Postnatal Care - Introduction

Maternity Services - Postnatal care - Top Image
After your baby is born, our team will be on hand to support you every step of the way, to make sure you and your baby get off to the best possible start.
Following a birth centre delivery
Immediately after your birth, you and your baby will be made comfortable in the birth centre. Soon after that, your baby will be examined by your midwife, who will then leave you to enjoy your first moments together, during which time you can have breastfeeding guidance from the midwives to ensure you are comfortable.
If there are no complications, most women tend to stay between six and eight hours after the birth before going home. If you have had a more complicated birth you may be moved to a postnatal ward, where you will be with other mothers and babies, and stay with us between 24 and 48 hours.
Your baby will be examined by your midwife and two labels will be checked with you and placed on your baby's ankles. These labels must stay on during your stay in hospital.
Following a hospital delivery
As soon as your baby is delivered, both you and the baby will be made comfortable in the delivery suite. Your baby will then be examined by your midwife and two labels will be checked with you and placed on your baby's ankles, which must stay on during your stay. You and your baby will be transferred to the postnatal ward, where you will recuperate and receive additional support to enhance your recovery.
If you have a straightforward birth you may be able to go home shortly after. From the delivery suite or the maternity ward, if you have an instrumental birth or caesarean section, the average length of stay in hospital is one to two days following birth. There may also be occasions when a mother and/or her baby may require a longer stay in hospital, and this will be explained to you as soon as possible if this applies to you.
At Whittington Health, your birth partner, whoever you choose, whether that's your husband, significant other, mother, sister or friend, can stay with you throughout your stay, to support and help you.
Stay in one of our amenity rooms after the birth
We are pleased to be able to offer amenity rooms for mums and babies to use in our postnatal ward. Amenity rooms are available for those who wish to book a room to ensure they have extra privacy after they have given birth.
When you are admitted in labour please ask your midwife to check for availability. These rooms are booked on a 'first come first served' basis with rooms subject to availability and a cost may be incurred.  To book a room use the Amenity Room Booking Form.

The amenity room is equipped with:
  • One bed
  • One cot
  • En-suite shower and toilet facilities
  • A television
  • Reclining chair for an overnight visitor
If you are charged, please note that we accept contactless payment  on the day only and you will be asked to sign an agreement to confirm that you understand the terms and conditions of using a room. The profits will go back into our hospital so that we can make improvements to our services.

Our maternity team will look after everyone on the postnatal ward in the same way and at the same priority level whether they are in an amenity room or not. 
Following a home birth
If you have your baby at home, your midwives will make sure you and your baby are happy and comfortable before they leave. They will also be able to give you advice and support, for example with breastfeeding, before they go.
Additional care in the weeks after the birth
Community midwives will provide you with lots of additional support in the days after your baby is born. This will happen either at your home, or in a postnatal clinic near to where you live. You will normally receive a home visit by a member of the team the day after you have arrived home.
In most cases you will be discharged by your community midwife around ten days after the birth of your baby. Your ongoing care will then be provided by a Health Visitor until your baby is five years old.
You will be contacted shortly after your delivery by the Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Team if you have a higher risk for pelvic floor dysfunction (bladder, bowel or vaginal problems) or diastasis rectus abdominus. You may also speak to your midwife to request a referral to physiotherapy if you are experiencing these or any other physical problems up to the sixth-week postnatal.

You may be referred to the Postpartum Pelvic Floor Clinic by your midwife or Pelvic Health Physiotherapist for specialist Urogynaecology services if you have a postnatal urogynaecology condition or birth injury, including concerns regarding the perineal scar.

Health Visitors are registered nurses or midwives with additional expertise in children’s health and development and the health needs of all the family. They are here to support you as new parents and in the years ahead until your child goes to school. They will work with you to offer support and advice in the areas that are most important to you. This can include, but is not restricted to the following:
  • Infant feeding
  • Understanding your baby’s needs
  • Building close and loving relationships
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Parenting
  • Immunisations
  • Managing minor illnesses
  • Child development

Your Health Visitor can also signpost you to other local services available in your community including new parents groups, workshops and classes.

When you have had your baby, your midwives will automatically notify the Health Visiting team. A Health Visitor will contact you a few days after the birth and arrange a time to meet you and your family at home – this is usually when your baby is aged between 10-14 days old.
You can find out more about your local Health Visiting Service by visiting these webpages for:

Maternity Acupuncture

Post-Natal Acupuncture is available as a low-cost service, and it could be useful for:
  • Pain management
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Breastfeeding support

For more information on the Maternity Acupuncture Service at the Whittington Hospital, please see our dedicated webpage.

Last updated29 Nov 2022
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