After the birth
During your stay in hospital midwives will provide you with information and support on caring for your baby and assist with your choice of feeding, either breast or bottle. Following the birth you will have an opportunity for skin to skin and give first feed in the labour ward. You will then be moved round to the ward. Your baby will be in a cot beside you while you are in hospital.
Sometimes babies are born early and you will be admitted or transferred to specialist services. Tinylife (formaly NIMBA) is The Premature Baby Charity for Northern Ireland (a link to babies who need specialist care section)
Prior to discharge from the maternity until your baby will normally have their hearing screening performed by the hearing screener. If your baby is discharged prior to the hearing screen, your baby was born at home or perhaps your baby requires a retest then you will receive an outpatient appointment via post.
In the first week after birth, all babies in Northern Ireland are now offered screening for six inherited metabolic disorders, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disorders. Most babies who are tested will not have any of these conditions, but for those who do, early diagnosis and treatment is very important.
After the birth of your baby a general examination of your baby is performed prior to transferring to the postnatal ward. A more detailed examination is performed prior to discharge from hospital by a midwife or a paediatrician at no less than 6 hrs old. It is a screening examination also and a second examination is carried out by your baby’s GP. It is documented in your baby’s PCHR.