Hospitals are sending new mothers and their babies home as soon as four hours after birth and putting them at risk of PND and other issues.

Doctor Michael Gannon reveals hospitals around the nation were pushing mothers out the door too quickly as part of an early discharge policy in a bid to save money, reports ABC news.

He said some women, often those who were very vulnerable, were being discharged before their breast milk had even started.

“It’s very simply a cost-saving exercise,” Dr Gannon, a Perth obstetrician, said.

“Not only have they had a long pregnancy and the ordeal of labour, but we are then sending them home to look after their baby.

“Surely the fourth richest country in the world can do better than send women home four hours after their babies are born.”

Longer Stays In Hospital After Birth

Dr Gannon said he firmly believed most new mothers would benefit from longer stays in hospital after birth, a time when they needed support.

“We know the benefits of breastfeeding,” he said.

“Let’s give young women the chance to establish this in a safe way.

“If we are really serious about post-natal depression prevention, and we should be, if we are serious about supporting women in breastfeeding, and we should be, if we are serious about giving our children the best possible start in life, then this trend surely has to stop.

“We need a bit more compassion and care in looking after women who have given birth to babies.”

Dr Gannon said he had decided to speak out after becoming increasingly concerned about the treatment of new mothers.

He said he would like to hear more from womens’ groups about whether sending mothers home so early after birth was appropriate.

I think he makes a very strong point. We need more support to prevent growing numbers of PND, not a Band-Aid fix as we walk out of the maternity ward?

Do you agree?

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  • I think women should stay a bit longer just to make sure all is ok and be discharged if DRs are happy


  • I’d rather go home and have a visiting midwife than be stuck in a noisy maternity ward. When my youngest was born, I was trying to sleep when she did and in a shared ward I had the other womans husband talking at the top of his lungs at 7am. When my husband anand other kids came to visit they were basically quiet and mice! I got much more rest at home. I also think there needs to be more options for dads to assist at home. They need proper time to help and adjust too so they’re not as risk of pnd


  • Well done Doc I can’t agree with you more.


  • This is a real shame! I knew that mothers where getting discharged a lot sooner nowadays but 4 hours!!


  • I’ve often said I don’t know how mothers can establish proper breast feeding techniques when they are discharged before their milk even comes in!!


  • Some babies aren’t even sucking properly before then are sent home. There is no back-up to call at night and they only receive home visits a few times a few days apart. Even a 3 week premature baby I know was sent him with his Mum when 2 days old. He was really tiny but otherwise OK apart from bad reflux for his he was later diagnosed after him Mum took him to emergency one night and is now on special medication for.


  • 4 hours is too soon I think.


  • I think it’s disgusting if it’s a cost cutting ploy by the hospitals. They shouldn’t be putting people’s lives at risk because of money


  • If it’s a choice of the mother I understand. If it’s a choice of the healthcare system to reduce costs, well, I find it quite questionable. :-(


  • I went home after 4 hours, but was aware this would be the case from the beginning of my care. This was through a midwifery group practice and I had a mid wife visiting me at home regularly after the birth.


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