Dr Rahul Sen | Specialist care for birth and beyond | Sydney, Australia

Rooms : Edgecliff 02 9363 9474
Macquarie Street 02 9221 2600

Post-Natal Care

An Overview

I shall visit you regularly in hospital after the birth until you go home.  On average you stay 3-4 nights following a vaginal birth and 4-5 nights following a caesarean section.

I want to ensure you have adequate pain relief during your recovery. Usually I prescribe pain medication to be brought to you by midwives on request, but I want to make sure your individual needs are met.  I also want you to be able to move about freely, even if that means extra pain medication.  If you have had a caesarean section you will have a Prolene (non-dissolving) suture, tied in a loop in front of the scar, that must to be removed by the midwife before you go home.

It is normal to experience swelling of the feet after the birth, even if there was none during the pregnancy.  This will settle on its own, usually within one week.  Your bowels will usually not open for 2-3 days after the birth.  Drinking plenty of water and eating fibre, such as pears and prunes, will help.  You may need Normacol granules to help prevent you from needing to strain at stool.

If you are booked at the Royal Hospital for Women you have the option of early discharge on the Midwifery Support Programme (MSP).  Under this programme if you leave the hospital within 48 hours of a vaginal birth or within 72 hours of a caesarean birth the hospital post-natal midwife team will follow you up with visits to your home.  If you live out of the area then a cross-referral needs to be made to your local maternity MSP midwifery team.

If you are booked at Prince of Wales Private Hospital you have the option of staying at the Crowne Plaza in Coogee, as part of the Little Luxuries programme.  Under this programme you spend half your post-natal stay in the hospital and the other half at the Crowne Plaza.  There is a midwife stationed there 24 hours a day, to give you help and support if you need it, with parenting and feeding.  There is no night nursery at the Crowne Plaza and the doctors generally do not do rounds there, but it is an excellent transition to home if you and your baby are well, and largely self-caring.  It is essential to ensure that any feeding issues are resolved before going to the Crowne Plaza.

Please note NIB does not allow you to go to the Crowne Plaza.  You can ring another fund, such as BUPA, and change your cover with no waiting period.  In most cases you can do this even after you have had the baby, and still go to the Crowne Plaza.

You will have a final check-up in my rooms at 6-8 weeks after the birth.  At this visit I check that everything is back to normal, and that any stitches have healed properly.  I will also do a Pap smear if it is due, and discuss your contraceptive needs.  Please call to make an appointment for your 6-8 week check after you are discharged from hospital.

Length of stay

  • If you have a vaginal birth, you can expect to be discharged after 4 nights.
  • If you have a caesarean you can expect to be discharged after 5 nights.

The hospital does not accept any responsibility for the loss of valuables, credit cards or money whilst in the hospital. It is better not to bring these with you.  Please ensure that you have someone available to take you home from hospital.

Time of discharge is generally around 10 am for both hospitals.

Lower Back, Hip and Perineal Support

Many women experience lower back and hip pain during pregnancy.  In addition to physiotherapy, you may well benefit from additional support wear.  If you have private health insurance your health fund may provide a rebate for some of the costs of special support wear.  Chiropractic, osteopathy or massage may also help.  The following sites provide to supportive clothing that may be of help:

SRC recovery shorts: http://www.recoveryshorts.com/
Wraps and support belts: http://www.duesoon.com.au/

These may best be fitted after consultation with a physio, chiro or osteopath.  You may be eligible for a health fund rebate.

If you are experiencing great difficulty in finding a position in which you can sleep comfortably, you may like to look into the Belly Bed – Tel: 1300 961 110 or www.thebellybed.com.au