If all goes well, you and your baby will be ready to return home soon after coming to the hospital. This usually means within two days after a vaginal birth and within four days after a cesarean birth. Your physician will discharge you, and your pediatric care provider will discharge your baby.
Here is some information you will receive while in the hospital. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your nurse.
The Evening Before the Day of Discharge
- Make sure that you have clothes for the baby to wear home. This means at least a t-shirt and blanket that you provide. Be sure the clothes are right for the season.
- Make sure you have clothes and shoes to wear home. Loose-fitting clothes will be most comfortable.
- Arrange for a ride home from the hospital. Ask your nurse what time you should be ready for discharge.
- Have someone start to bring some of your flowers and gifts to the car or home. You may also send belongings that you will not need to use overnight.
- Make sure that the person taking you home has a car seat set up in the car properly. He or she should know how the seat works. Infants should ride facing the rear of the car. The middle of the back seat is the best place. If your car has two air bags in the front seat, make sure the baby is never in the front. Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an air bag. (Even older babies and children should not sit in a seat with an air bag).
The Day or Evening of Discharge
- Please make sure you have signed the birth certificate worksheet. The birth registrar should have brought this to your room. If you haven't signed it prior to your discharge day, please check with your nurse or the birth registrar.
- Wait to be seen and discharged by your doctor.
- Wait until your baby is seen and discharged by the pediatric care provider. (The nurse can tell you if this has been done already).
- Make sure that someone (a relative or friend) will be able to take you home at the appropriate time.
- Have the person taking you home bring any flowers, gifts or belongings to the car.
- Get yourself and your baby dressed. Do not remove any of the identification bands on the baby or your wrist. Before you leave, someone will check your band and your baby's one last time. So leave one leg and foot out of any clothes on the baby.
- Bring your baby to the nurses' station in the crib. Do not carry the baby to the nurses' station.
After the person at the desk is finished checking your bands, you may carry your baby to the main lobby or to the car.