After the birth

After your baby is born our team will be on hand to support you every step of the way, to make sure you and your baby get off to the best possible start.


Immediately after your birth, you and your baby will be made comfortable in the Birth Centre.

Soon after that, your baby will be examined by your midwife, who will then leave you to enjoy your first moments together, during which time you can have breastfeeding guidance from the midwives to ensure you are comfortable.

If there are no complications, most women tend to stay for between 6 - 8 hours after the birth before going home. If you have had a more complicated birth you may be moved to a postnatal ward, where you will be with other mothers and babies, and stay with us between 24 and 48 hours.


As soon as your baby is delivered, both you and the baby will be made comfortable in the Delivery Suite.

Your baby will then be examined by your midwife, and two labels will be checked with you before placing them on your baby's ankles. These labels must stay on during your stay in hospital.

After about an hour, you and your baby will be transferred to the Postnatal Ward, where you will recuperate and receive additional support to enhance your recovery.

If you have a straightforward birth you may be able to go home shortly after. From the Delivery Suite or the Maternity Ward, if you have an instrumental birth or cesarean section the average length of stay in hospital is 1 to 2 days following birth.

There may also be occasions when a mother and/or her baby may require a longer stay in hospital, and this will be explained to you as soon as possible if this applies to you.

At North Middlesex University Hospital, your birth partner, whoever you choose, whether that’s your husband, significant other, mother, sister or friend, can stay with you throughout your stay, to support and help you.


Most babies stay with their mothers on the postnatal ward after birth. Some babies require extra support and monitoring on the ward, including:

• babies born 4-5 weeks early or who are small (<2.5kg)
• babies requiring antibiotics
• babies requiring phototherapy
• babies requiring extra observations including blood sugar monitoring.

The keeping mothers and babies together pathway allows the medical and midwifery teams to easily identify these more vulnerable babies and support families in looking after them, so that mother and baby can stay together and mother can be the primary carer for her baby.

Does this mean my baby will not go to the neonatal unit?

Our aim is to give you the support that you need so that your baby can remain with you at all times. Sometimes however, there may be a need for your baby to go to the neonatal unit. If this happens it will be fully discussed with you with one of the paediatric doctors, as well as the midwives looking after you.

Why does my baby have an orange hat?

All babies identified as needing additional care should wear an orange hat for the first 12 hours of life. This helps the team easily identify which babies need extra care and allows the team to take timely observations, blood sugar tests and provide extra support to establish feeding.

If you do not wish your baby to wear the orange hat, it can be taped to your baby’s cot, so that it is still visible to the team highlighting that your baby needs extra attention. After 12 hours the orange hat will be removed as your baby will no longer need it, but if you would like to keep it as a keepsake please ask the midwife.

It is a common misconception that new born babies need to wear a hat to stay warm, the evidence suggests that they can overheat, therefore please do not use any hat indoors.

You can speak to your midwife who can explain this in more detail. 


A private en-suite room is available to NHS patients who wish to pay for the privacy of an en-suite room in our maternity ward, rather than sharing a bay with up to three other women.

Find out more about private en-suite rooms >>



If you have your baby at home, your midwives will make sure you and your baby are happy and comfortable before they leave.

They will also be able to give you advice and support, for example with breastfeeding, before they go.



Community Midwives and Maternity Support Workers will provide you with lots of additional support in the days after your baby is born.

This will happen either at your home, or in a postnatal clinic near to where you live.
You will normally receive a home visit by a member of the team the day after you have arrived home.

A plan for ongoing postnatal care will be agreed with your community midwife when you meet, to ensure your specific needs are met.

Please be aware that all babies require a blood spot screening test on their fifth day. 

In most cases you will be discharged by your community midwife around 10 days after the birth of your baby. Your ongoing care will then be provided by a Health Visitor until your baby is 5 years old. 

NHS England has produced a useful leaflet about common illnesses in newborns, containing information about jaundice and other signs to look out for.


If at any point, you need more support, a midwife or a midwifery support worker will come and see you more often. The main reason for extra visits is for some breastfeeding support. If this is the case you are more likely to be visited by a midwifery support worker. You may also be referred to our breast feeding support groups in the community. You can get more information about breast feeding support groups by calling 020 3224 4371.  You can also download a useful leaflet on breastfeeding support in Haringey, which tells you about drop-in sessions times and locations in the borough.

North Middlesex breast feeding specialist midwife -  020 8887 2581 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm) 

Maternity Direct - 020 8887 4238 (Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm)


You can access information about breastfeeding and bottle feeding in a number of different languages on the Unicef website


If you have any urgent concerns or questions about yourself or your baby overnight, then please call maternity triage on 020 8887 3682 where staff will be able to advise you about any issues with regards to your health, care of your baby or breastfeeding support.

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