American would most love to spend time alone with your new baby and your partner, in the comfort of your own home. A new study suggests that may be possible. Could you really be discharged from hospital a day after your c-section?
Doctors from a Malaysian hospital already routinely discharged c-section moms after two days, but a clinical trial in which 360 women took part experimented with a one-day only hospital stay. If a mom's blood pressure was normal after 24 hours, their incision showed no signs of infection and they had adequate pain relief, she may have qualified to be in the early-discharge group to which the doctors randomly assigned new moms.
In 16 percent of cases, mothers from the early-discharge group still stayed longer because of maternal or neonatal complications. Those women who were meant to stay for two days were also kept in longer if it seemed necessary for the health of either baby or mom. Overall, the medical team found no higher rate of complications in the group of women who were released from hospital after a day. A survey of mothers who gave birth by c-section showed that 87 percent of the early-discharge group was satisfied with their hospital stay and the timing of their discharge.
Meanwhile, 45 percent of the next-day discharge moms exclusively breastfed their babies. A cesarean section is rather intimidating if you have never had one before, isn't it? You may be afraid of dealing with pain and not having the support of nurses and other medical staff available in those early days. But going home the day after a cesarean section can, I think, also normalize your baby's arrival into the world. Hospitals are hardly the best place to enjoy those first few precious days with your new baby, after all.
Lead author Dr Peng Chiong Tan, of the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, said that his findings could easily lead to policy changes in other countries as well. He did note that Malaysian women could usually count in a huge support network of relatives to care for them and their baby after a c-section.
Women who do not benefit from this type of care may not benefit from an early discharge. What do American OBGYNs have to say about the possibility of early discharge after a cesarean section, you may wonder? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says women who desire an early discharge can discuss their options with their doctor. Dr Tan says the same, and adds that new moms should make sure they have appropriate support back at home after their cesareans.
You can read the findings in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your opinion about this development. Is being sent home a day after a c-section your idea of a horror story, or would you jump at the chance to leave the hospital and start life with your new baby?