Phone 630-8270
Menu Already Pregnant Menu

After the birth

After the birth of your baby, you can choose to stay at National Women's Hospital, transfer to Birthcare or go home. At the hospital and Birthcare, there will be midwives available to care for you. When you go home, we will arrange for one of our private midwives to visit.

When to call Origins or your postnatal midwife

  • You experience bleeding from the vagina that has large clots or soaks a sanitary pad in less than two hours. If it is gushing, call an ambulance immediately
  • You notice that your lochia (discharge) has a bad odour
  • You feel severe pain in your lower abdomen
  • You notice redness, swelling, hardness or discharge from the site of a vaginal tear or episiotomy
  • A vaginal tear or episiotomy begins to hurt more rather than less
  • You are unable to pass urine or have pain, burning or notice traces of blood when passing urine
  • You have a temperature over 38°C, or you feel hot and feverish
  • You have pain in the legs
  • You experience sudden, severe chest pain (call an ambulance)
  • There are hard, sore areas in your breasts, or discomfort when breastfeeding
  • If your caesarean wound looks red or is opening or there is bad smelling fluid coming from the wound site

Postnatal depression

It’s common to get “the baby blues” several days after the birth, due to fluctuating hormone levels. However, we need to hear from you if:

  • Your mood is constantly low
  • You have strong feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt or sadness
  • You’re are finding it difficult to sleep, even when you get the chance
  • Your appetite is disturbed
  • You have feelings of hopelessness or not being able to cope
  • You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

Pelvic floor exercises

Your pelvic floor muscles stretch from the pubic bone to the tail bone. They support the bladder, uterus and bowel. They also close the bladder outlet and anus. During and after pregnancy, it's important to give these muscles a regular workout. If you neglect your pelvic floor muscles, your bladder control could be affected- when you sneeze or cough, you'll wet your pants. You can begin improving the tone of your pelvic floor muscles the day after delivery.

Pelvic floor workout:

  • Sit comfortably with your feet and knees wide apart. Lean forward and place your elbows on your knees. Remember to keep breathing throughout and keep your tummy, leg and back muscles relaxed
  • Imagine you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind and peeing at the same time. Tighten the muscles around your front and back passages and lift up inside. Hold for at least three seconds, then relax the muscles and rest for a few seconds
  • Now tighten these muscles as quickly and as strongly as you can, then relax. Do this three times
  • Repeat the pattern of one hold and three short pulses until the muscle begins to feel tired
  • Try to do this workout six times a day

Breastfeeding advice

If you're planning to breastfeed, our postnatal midwives are highly skilled at supporting women to successfully establish breastfeeding. We can also refer you to a lactation consultant if necessary. If this isn't your first child, but you had problems breastfeeding previously, you may want to talk to a lactation consultant before your baby arrives.