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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is baby #5 and will be my first and hopefully last hospital birth. How long do the baby and I have to stay at the hospital before we can be released? That is given that we are both healthy and no complications that would require a lengthy stay? Also, does the baby ever leave our (my husband and I) sight? I don't want my baby with any medical personnel without a parent present. Is that possible?
 

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It's much more common now for mothers to spend less time in hospital after the birth. If you deliver late at night you can leave the next day, but if you deliver in the morning you can be home for dinner. I think lots of people plan on 12 hours pp, but there are no rules. Talk to your carer ahead of time, bc if you don't have a signature from the almighty OB, you are leaving AMA and if you take the baby out without a ped signing off, they can, and likely will, call CPS.

I had two hospital births and neither baby ever left my sight. Just be prepared to fight if necessary. It really depends on the hospital.
 

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It really depends on the hospital, but you should be able to arrange what you want - the question is not if, but how.

Hospitals are obligated to let you stay a certain amount of time after birth, and insurance is obligated to pay for it, but you aren't required to stay. It's really up to you how long you're there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies. That makes me feel a lot better. I would never take the baby AMA ( aka you don't own your baby until they say you do ) But I do have food allergies one of which (corn) that requires me to eat only what I cook and I'm hoping to use that to leave as early as possible and hopefully the ped. will allow it. And knowing I can make sure no one sneaks my baby a shot or accidentally circs. him is a huge relief!
 

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I left at 12 hours after she was born (a medicated birth). The last two hours were waiting around to get it all settled FOR me to leave, but the OB "okay'ed" it at 10 hours past. We made arrangements to see a pediatrician within 2 days, so that took care of the in-hospital checkup/PKU, and we declined the hearing test.

She never left us, though DH went with the nurse to the nursery when they gave her a "bath" (even though I fought so hard to just get them to LEAVE HER ALONE because she didn't need a bath, but they made me feel like an idiot...she was my first baby, and now I have more mama bear in me and wouldn't give in next time). No shots or anything, though.
 
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I think it depends a lot on the hospital. Definitely a conversation you should have with your OB in advance - and maybe ask if/when you take a tour of L&D.
I've had three hospital births - the first we stayed for the "typical" two days post partum. The second two we left as soon as they'd let us, which was 24 hours. We wanted to leave sooner with the 3rd, but the hospital was not ok with it - and even still they wanted us to bring the girls back the day after discharge for a bili check (despite no signs of jaundice in either baby). The last two were born at the same hospital - I've heard of other places locally being ok with leaving sooner (12 hrs).

As for the baby leaving your sight - this should be totally up to you in non-emergent situations. It's something you should include on a short list of bullet points for birth and recovery wishes - that the baby is always accompanied by one or both parents and that you wish to room together. Do a quick search for birth plans on MDC - I'm sure you'll find some good language to borrow. :)
 

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Technically, they cannot force you to stay. You can of course leave whenever you wish. However, that depends on if you want to wait to be discharged. We stayed one night and were eager to leave our large HMO hospital. We knew we could just leave, but were being diplomatic since we said no to everything and the nurses wanted the midwife's and ped's okay before we left. I don't know why they'd call social services unless they thought you or the baby were in some sort of danger or it's just a bad hospital. The hospital will typically have a policy regarding what they suggest, but you need to do what is right for you - as respectfully as possible. The baby never left my side except to do the pku test (which I was dubious about), but my husband was there too. It was our hospital's practice to have the baby room-in and for that I'm relieved. You may find it helpful to leave the hospital earlier if you have a few people with you - particularly people who are aware of hospital procedures and/or are willing to be supportive should anything come up.
 

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My doula told us we could leave after two hours (not sure how they can even make you stay if you wanted to) but that is probably a reasonable time to stay to ensure some recovery. I think most people would want to stay a bit longer to rest, but I can see wanting to stay for less than 12 hrs. Anyway, just wanted to put that out there since I just remembered it. You could also contact some possible other advocates - doulas to help with this if you believe it will be problematic. You could state it on a birth plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I could have it my way, I would leave a few hrs. after birth. But, I know that's not going to happen. The fact that my husband's from Mexico ( never mind that he is an amazing and loving husband and father, doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs and loves juicing and healthy lifestyle in general) will automatically make us targets for different treatment. It happens often in our neck of the woods. I know that if I leave AMA and try to take my baby with me, they will, and I have no doubt about it, target us and call CPS. I'm not taking any chances.
 

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I hear every hospital is different. The one I went to last time forced me to stay 24 hours, but that had more to do with pre-eclampsia than anything else. I also wasn't forced to have any separation from baby, although they did offer to watch her for a bit if I wanted to nap, and since I was alone I said yes. She came back unscathed. :)
 
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