The postnatal period is a time of great joy for most parents. Your baby has arrived safely and any concerns or worries you had during the pregnancy and labour are forgotten. Of course, it should be remembered that this can also be a stressful time for both mothers and fathers, particularly if the labour has been a long and difficult one and the woman is exhausted. New parents need lots of support from their families during these initial weeks.
The postnatal hospital stay is an important time, particularly for 1st time mothers. As well as getting to know your new baby, practical tasks such as dressing, bathing and changing your baby’s nappies need to be mastered! Don’t worry, the postnatal midwives are very experienced and will be on hand to help you with any issues.
How long you stay in hospital depends mostly on what type of delivery you had. After a normal vaginal birth, women can expect to stay 3 or 4 nights. After a caesarean section, 5 nights is the norm as the wound must be checked regularly.
Usually, the cost of the postnatal hospital stay is covered by your Health Fund – you should discuss this with your private health provider.
All babies should have a physical examination by a Neonatologist before being discharged home. This is usually performed a couple of days after delivery. The Neonatologist measures the baby, performs a thorough examination and also checks your baby’s reflexes.
Many new mothers worry about whether they will be able to breastfeed their baby. At SHORE FOR WOMEN we encourage women to breastfeed. Every hospital has experienced Lactation Midwives who will help you with positioning and attaching the baby to the breast. You will have plenty of time to get used to breastfeeding before going home.
All SHORE FOR WOMEN antenatal patients are offered a postnatal follow-up visit when their baby is 6 weeks old. As well as giving us a chance to meet your newest family member, it offers you a chance to discuss events relating to the pregnancy and labour. Dr. Walsh can discuss contraception options and arrange a pap smear for you at that visit, if you wish. If you had a perineal tear during delivery and are worried about this, an examination can also be performed but this is not always necessary.
You will not be charged for your 6-week postnatal visit – the cost is billed directly to your Health Fund.