After Your Baby is Born
After the birth of your baby, your midwives will assess your vital signs and bleeding, help you deliver your placenta, give stitches (if needed), assist you with infant feeding, complete a thorough newborn physical examination, and administer any medications to yourself or baby as recommended/desired such as Vitamin K.
Midwives will also assist you into the shower if you are mobile, ensure you have had something to eat and drink, clean up (if you’ve had a home delivery), perform our record-keeping, and provide information and guidance for your care during the early days after birth.
If you have a Cesarean section, your care will remain under an obstetrician until you are discharged from the hospital (usually 24-36hrs). Nursing staff will perform the above postpartum checks while you are in the recovery area and on the postpartum unit. Your midwife care for your baby unless they are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Leaving or staying at the hospital
If you give birth in a hospital, you may have the option to go home directly from the labour and delivery room. If your birth has been uncomplicated, you and your baby are well, and there are no risk factors, early discharge is something you can discuss with your midwife. If you elect for early discharge, the follow-up care for you and your baby will be the same as if you had a home birth and your midwife will see you in person within 24 hours of your birth.
If you want or need to be admitted to the postpartum ward, you will be transferred up from the labour & delivery area 2-4 hours after your birth. The minimum stay on the postpartum floor is six hours if your birth was uncomplicated and you and your baby are well. Your choices of rooms are private (based on a first-come, first-serve basis), semi-private with shared bathroom (up to 2 people), or a ward room (up to 3 people, covered by OHIP). If you have coverage or wish to pay the cost difference between rooms, you can upgrade to a private room for a fee. While at the hospital, you will be taken care of by nurses who will assist you with infant feeding and care for you and your baby’s physical needs. The nurse will contact your midwife for advice or orders if a complication arises.
Your midwives will generally visit you at home or at the hospital 2-3 times during the first week after your delivery (unless there is a medical reason to see you more frequently), then we see you at our clinic when your baby is two, four, and six weeks old. Your midwife will do physical assessments for yourself and your baby, measure your baby’s weight, and offer tests such as the Ontario Newborn Screening blood test and congenital heart screening (CCHD). She will also monitor for jaundice and assist with infant feeding. Since the midwife who is providing the home visits is also on-call for births or urgent assessments, exact appointment times for home visits are not guaranteed and your flexibility is requested in this. Please call the main office if you need to speak to someone about the timing of your home visits. Please do not page the on-call midwife about your home visits in case she is at a birth or sleeping. It may be more convenient for a small number of individuals to come to the clinic for their early postpartum visits. If this is the case, this can be arranged with your midwife.
Discharge from Midwifery Care
Clients and their newborns are discharged at six weeks postpartum. At your discharge visit, we offer to perform a pap exam if you are due for one (usually every 3 years), assess your healing, and discuss contraception options, among other topics. We will also complete a full physical assessment on your baby. During this six-week period, your midwife is still available to you and your baby on a 24-hour on-call basis, as they are during pregnancy, for urgent concerns. Upon discharge from midwifery care, your midwife will forward your records to your family doctor or nurse practitioner who will continue to provide ongoing care for you and your new baby.