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Going home from hospital

Discharge

In most cases you can expect to take your baby home between 6 and 48 hours following a normal vaginal delivery, or after 3 days following a caesarean birth.

Hospital staff will check to make sure you and your baby are both well enough to leave hospital.

Many families prefer to settle in at home as soon as possible following the birth of their baby. Introducing a new baby into the family environment as early as possible:

  • reduces the time you spend apart from your family members
  • allows you and your baby to have more uninterrupted sleep
  • helps siblings adjust to the changes that a new baby brings.

When you are ready to go home it is important to provide the staff with plenty of notice, as there are many things that have to be organised and planned prior to your discharge.

It is important to schedule a review appointment, usually with your GP, within 5 to 7 days following the birth for both yourself and your baby, then again at 6 weeks after birth.

Travelling home from hospital

Please make sure to organise:

  • someone to pick you and your baby up on the expected day of discharge
  • a baby capsule or car seat for a safe journey home

Staff may help you to call commercial transport if required, however transport costs will be your responsibility.

If you think you may have problems with these discharge requirements, please let your midwife or nurse know as early as possible so that other arrangements can be made.

Before you leave

Before you leave hospital you should get the following information from your doctor or nurse in charge:

  • any follow-up outpatient appointments
  • medications
  • arrangements for community support services
  • personal health record
  • child health support
  • immunisation
  • birth registration forms
  • Centrelink forms.

Before you leave you should also ensure that:

  • you have all of your personal belongings
  • you have signed the necessary 'claim forms' and all fees are paid
  • all items held for you are collected including medication
  • the correct forwarding address is on your medical record
  • you obtain any relevant medical certificates.

Discharge against medical advice

With few exceptions, you have the right to leave hospital when you choose. This may be a serious step when taken against the advice of your obstetrician and paediatrician, and could pose a threat to your or your baby's wellbeing.

If you choose to be discharged under these circumstances, you will be asked to sign a 'disclaimer' form, and the responsibility for this action will rest with you. However, if your condition does not improve or if it causes you concern, you should not hesitate to seek further medical advice or to return to the hospital's emergency department.

Support after discharge - home visits

Whether you give birth at a public or private hospital, all new mums living in Central Queensland are entitled to a visit from a midwife in their home, or a consultation via telephone.

This appointment will be scheduled based on your clinical needs and the model of care that you chose.

Central Queensland women can also receive an additional two free home visits from a qualified midwife, two and four weeks following discharge from hospital. This option will be discussed as part of your booking-in process at the hospital.

Last updated: 30 April 2018