Days, weeks or sometimes even months in hospital mean the arrival of your baby will have been very different from how you had imagined it. But finally the big day will come when your baby is ready to go home!
Every baby is different and the right time for going home depends on your baby’s condition. But generally speaking, in order for your baby to go home, he/she needs to be feeding well (breast or bottle), putting on weight and maintaining his/her own temperature in a cot. This may be before or after your baby’s original due date.
Before you go home the hospital staff will plan your baby’s discharge carefully and discuss it with you. In order to prepare you for going home Special Care has rooms for Mum’s and Dad’s to stay in with their baby. This will give you the opportunity to manage your baby’s care on your own, with support from staff if required.
For taking your baby home you will need to bring a warm outfit, a blanket and a car seat or buggy to take your baby home in. If required you will be given a baby clinic follow up appointment with a doctor to make sure your baby is doing well.
For more information on going home, we suggest visiting the Bliss website at www.bliss.org. You will find fact sheets and publications on going home, containing information on leaving the hospital, home oxygen, travelling home, ongoing medication and temperature. The Bliss website contains a wide range of information, which should help you with the transition of caring for your baby at home. Further advice, support and publications can be requested by phoning the Bliss Family Support Helpline on freephone 0500 618140. The line is open from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email Bliss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bringing your baby home will cause great happiness and anxiety at the same time. After the hustle and bustle of Special Care you may have got used to always having people around you and your baby to ask questions and to talk to.
Many mums and dads experience feelings of anxiety and perhaps even loneliness. The important thing is for you not to be isolated. If you have made friends in Special Care, stay in touch with them. Parents who have been through similar experiences to you will be able to give you a unique support and maybe even friendship that no one else can. Take advantage of offers from family and friends to visit and help you. You are not on your own!
You will also have on-going support from your GP and your health visitor.
You and your baby may have travelled a difficult road to get to where you are now. But remember, your baby is coming home because they are well enough to leave Special Care and the staff are confident that you can now look after your baby on your own. All parents will tell you how quickly your time with your baby passes, so be sure to treasure it and enjoy getting to know your baby!