Postnatal care refers to the time after you have had your baby. The postnatal period can last up until six weeks.

Postnatal care is designed to check you and your baby’s health after delivery and support you and your baby’s adaptation to family life.

Midwives are able to provide care for you and your baby up until 28 days after you have given birth in partnership with your GP and health visitor.

Postnatal care is tailored to your needs. Most women and babies find that they can be discharged to health visitor and GP care at around 10 days. Some women and babies may have additional needs and require support for a little longer.

If you continue to have any problems after 28 days then you will be cared for by the GP and health visitor.

After you have had your baby, you will be encouraged to go home as soon as you and your baby are well and you feel confident to start your family life.

While we hope that everything goes well, we realise that sometimes there are questions you have about what to do or sometimes you or your baby may become unwell.

Some of these problems may only occur very rarely but are serious and require immediate help while others are common, quite mild and can usually be treated at home. The leaflets below will give you a quick guide on when you should contact a health professional for either yourself or your baby.

If all is well with you and your baby, your care is then transferred to the health visitor who is based at your GP surgery. They will ring you to arrange to visit you at your home.  

The health visitor will also provide you with your Child Health Record book (red book) and if it is your first baby then you will receive an information book called ‘Birth to Five’.

Your health visitor will also arrange

  • A hearing test for the baby.
  • Discuss immunisation schedule for the baby.

Give you information about

  • Baby clinics where you can get ongoing advice about feeding and baby care.
  • Local support groups in your area that you may wish to join.

Click here for the NHS information leaflet: Illness in newborn babies