After Your Baby is Born
After the birth of your baby, we will assess your vital signs, bleeding, stitches if needed, assist with breastfeeding or formula feeding, check your baby thoroughly, whilst administering any medications to yourself or baby such as Vitamin K, and assist you in the shower if you are mobile, provide you with some refreshments/snacks, 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 continue with the obstetrician until you are discharged home. Nursing staff will perform the above postpartum checks while you are in the recovery area and in the postpartum unit. Your midwife will perform the newborn check unless your baby is 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, a direct discharge is something you can discuss with your midwife after your birth. If you choose to have a direct discharge, the follow-up care for you and your baby will be the same as if you had a home birth.
If you want or need to be admitted to the postpartum ward, you will be moved there a few hours after the birth. The minimum stay is six hours in this area 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), semi-private with washrooms to share, or wardroom (covered by OHIP). If you have coverage or wish to pay more, you can upgrade to a private room for a fee. While at the hospital, you will be taken care of by the nurses who will assist you with breastfeeding and caring for you and your baby’s physical needs. The nurse will contact your midwife for advice or orders if a complication arises.
The midwife visits you at home or at the hospital for the first week after your delivery, 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 newborn screening blood test and congenital heart screening. She will also monitor for jaundice and assist with breastfeeding. Since the midwife who is providing the home visits is also on-call for births, exact appointment times are not always possible and will need to be met with flexibility from the client. Please call the main office if you need to speak to someone about your home visits. Please do not page the on-call midwife about your home visits in case she is at a birth or sleeping. If it’s more convenient for you to come to the clinic for your early postpartum visits, this can be arranged instead of home postpartum visits.
Discharging from the Midwives
At your six-week discharge visit, we perform a pap exam if required, assess your healing, discuss contraception, among other topics, and carry out a full physical assessment on your baby. During this six-week period, your midwife is available to you on a 24-hour on-call basis, as they are during pregnancy, for urgent concerns. At 6 weeks your family doctor will take over caring for you and your baby.