Women's Health

Pregnancy & Birth

Postpartum Care

Discharge & Going Home

You and your baby’s length of stay in the hospital depends on your individual health after the delivery. While some mothers and their children are both released from the hospital a couple of days after delivery, in some cases, the mother or the child may have to stay in the hospital for additional care. Typically, women who gave birth vaginally with no complications are released from the hospital two days after delivery. Mothers who gave birth by cesarean section with no complications are released from the hospital three to four days post-delivery.

Discharge information

Your doctor will determine when you and your baby are ready to go home. Along with nursing staff and care coordinators, they will provide detailed instructions for your continued care and recovery at home. They may also provide referrals for specialist care.

Discharge time is 12 p.m. If you are unable to arrange a pickup at or before the scheduled discharge time, please let your nurse known immediately. Please remind the person taking you home to bring clothing for you and your baby, and a car seat for your baby.

Discharge planning

It may seem odd, but it’s best to start thinking about being discharged when you are admitted to the hospital. When you arrive in the maternity unit, you will be given a Mother and Newborn education packet, which provides in-depth information on caring for yourself and your baby, as well as what to do when you’re discharged. Throughout your stay, you will receive additional information about vaccinations, breastfeeding and baby care, and business cards from various members of your care team. Keep those in your education packet.

Your nurse or a care coordinator will help you plan for your discharge, including:

  • Breast and nipple care
  • Bowel movements
  • Episiotomy care
  • Follow-up appointments


Your doctor may prescribe one or more medications for you to take or use at home. NewYork-Presbyterian has an on-site pharmacy to fill prescriptions at Weill Cornell Medical Center and Columbia University Medical Center.

For more information, please consult with your doctor’s office.