First 48 hours after public hospital birthBookmark this page

The time you spend in the postnatal ward after the birth depends on what type of birth you had and how you and baby are going. Your partner or family members might be able to stay overnight. Midwives will provide most of your postnatal care, including helping you learn about breastfeeding and caring for your new baby.

Your baby will have newborn screening tests at hospital or at home.

During your stay, you might also see other health professionals – for example, a paediatrician or a lactation consultant.

Most women stay in hospital for 1-2 days after a vaginal birth, and around 3-4 days after a caesarean birth. But if you and your baby are well and you’re happy to go home, your stay could be 6-24 hours. In this case, a midwife will come to your home once or twice. Your follow-up care will be with a child and family health service.

Looking after your newborn

There’s a lot to learn about looking after your baby in the early weeks. Check out our newborns videos.

Check at 4-6 weeks

Even though you’re likely to be very busy with baby, you need to make an appointment with your doctor or midwife for six weeks after the birth. This is to check your physical and emotional health, including recovery from birth, and your baby’s health. In a high-risk pregnancy, it can also help prevent further problems.

Your doctor or midwife will also talk with you about breastfeeding, contraception, sexual health, urinary problems and any concerns you have.

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