You and your baby will be cared for by many members of your health care team using something called a “care path”. A care path accurately records all care provided to you and your baby from the time of birth to when you go home. After you give birth, your health care team will work together with you and your baby to help determine when you are ready to go home – this means when you are able to care for both yourself and your baby.
In many cases, if you live within a 30-minute drive from the IWK, you and your baby will be ready to go home safely in one day (if you’ve had a vaginal delivery) or within three days (if you’ve had a cesarean section) of giving birth. Before you leave the IWK, you will have a pre-discharge consultation with a public health nurse, who will provide follow-up care and support (including breastfeeding support) for postpartum patients. The nurse will check both you and your baby, answering any questions or concerns you may have. Your family doctor, public health nurse, midwife or nurses at the Health Centre are available for continued support and guidance in the day and weeks to follow. If required, longer postpartum care is available for both you and your baby.
In many cases, the care team may decide, based on your care path, that you and/or your baby are not ready for home. If you are ready for home but your baby must remain at the IWK for further treatment, the nursing staff will provide information on accommodations for you.