Postnatal care

For women who give birth in our consultant-led delivery suites, postnatal care is normally provided at Victoria ward at Barnet Hospital or at 5 South ward at the Royal Free Hospital, where a named midwife will look after you each day, supported by a team of healthcare professionals.

Our wards have combination of shared bays and single rooms with ensuite facilities.

Visiting arrangements

Birthing partners can visit between 10am and 8pm, or they can stay over night with you. Other visitors may come between 2pm and 8pm. Please have no more than two visitors at any time to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for everyone.

Children who are brothers and sisters of the new baby are welcome to visit, although other children are not allowed onto the ward to reduce the risk of infection.

How long will I stay following birth?

When you are admitted to the ward a plan will be made for when you will go home. This can change if you or your baby develop complications. If you and your baby are well you can go home a few hours after your baby has been born. The average length of stay following birth is:

  • one night following a normal birth
  • one to two days following an instrumental birth
  • two to three days following a Caesarean section

Partners staying overnight

Partners or a chosen companion can stay overnight at the Royal Free Hospital on 5 South ward with mothers and babies. We recognise that this aids with family bonding and can reduce anxiety and stress among mothers. The decision to stay overnight is entirely up to you, though staff may decide its not possible under certain circumstances.

Due to limited space we cannot offer a bed, linen or showers. You can use the chair by the bed to rest and you will need to bring your own blanket or pillow.

What happens when I leave hospital?

When you and your baby are ready to go home, care is transferred to the community midwives who usually work in GP surgeries and health centres. The midwives also visit women at home, usually for up to 10 days after they have given birth. Health visitors will take over postnatal care from around day 10.

If you live outside the areas covered by our community teams, a community midwife from your local hospital will contact you and provide your postnatal care.

It is important that you tell the hospital staff the address you will be staying at when you go home and the correct contact details so they can arrange for a midwife to come and see you.