There is no messing around for women who give birth at Murwillumbah District Hospital. They are outta there quicker than lightening.
Mums can be expected to be discharged just four hours after delivery if everything goes well.
One of the conditions of the hospital’s birthing service continuing to operate without its postnatal ward.
Overnight stays will be reserved for those with medical complications or who have delivered during the night.
A Northern NSW Local Health District spokeswoman said the four to six-hour standard was common among hospitals with low-risk caseloads.
“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.”
Labor health spokesman Walt Secord said mothers around NSW were being “ushered” out of hospital to achieve a higher bed turnover.
“Young mums – especially first-time ones – need postnatal support and rushing them out of hospital is unacceptable,” Mr Secord said.
“The common view is that young mums and babies stay for around 48 hours.
“Nurses have told me about local health district bureaucrats putting pressure on them to discharge new mums as early as possible. In some cases, it can be as little as two hours, if the mum and the baby are healthy.”
NSW hospitals are encouraged to discharge women between four and 48 hours after they deliver
One midwife argues that postnatal services were “incredibly important”.
“It’s great for women who don’t want to be there but there’s still that percentage of women who either can’t go home or don’t feel comfortable going home.
“They’re first-time mothers, they don’t have experience of breastfeeding, they might not have family at home.”
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