paperwork speeds up "normal" paperwork.
I remember during training that any self discharge should be viewed as consideration for mental health section. As who would want to leave hospital against medical advice? The arrogance of healthcare professionals...

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 16-Jun-15 20:12:47

No Zeriously it didn't actually feel rushed at all! I had skin to skin, was brought tea and toast, then I got up for a bath. I could have stayed longer if I wanted (they kept asking if I wanted to stay overnight) but I was desperate to get home. No way I would have slept a wink on the postnatal ward and I wanted DH there for our first night as a family. We were home for 8.30pm, had some dinner and a tiny glass of champagne while having skin to skin then all went to bed. Best night of my life!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 16-Jun-15 20:23:12

Oh and I desperately wanted a bath as soon as possible after being in labour for 48 hours!

bippityboppitypoo Tue 16-Jun-15 20:32:39

I think I only had about 30-45 minutes skin to skin before a quick shower and then DH had to leave, I think that's because all my babies were born at night?

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