Welcome to Ipswich Hospital
Our Passion, Your Care
Going Home with your Baby

Leaving hospital
Once you and your baby are ready we will discharge you home, when the community midwife will then take over your care. If all has been normal this could be any time from a couple of hours after birth to several days, if additional observation and care is required. Some women who have had a Caesarean section are now able to be discharged the on the day after surgery with additional support in place. Your midwife will involve you in deciding when is the right time for you to go home.

It is important that you are not on your own for the first few days at home.

If your baby was born at home the midwife will stay for a couple of hours after the birth, until you and she are happy that all is well with both you and your baby. The hospital midwife will plan your discharge with you, and provide all relevant information such as who will be visiting you at home and contact numbers in case of emergency.

We need to have the correct address that you will be going home to, so please tell the hospital midwife if you are not going to your own address so the community midwife can still visit you. The hospital will inform the community midwife that you have gone home and she will visit you the next day between 9 am and 5 pm.

You will be given records to take with you so that the community midwife will be aware of what has happened in hospital. This helps to provide you with continuity of care. Please check the information given to you to ensure that you are happy with it.

When leaving the hospital, you will need to provide your own transport.

Items you will need when you go home

  • Car seat
  • Baby clothes
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen for discomfort (if you have no allergies to any drugs or history of asthma). We do not supply these on prescription for you to take home. Please do not bring these in to hospital. We will give you pain relief during your stay, if required.

Car seats
The law requires a secure restraint in cars for children under the age of 14. This includes newborn babies, so you will need a special car seat for your baby. These are held in place either by the car seat belt or special anchoring system.

Babies and young children must always travel in an appropriate car seat. Never use a rear-facing baby seat in the front of a car where an airbag is fitted (unless it is switched off). If using a front-facing seat, position the car seat as far back as possible. If the car has airbags in the rear, check the car manual or contact the manufacturer to see if it has been tested with a car seat fitted and get a copy of the research results before fitting the seat.
Detailed information is available at www.childcarseats.org.uk and www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules

At home
Your community midwife will visit you at home or see you at a children’s centre or postnatal clinic until your baby is around 10 – 14 days old. She will check that you and your baby are progressing normally and will be available to give you help and advice.

Until your baby is one month old you may contact us for emergency care and advice but you will be asked to contact your GP or health visitor during the normal working week or for less urgent problems.

Health visitor
After 10 – 14 days, your care will be handed over to your health visitor, who will continue to support you, including monitoring of your baby’s weight gain, which should be steady. This may be done at the local baby clinic or children’s centre to reassure you. If you have any worries that your baby is not thriving, talk to your health visitor or GP.
The health visitor will usually contact you to arrange a visit when your baby is around 11 days old. You may have met her during your pregnancy; she is available to give you guidance and support regarding all aspects of family health during normal office hours, Monday to Friday.

Safe sleeping
We will provide you with an information leaflet about how to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Additional information is available at www.lullabytrust.org.uk
If you have any concerns about your baby’s health please seek help.

Calling for advice and help
Some problems or concerns you may have about yours or your baby’s health can be resolved by phoning a midwife on 01473 702666, 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday or the ward you went home from at the hospital. However, it may be more appropriate for you to phone your GP or the out-of-hours emergency service if you have any of the following problems, as they will be able to offer you medical advice directly over the phone or make arrangements to see you:

  • if your vaginal bleeding is increasing (having to change pads more frequently than hourly) or you pass blood clots or if your discharge has an offensive odour;
  • if you have pain in your chest and breathlessness or pain in your legs;
  • if you have a temperature of more than 38°C on two occasions and you feel unwell (shivery, feverish, nausea and vomiting);
  • if you have a headache and visual disturbance or nausea / vomiting within three days of the birth;
  • if you have pain in your stitches or wound or abdominal pain which is not relieved with simple pain relief medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol tablets;
  • if you have painful red areas on your breasts which might be mastitis;
  • if you are feeling faint or dizzy, have palpitations or your heart is ‘racing’; or
  • if you are concerned about your baby’s health – for example your baby appears constantly unsettled or hot or is struggling with breathing or breathing very fast (more than 60 breaths per minute) or has a temperature, a rash or has jaundice.