The effect of early postnatal discharge from hospital for healthy women and term infants
There is increasing pressure on Maternity Services from the numbers of women giving birth and this means women are sent home much earlier than they used to be. The local maternity units have asked us to work with them to look at the effect this may have on women, their babies and families as well as the staff who care for them. So the CLAHRC Maternity and Child Health team are developing a range of projects exploring the impact of early discharge which include:
- We will find out from the community midwives which mothers and babies are re-admitted to hospital as this is not accurately collected. This will mean we will be able to do a Birmingham citywide study (called a cohort study), comparing routinely collected anonymous local data for all births in the city over a three month period, and will mean we can look for factors related to readmission to hospital for women and babies in the early postnatal period.
- Information is collected routinely by all hospitals nationally and we are planning to use this information (Hospital Episode Statistics) to describe readmission of women and babies during the postnatal period, and explore links with the length of postnatal hospital stay.
Further projects are planned, though these are still at the development stage.
Keywords: Maternity, Maternity Services, Women's Health, Community Midwifery, Length of Stay, Early Discharge.