The maternity ward after the birth: what to expect

For many new parents, a stay in the maternity ward means a two-bed hospital room that has to be shared with another mother. If you don’t want that, you should inquire about other options in advance in the surrounding hospitals. Many clinics now offer rooming-in and family rooms.

What happens at the weekly station?

As a rule, mother and child spend about three days on the maternity ward. In the case of a complicated birth or a caesarean section , it can also take a few days longer before you can go home with the new family member.

  • In the first hours and days after the birth, the focus is on resting and getting to know each other . You and ideally your partner should have as much time and peace as possible with your baby.
  • During daily visits, doctors and midwives check how you and the baby are doing and how you are recovering from the birth. During these visits, the descent of the uterus is checked, how the weekly flow develops and how any birth injuries that may have occurred are recovering. Your overall constitution is also taken into account.
  • Midwives and nurses will give you tips on diaper changing and breastfeeding .
  • The U2 examination often takes place in the hospital. This is very convenient, because then you don’t have to visit a pediatrician’s practice.
  • Many hospitals offer appointments for which you can register the child directly and have it entered in the family register. This saves a necessary trip to the authorities.

Twin room, single room or “rooming-in”?

Inquire with your health insurance company in good time before the birth which form of hospital room occupancy you are entitled to. Most new moms are placed in a twin room. That means: You share a room with another woman and her child. If you do not want that or if you would like your partner to be able to stay with you overnight, this must be clarified in good time. You usually have to bear the costs for a single room occupancy and the overnight stay of your partner as part of the so-called “rooming-in”. The hospital should also know about your wishes in advance so that they can plan accordingly. However, if all the rooms intended for this purpose are occupied, it may happen that you have to go to a normal ward room, despite your previously expressed wish.

Many hospitals offer “family rooms”

If there are two of you and you feel fit enough after the birth to look after the child as independently as possible, a so-called “family room” can also be an alternative for you. Many modern clinics now offer something like this. They are usually more like boarding houses than ward rooms, so they are more comfortable and homely. As a rule, care is only taken over by midwives. The rest of the staff stays in the background. You will be largely spared from the typical everyday clinical routine. The midwives on duty are available to answer any questions you may have.

The family room is a great option for confident and independent parents. Especially with the second or third child, many parents prefer the greater peace and quiet and pleasant atmosphere to the close supervision of the ward. It is then worthwhile to inquire about these rooms in advance in the surrounding hospitals. If rooms are available, this decision can perhaps be made immediately after the birth.

Ward room or family room?

Family rooms are an excellent alternative for independent parents who no longer need much help and care. But for many new mothers (and fathers), intensive care on the ward can also offer advantages:

  • Midwives and nurses are always at your side in a ward room if you need advice or help. Especially if it is the first child, more intensive help with breastfeeding and diaper changing can provide security.
  • The intensive care often relieves you of some tasks related to the baby in the first few days. So you can recover better.
  • On most wards you can leave your child in the children’s room for a short time. Especially women who are on their own can take advantage of this offer to find some peace, to sleep or just to take a shower in peace.

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