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Leave-early option for mums

Thursday, 8th April, 2010

* Conducting a newborn screening test. (From left) Megan Hansen and her three day old baby, Talia, with Community Midwife, Amanda McCormack. * Conducting a newborn screening test. (From left) Megan Hansen and her three day old baby, Talia, with Community Midwife, Amanda McCormack.

Local women giving birth at the hospital now have more opportunity to go home sooner under a new program introduced by the Maternity Unit.

The Early Postnatal Discharge Program provides an option for healthy mothers and their babies to go home early if they wish. According to maternity unit manager Kate Paynter, mothers who have just given birth can receive support, care and advice in their own home by a community midwife.

"The program is aimed at providing a choice of postnatal care for families who prefer or need to return home early after birth," said Ms Paynter. The program allows for a mother giving birth in hospital to return home between four and 48 hours following an uncomplicated birth or 48 to 72 hours following a caesarean section.

A community midwife will visit the mother and child in their home daily for seven days after the birth. Ms Paynter said many healthy mothers and babies benefit from being in their own surroundings with additional support available.

"It allows parents to gain confidence in their own home and the program may suit many mothers who have other children at home," she said. Ms Paynter said the program also frees hospital personnel to care for those who require extra health support and it is less expensive to have patients (mothers and babies) at home if they are healthy.

"No-one will be forced to use the program, it's purely voluntary," she said. Mothers can change their mind at any time and choose not to participate. Women must live in Broken Hill to be eligible. A community midwife, Amanda McCormack, said it gives mothers a choice but it is voluntary and those interested in the program can liaise with her to learn more about it.

For more information contact the Community Midwife at Child and Family Health 8082 6111 or the Maternity Unit on 8080 1386.

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