Discharged Home - What’s Next?

Call your Primary Care Provider (i.e. family doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife) or HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 (7-1-1- for deaf and hearing-impaired assistance)

If you experience:

  • vaginal bleeding that changes to bright red and is very heavy even when you are resting
  • passing of clots (clumps of blood) in vaginal flow larger than the size of a loonie
  • a fever of greater than 38 ̊C (100.4 ̊F) and chills
  • dizziness or feel faint, even when you are resting
  • difficulty passing stool or urine
  • sore nipples or breasts
  • an area with stitches that is red, painful, swollen or wet
  • pain that is not getting better
  • feelings of sadness, anxiety, or fear of hurting yourself and/or your baby

If your baby:

  • has a fever of 37.5°C or more (underarm temperature)
  • is not latching well at the breast
  • is not sucking well from the breast or bottle
  • is too sleepy to feed 8 times or more each day
  • has yellow skin color on his or her body, arms, legs, or in the whites of the eyes

If not being followed by a midwife, a Public Health Nurse will contact you within 48 hours after discharge to offer continued support for you and your newborn. Please call Your Local Public Health Office if you have not received a phone call after 48 hours of being discharged from the hospital.

If you do not have a Primary Care Provider, please talk to your Public Health Nurse.

Nurse and mother talking to one another.

If you are being followed by a midwife you will be mailed a maternal/newborn resource package and a Public Health Nurse will call you at 6 weeks postpartum.

Call your local Public Health office or your Family Physician as early as possible to schedule your baby’s immunizations at 2 months of age.

You can also talk to a Public Health nurse about:
  • changes in your body
  • feelings and emotions
  • concerns about your family
  • birth control and sex
  • rest and sleep
  • smoking and alcohol use
  • crying and responding to baby
  • learning about your baby’s needs
  • immunizations
  • growth and development
  • infant safety
  • safe sleeping
  • other feeding issues

Postpartum Blues

Many birthing parents get postpartum blues, also called the "baby blues," during the first few days after childbirth. They may lose sleep, feel irritable, cry easily, and feel happy one minute and sad the next. Hormone changes are one cause of these emotional changes. Also, the demands of a new baby, coupled with visits from relatives or other family needs, add to a birthing parent's stress. The "baby blues" usually peak around the fourth day and ease up in less than 2 weeks.

Signs and symptoms of the baby blues include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Tearfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration

In some birthing parents, sometime within the first 3 months after delivery, the baby blues become a more serious condition called postpartum depression. If your moodiness or anxiety lasts for more than 2 weeks, or if you feel like life isn't worth living, you may have postpartum depression.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a serious illness that can occur in the first few months after childbirth. It also can happen after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Postpartum depression can make you feel very sad, hopeless, and worthless. You may have trouble caring for and bonding with your baby.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is not the "baby blues," which usually go away within a couple of weeks. The symptoms of postpartum depression can last for months.

In rare cases, a birther may have a severe form of depression called postpartum psychosis. This is an emergency, because it can quickly get worse and put her or others in danger.

It's very important to get treatment for depression. The sooner you get treated, the sooner you'll feel better and enjoy your baby.

For more information on postpartum depression, click here.

Blossom Midwifery provides comprehensive postpartum care and infant feeding support for you and your baby from birth to six weeks postpartum. Care is covered through BC MSP.

Contact your local Public Health office or care provider for breastfeeding / chestfeeding support services near you.

If you’ve had a C-Section, the 'My Next Birth' website can help you make an informed choice about options for your next birth.