Going home after childbirth

The discharge process when you and your baby leave the hospital. What to bring home with you. What should you pay extra attention to during the initial post-partum period? Which check-ups do you need to schedule?



Over the course of a year, your baby will receive six drops of D-cure (vitamin D) orally once a day before a feeding.

You will be given the necessary prescriptions to bring home.

Umbilical cord care

Until the stump has fallen off and the navel is nicely dried and healed, you should continue caring for your baby’s navel area each day. Even if the stump has yet to fall off, you may bathe your baby. After the bath, disinfect the navel once a day with chlorhexidine in 70% alcohol.


Iron tablets

Due to blood loss during the delivery, your red blood cell count low. The gynaecologist will prescribe iron tablets for you. Iron acts as a building block for red blood cells. Take 1 tablet daily, for at least a month. It is best to take your tablet before breakfast, with a bit of fruit juice.

Iron tablets often darken stools, and they may lead to constipation.

Postnatal physiotherapy

Both the pregnancy and childbirth have weakened your pelvic floor muscles. To retrain these muscles, we recommend beginning physiotherapy 6 weeks after giving birth. More information is available at www.bicap.be

Check-up with your gynaecologist

We recommend a check-up with your gynaecologist 6 to 8 weeks after childbirth. Call the consultation office to schedule this check-up: +32 16 34 47 50.



Even if you are breastfeeding, you need contraception to avoid another pregnancy!

A standard birth control pill, however, will negatively impact your breastfeeding. Your gynaecologist will prescribe a mini-pill for you to take. This is a low-dose pill that can be taken while you are breastfeeding. Unlike the standard pill, you must take 1 tablet daily, without breaks, for as long as you are breastfeeding. It is also advisable to take the pill as punctually as possible (at around the same time each day). You may begin the mini-pill ten days after your baby is born. Your menstruation may be very irregular at first.

Once you stop breastfeeding, we recommend switching to another form of contraception (vaginal ring, the pill, an IUD, etcetera). If you wish, an IUD (a coil) can be placed later. If you do not want to take the mini-pill, you need to use a condom.

Not breastfeeding

If you are not breastfeeding, you can begin taking your previous form of contraception. If you elect to take the pill, you need to start taking it the first or second week after the delivery. Using a condom during the first cycle is also advisable.

Pertussis (whooping cough)

If you have not been vaccinated against whooping cough before or during your pregnancy, your gynaecologist will prescribe a new vaccine for administration during your hospital stay. For your partner’s vaccination, we recommend contacting your GP once you return home. Your GP can vaccinate your partner. This will give your baby optimal protection against whooping cough. Your GP knows which vaccinations you have received, as well as any potential contraindications.


We advise you—also when at home—to get adequate rest. Pregnancy and childbirth demand a lot of energy from the body. Even after your baby is born, the nights are often short with many interruptions. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your partner, family or even professional organisations.

Practical information about your discharge

When you are discharged, do not forget to take home the following:

  • any medication and vitamins for you and your baby
  • the remaining disposable nappies (make sure to have a sufficient supply of the correct size at home)
  • compresses and cotton wipes with pre-opened packaging
  • disinfectant alcohol
  • care products for your baby
  • remaining sanitary napkins and breast compresses
  • frozen breast milk, if relevant (get a cooler)
  • perineal irrigation bottle
  • thermometer

If you will not be breastfeeding, be sure to have enough bottles, teats and infant formula on hand. The maternity ward will not provide any infant formula. Purchase the infant formula well in advance, and certainly before a long weekend.

The following equipment and materials are the property of the hospital and you may not take them home:

  • Bottle warmer
  • Breast pump
  • Changing pad
  • Breastfeeding cushion
  • Heating pad
  • Linens for the baby and the adult beds
  • Disposable hand gloves and alcohol gel disinfectant

Warning signs

Do not hesitate to contact your midwife, GP, gynaecologist or paediatrician

if you have:

  • sudden severe blood loss with clots or a foul smell
  • problems with the incision sutures
  • signs of breast inflammation: fever, flu-like symptoms, redness, sore breasts and
  • chills
  • signs of depression: fatigue, lethargy, gloomy thoughts, no desire to get up in the morning and so forth
  • shortness of breath and pain with breathing

if your baby has:

  • temperature issues
  • weight issues
  • nursing issues
  • urinary or stool issues
  • jaundice or another abnormal colour
  • an incompletely healed navel
Last edit: 18 June 2024