Wednesday 28 February 2024
Salisbury Foundation Trust

Postnatal Care at the hospital

Your postnatal care will be personalised depending on the type of birth, any complications in your pregnancy or birth, and based on your preferences. We are here to provide you with evidence-based information and support you to participate equally in all decision-making processes and to make informed decisions about your care.

If you had your baby in hospital, immediately after the birth you will be made comfortable either on the birth centre or labour ward. Your baby will be examined by your midwife and three labels will be checked with you before placing them on your baby’s ankles and one arm. The midwife will offer to weigh and measure your baby’s head circumference and discuss vitamin K for baby. Baby’s labels must stay on during your stay in hospital. After two hours or so, you and your baby will be transferred to the postnatal ward or, if you are returning home straight from the birth centre or labour ward, this will be supported after 3–6 hours.

If you have a caesarean birth or instrumental birth you will remain on the labour ward for 6 hours for close observation. If you have had certain complications during your pregnancy birth (such as pre-eclampsia or heavy blood loss after the birth), you will be observed on the labour ward for 12 hours. When your condition remains stable you will be transferred to the postnatal ward.

While you are in hospital, staff will be on hand to provide any advice and support you may need with infant feeding and you will be encouraged to complete your personalisation of postnatal care plan. This will ensure that your individual needs are addressed prior to you going home.

The hospital operates a rooming in policy, which means your baby remains with you at all times unless concerns about their wellbeing require their admission to the neonatal unit, in which case you and your partner will be able spend time with your baby there. Partners are also able to stay overnight in a reclining chair.

Some women will require a review from the medical team prior to being discharged home. This may occur if you have:

  • had a caesarean birth
  • raised blood pressure requiring medication
  • an existing medical conditions that require a plan of care.

Your baby may need a review by the Paediatric team if they've:

  • been receiving intravenous antibiotics
  • been receiving treatment for jaundice
  • had a complicated birth

Some women will receive a review from the anaesthetic doctor prior to being discharged home. This may occur if you have had an anaesthetic during your labour and/or birth including an epidural, spinal or general anaesthetic.


Before you leave
We will:

  • Give you and your baby a postnatal check to ensure you are recovering well and are safe to leave
  • Give your baby a paediatric check or arrange with you when this will be done (which should take place within 72 hours of birth)
  • Give you leaflets, details of follow-up appointments and any medication you may need
  • Give you a wave goodbye and check if you have any more questions before you go

You will:

  • Need to ensure you know how you are travelling home with your baby, including bringing an appropriate car seat if taking your baby home in your vehicle
Skin to Skin
Vitamin K for newborns
Newborn Screening

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

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Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Odstock Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
T: 01722 336262 E: sft.pals@nhs.net
© 2024 Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
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