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How Long Should You Stay in the Hospital After Giving Birth?Can you opt to leave early or stay longer?by Rachel Perez .
By now you probably know that the British royal family welcomed a new prince. The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton gave birth to her third child last April 23 who weighed eight pounds and seven ounces at birth. Her husband, the Duke of Cambridge Prince William, was present during the birth .
Both mom and baby are doing well — so well, in fact, that seven hours after childbirth, the Duchess herself, looking gorgeous and in heels, came out of the hospital carrying her newborn son to introduce to the world.
According to Town & Country Philippines, Kate safely delivered the baby five hours after arriving at the hospital. And seven hours after giving birth, she came out of the hospital, did the photo op with the press, and her husband drove her and the baby home to Kensington Palace.
With her second child, Princess Charlotte, Kate left the hospital less than 10 hours after birth. With her firstborn, Prince George, she spent the night at the hospital.
Of course, we can assume that a medical team is at Kate's beck and call when she goes home. And let us not forget, Kate had a glam team; according to People, her stylist and hairdresser were present at the hospital. You need them when there's a world press waiting to catch your every move in pictures or video.
(A bit of trivia: Princess Diana, Prince William's mother, gave birth in the same hospital where Kate gave birth to all her kids. She also walked down those steps of Lindo Wing of St Mary’s in Paddington, London when she presented Prince William and Prince Harry.)
Still, Kate just gave birth so many people are wondering: Can recovery be that fast to go home with less than a day stay in the hospital? Is it even allowed?ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOWCONTINUE READING BELOWRecommended Videos
What other parents are reading
The short answer is yes even if you're a non-royal. Based on her postpartum recovery, it is safe to assume Kate had natural spontaneous delivery (NSD). With NSD, you can bring your newborn home after 24 to 48 hours in the hospital. It is not the case for a woman who gives birth via C-section (CS). They will need a two- to four-day stay in the hospital. It's one of the reasons why many moms pray for NSD because the recovery time is faster, and it is less expensive.
Aside from a CS delivery, some factors that may extend your stay in the hospital after birth are:
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- It's your first childbirth
- You've had an inadequate prenatal care
- You have a condition (like diabetes or hypertension) even before getting pregnant
- You've had pregnancy or birth complications
- You need more instruction and proper guidance to breastfeed and care for the baby successfully
Having a healthy pregnancy increases your chances of birthing with less or no complications, and that is the crucial factor to go home early. So be religious about your prenatal checkups, whether it's your first pregnancy or not. It allows your doctor to check, diagnose, and address issues that may affect you and your baby's health. There may still be circumstances that are out of your our your doctor's control but never underestimate taking preventive measures.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that as much as possible, the new mom and her new baby ideally need to be discharged from the hospital at the same time as long as there is no need for the baby to stay longer in the hospital.
Here are what doctors need to check before giving you your go-home order, according to the AAP and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
For the new mom
Doctors check if you're fit and able to nurse and care for your new baby. If you've given birth via NDS, your doctor needs to make sure you're not bleeding and have no postpartum complications. (Click here for more information on postnatal care after normal delivery.) If you've given birth via CS, your doctor also needs to make sure your wound is healing properly. You are also encouraged to sit up and walk, and urinate and pass gas, and eat a full meal without vomiting, before leaving the hospital. (Read more about postpartum care after CS here.)ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
For your baby
His or her vitals will be checked and should be stable, including assessing the likelihood of developing jaundice. Ideally, your little one has had his newborn screening test done and have been given the proper vaccinations. The hospital is likely to require your newborn to have at least two successful feedings and have peed regularly or pooped at least once — these signal that your baby is feeding well — before being discharged from the hospital.
What other parents are reading
The length of time that a new mom and baby spends in the hospital after childbirth gives doctors the opportunity to monitor both patients more carefully. "An appropriate hospital stay increases the chance that mother and baby will go home healthy," according to the AAP. So while you're there, take the opportunity to learn more about breastfeeding, newborn care, and postpartum health.
Should you want to be discharged earlier than recommended, you need to be back at the hospital or your doctor's clinic three days after delivery for your postnatal checkup and your baby's well-baby checkup. Like prenatal checkups, don't miss postpartum checkups and well-baby visits.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
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