When you and baby get home, you will continue to get postnatal care support from your local midwives for up to 21-28 days (10-14 if all is well), when your local health visiting team will take over in supporting you and your baby. 

If you need additional support, you can call your midwife or health visitor at any time and leave a message if they’re not currently available, so they can get back to you.

If you, your baby or someone else is seriously ill or in immediate danger, call for an ambulance by dialling 999. If you need to speak to a midwife urgently, you can your local trusts on the emergency numbers at the top of the page.

The First 28 Days

Some of your postnatal care appointments will be held at home, and some will take place in hospital, in a Children’s Centre or elsewhere in the community. Some women and babies will need more appointments, this will be discussed with you if they are needed.

Within 24 hours of having your baby, you will usually be discharged home from hospital, unless there are medical reasons that mean you and / or your baby need to stay a bit longer. Feeding support will be ongoing and the smoking cessation team will offer you support too if you need it. There are other support agencies that we can refer you to if needed, such as the counselling team.

Your first contact after you have been discharged from hospital will be from a local midwife. This will either be a telephone contact or a home visit. We will review and update your care plan that was started during your pregnancy, as your needs may have changed. This ensures you’ll receive the most suitable care and support to keep you well, physically and emotionally, while you are adjusting to parenthood.

Days 2 - 4

Between days 2 and 4, the midwife or maternity support worker may visit you at home when you need it for your postnatal care.

The midwife or maternity support worker will also discuss how you are feeling in yourself, and how you are coping with your new baby. Don’t be afraid to be honest about anything you’re finding difficult. They will discuss how well your baby is feeding and give you advice if you have any problems or concerns. Your chosen way of feeding your baby will be discussed and support given with this. Your baby may be weighed during this period.

If this was not completely by your team midwife, they may make phone contact with you too, to make sure you’re okay.

Day 5

Every baby is offered a newborn blood spot screening, also known as a heel prick test, ideally when the baby is 5 days old.

You will be visited on day 5 by a member of the team. Your baby will be weighed at this visit and, with your consent, they will complete the newborn blood spot screening test, also known as a heel prick test. The test involves taking a blood sample to find out if your baby has 1 of 9 rare but serious health conditions. Find out more at NHS UK and read “screening test for you and your baby“.

Day 6 - 20

Between days 6-20, visits by your midwife/maternity support worker will be flexible according to your personal needs.

Your health visitor will receive a copy of your care plan from your midwife so that your planned care will continue.

Mums should have a postnatal check at around 6 weeks after your baby’s birth to make sure you feel well and you are recovering properly. Find out more and what to expect at NHS UK.

Cervical Screening

Cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer. Cervical screening checks the health of your cervix. It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer. If you missed your last cervical screening, you do not need to wait for a letter to book an appointment.

If you are due for a cervical screening test while pregnant, this should be rescheduled for 12 weeks after the birth. Being a new mum can be a very busy time but it is very important that you do find the time to reschedule your appointment, so please contact your GP.

Find out more information about cervical screening.

Postnatal mental health

It’s important to reach out and talk to someone if you are struggling with your mental health. Your midwife or health visitor will be able to offer you support and advice. They may suggest speaking to your general practitioner (GP) about possible treatment.  You can find lots more information about your mental health and emotional wellbeing

You can self refer to Steps 2 Wellbeing if you think some counselling may help, and it might be helpful to read more about postnatal depression on the NHS website.

NHS Postnatal Depression Webpage

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

Why do I need the MMR vaccination after pregnancy?
The MMR vaccine will help protect you from measles, mumps and rubella. All three diseases can be very serious. Measles and mumps can make adults very ill and measles can cause serious problems for women who are pregnant and people who have weakened immune systems (and can’t fight infection well). Catching rubella during pregnancy can be very serious for your unborn baby, causing a condition called congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
By getting immunised you will not only be protecting yourself but also reduce the risk of passing infections to others – including your new baby who cannot get protection from MMR vaccine until their first birthday. The vaccine will also protect you and your baby in any future pregnancies. Two doses of MMR help protect against measles, mumps and rubella

How can I get the MMR vaccine?
If you haven’t been vaccinated before you need two doses of MMR vaccine. Ask your practice nurse to give you the first vaccine at the same time as your six-week post-natal check (or before) – a second dose should be given one month later. You should avoid becoming pregnant for one month after the vaccinations, so you need to have a reliable method of contraception.

It’s never too late to have your MMR vaccination.

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