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Mothering › Groups › December 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Leaving the hospital right after giving birth: your experiences?

Leaving the hospital right after giving birth: your experiences?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello mamas,


I am new here with a due date of New Year's Eve.  I am from Europe and now live in California.  I found out that the hospital where I'd like to deliver has you share a recovery room with other new mothers and their babies (my idea of hell: taxing under the most optimal of circumstances; dreadful when you've just been through giving birth).  I would really just like to go home straight after delivery (in the Netherlands, where I gave birth (natural) last year January, 3 hours after I gave birth I was back home).  Is going home the same day an option or will hospitals require (read: force) you to stay?  Anyone been in this situation?  Any advice (taking into account that I don't want to give birth at home.)


Thank you!

post #2 of 7
Even leaving the next day, we had to have a pediatrician clear baby to leave. It could be difficult to do; it probably depends on the hospital.
post #3 of 7

They can't force you to stay but they will pressure you. A lot. And there are any "red flags" to them, however minor, they might try to get children's protective services involved to at least keep the infant there. The vast majority of woman have no interest in leaving the hospital so your request will put you at odds with the staff.


There are some (real) reasons why it might be good to stay a bit since with a hospital birth you don't have the follow up care of a midwife. Certain tests need to be monitored over time or at specific points. There is the infant hearing exam. Baby usually has an extensive examination with the on call pediatrician. They like to see a first poop to make sure the bowels of both baby and mother are functioning. The want to make sure bf'ing is established.


A birthing center might be a better choice, somewhere between home birth and a hospital.

post #4 of 7

I gave birth to #2 in a hospital in Chicago. I left at 24 hours on the dot, the minimum required stay, and they discouraged that even. It didn't  occur to me to try to leave sooner. I wasn't up for fighting about it just after giving birth and assumed that wasn't negotiable. But perhaps I could have. I did have a private room at least though.


Agree with last poster, I'd look into a birth center if you want to leave sooner. Is there another hospital with private recovery rooms you could use?


I'd be curious what the hospital says about their policy. You might also want to check with your insurance provider on any policies they might have.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your responses!  I found all your input immensely useful.  I hadn't fully thought through how it would be beneficial also for me and the baby (in the Netherlands, you get standard postpartum care at home every day for ten days from a licensed caregiver plus regular checkups by a midwife, also if you delivered in a hospital).  All of this will probably sway me to go with a different hospital that has private rooms.  

post #6 of 7

I had to sign "against medical advice" papers to leave within 24 hours of giving birth when I went to a hospital, but it was fine.

post #7 of 7
I left hospital with my son 3 hrs after delivery. It was really only an option because I was under the care of a midwife. The midwives were on call to me 24/7 and I had scheduled home visits on days 1,3,5 and 10. It was an awesome experience and if I don't deliver at home for some reason I'd try to leave as quickly again. Also I'm in Canada, so I don't really know how it works in the US.
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