Hospital postnatal care

All maternity sites (excluding Macksville District Hospital) have facilities to accommodate postnatal admissions.

Postnatal stays are around two days for a normal vaginal birth and three days for an uncomplicated operative birth.

Each maternity ward has facilities which include both single and shared rooms. Single rooms are prioritised to those with the greatest clinical need.

During your stay in the postnatal or Maternity ward your baby will be in the same room as you. This is to help you get to know your baby and so you will be able to see your baby’s cues when they are hungry, uncomfortable, needing a nappy change or just wanting a cuddle. This is called ‘rooming in’.

Historically maternity hospitals had what was termed a ‘well baby nursery’, where mothers could leave their babies to be watched and cared for by the midwives and be called upon for feeding. Research has shown us that this can impact on the success of breastfeeding and the important bonding and attachment processes that occur in the early postnatal period. Due to these findings MNCLHD no longer supports mothers being separated from their babies for non-medical reasons.

All meals are provided whilst you’re an admitted patient within both the Birthing and Maternity wards. Meals are served to your bedside including breakfast (7:30am), lunch (12:30pm), dinner (5:30pm) and morning and afternoon tea. 

Meals are not routinely provided to partners or boarders, at some sites meals can be provided for a small cost.  Please discuss with your midwife if you would like this to occur.

After the birth of your baby it is important that you take each opportunity to rest and recover from your birth. We understand that the birth of a new baby is very exciting and a very important event for families, however we encourage you to restrict visiting until you and your baby have returned home.

Visiting hours are between 7am and 8pm.

Having a new baby is an incredibly important event for any family. We also know that having people that we love and trust around us at this time is crucial to how we experience pregnancy, birth and the early parenting journey.

In this way, MNCLHD, is keen to partner with women and their support people in order to shape and smooth the transition into parenthood whether you are experiencing your first pregnancy or subsequent pregnancy, birth or postnatal experience.

Due to the variation in rooms at each facility (from single to two and four-bed shared rooms) it may not be possible to accommodate support people to be with their loved-one or partner 24hrs/day.

To find out about more about your overnight accommodation options at your local facility you can contact the maternity unit or talk to your midwife or doctor at your next pregnancy appointment.  

Things to consider when staying overnight

The allocation of a single room is always based on clinical care priority and is subject to change. We do our best to avoid moving families overnight but sometimes the wonderfully unpredictable nature of maternity care means that clinical priorities can change without notice. Please work with us on such occasions. Keeping your family together IS important to us but we sometimes have to work within the limitations and constraints of our facilities.

Only one (1) support person can stay overnight: Your preferred support person can stay if there is a single room available.

Always have a backup: As much as possible consider how you might return home or stay with friends and family (if you don’t live nearby) if we’re unable to accommodate you.

Most single rooms have a single fold-out sofa bed for partners/support people: We’ll provide you with linen and a blanket.

Bathrooms: Your support person can use the bathroom. Towels can be supplied on request.

Safety: Please keep your room tidy. As much as we’d love for you to feel ‘at home’ this is also a clinical space. Clinicians need to be able to move around quickly and safely, particularly in an emergency. Keep belongings in the cupboards, lockers provided, the floor and meal table free from clutter. This also helps our support staff to keep your room clean and get your partner’s meals to them safely.

Meals and amenities: Meals are provided for admitted patients only so be sure to stock up on some healthy snacks and meals to bring in during your stay.

*Most facilities are equipped with a microwave and refrigerator. Clearly label anything you bring in as this is a shared amenity and may be limited in space.

Kitchenette: Most of our facilities have a space where you can access hot water for your tea/coffee or wash up after a meal. Some of our facilities will also supply limited tea, coffee and milk.

The time you’re discharged home from the ward can vary based on the time of day that your baby was born, but generally we try to discharge families home at 10:00am.

The midwives will give you information about going home, including a discharge summary for your own records. This is a good time to ask questions.

A routine referral to the child and family health team will be sent with your consent and you’ll be followed up by the team at around two weeks after discharge.

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