If you have your baby in hospital, you’ll probably be moved to the post-natal ward after the birth to be with other mothers who have had their babies.
Some mothers enjoy their stay in hospital and find it restful and easy. Others find it tiring and rather stressful. It depends on how you’re feeling, whether you like the company of other mothers or miss your privacy, and on how the ward is organised. In any case, your stay in hospital, if your delivery is uncomplicated, is likely to be short.
It helps if you have discussed your postnatal care with your midwife during pregnancy so you know what to expect. Any preferences can be recorded on your birth plan so that staff on the postnatal ward will be aware of your wishes. You are likely to need quite a lot of help and advice with your first baby. The midwives are there to guide and support you so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
If you do have a problem with the way things are organised in hospital, talk it over with a member of staff. Perhaps a change can be made. If all is going well with both you and the baby, then most hospitals will probably give you the option of going home after 48 hours or even earlier, even if it’s your first baby. The community midwife will visit you at home and continue to help you to care for yourself and your baby. You will need to make sure that initially your partner or someone else can be there to help you at home and do the cooking and housework.