About this service

After your midwife-led birth

When you and your baby are ready we will discharge you home, the community midwife will then take over your care. If all is well with you and your baby, this will typically be four to six hours after birth.

If you are staying overnight at Colchester or Ipswich hospitals, your partner may also stay.  Please speak to your midwife who will explain how this works and will ask you to sign an agreement.

After your consultant-led birth

If all is well with you and your baby, you may be able to transfer home four to six hours after birth.
However, you or your baby may require additional care or observation.   This is most likely to take place on our postnatal ward.

If you had a caesarean section, we will make an individual discharge plan with you.  If you have had a planned caesarean section you may be ready to go home the next day as part of our “enhanced recovery” programme.

If you are staying overnight at Colchester or Ipswich hospitals, in special circumstances it may be possible for your partner to stay.  Please discuss this with staff on the ward.  If it is possible, you will be asked to sign an agreement.


Wherever you have your baby, our staff will support you with feeding and caring for your baby during your time with us.


We need to have the correct address that you will be going home to, so please tell the hospital midwife if you are not going to your own address so the community midwife can still visit you. The hospital will inform the community midwife that you have gone home and she will visit you the next day between 9 am and 5 pm.

You will be given records to take with you so that the community midwife will be aware of what has happened in hospital. This helps to provide you with continuity of care. Please check the information given to you to ensure that you are happy with it.


Going home

It is important that you are not on your own for the first few days at home.

Please note: When you leave hospital, you will need to arrange your own transport.

Items you will need when you go home

  • Car seat
  • Baby clothes
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen for discomfort (if you have no allergies to any drugs or history of asthma). We do not supply these on prescription for you to take home

The HSC’s book Birth to 5 has lots of useful information about caring for a child from birth to 5 years.

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