After you’ve had your baby (Postnatal)

Postnatal care is carried out by community midwives, in your home, or in a clinic. The community midwife will hand over to your health visitor when she discharges you between day 10 and 28 after birth.

This pathway shows useful information for some keys points after you have had your baby. Click on each of the numbered sections to find out more.

Spending as much time skin-to-skin with your baby after birth, where possible, will help you and your baby to develop a close, loving relationship. It also helps your baby to get off to the right start with keeping warm and wanting to feed. Even babies on special care baby units will be able to have skin-to-skin as soon as they are well enough.

Vitamin K by injection or oral supplement for your baby.

Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE), within the first 72 hours after birth. The examination includes screening tests to find out if your baby has any problems with their eyes, heart, hips and, in boys, the testicles (testes).

Infant feeding support from midwives, maternity support workers and health visitors, who will advise and support you in your chosen method. For more information visit the national breastfeeding help line:

Sample of blood taken from your baby’s heel at around day 5. Newborn blood spot screening involves taking a blood sample to find out if your baby has 1 of 9 rare but serious health conditions:

Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious after giving birth. In most cases this will be the "baby blues" and is so common that it's considered normal and does not need treatment; baby blues can last up to a couple of weeks. About 1 in 5 women will experience some form of mental health problem. There are a wide range of support options to help you feel better. Your Midwife and Health Visitor will ask you about how you are feeling regularly; you can ask your Midwife or Health Visitor for more information. If you have a history of a more serious mental health problem (such as psychosis or bipolar disorder) then you should be offered more specialist support to keep you well.

It is important to gradually return to physical activity after you have given birth. Being physically active helps to improve sleep, mood and fitness, and can help women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
Eating a well-balanced diet after you have had your baby is important for both physical and mental health, as well as helping with healing following birth and providing energy for breastfeeding. Find out more