New mums forced to leave hospital hours after birth

I was one of those people that stayed the fourth night at the hospital, even though I was permitted to leave after three.

I really enjoy those moments where I can peacefully bond with my new baby, without worrying about cooking, cleaning or any of the other realities that come with returning home.

That said, I know plenty of women who can’t wait to leave hospital to get back home and into a routine – and props to them for being organised and confident enough to do it. 

The best part about both of these decisions though is that we have a choice.

But that won’t be the case for women at the Murwillumbah District Hospital in Northern NSW.

These new mums will now face a two to six-hour turnaround after they give birth, following new conditions set as a part of a last minute stay of execution for the birthing service.

The service was set to be discontinued however this decision was overturned by the government following community protests. But while the service would continue, it would do so without its postnatal ward.

A Northern NSW Local Health District spokeswoman told Fairfax Media that the short time frame was common among hospitals for low-risk pregnancies.

“In consideration of these women being at low risk and remaining at low risk during the labour, birth and immediate postnatal period, this is an accepted length of stay,” the spokeswoman said.

“The mother is then provided with home visits by her own caseload midwife, who supports her through the antenatal birth and postnatal period for up to six weeks.”


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