Midwifery care after your baby is born
A midwife will come to see you and your baby at home the day after you have had your baby (if you had a home birth) or the day after your discharge from hospital (if you gave birth in hospital).
After the first visit, the frequency of your appointments will depend on your needs, and you may be seen by either a midwife or by a maternity support worker (a trained healthcare assistant). Depending on your needs and your preference, your appointments can take place either at your home or in our postnatal drop-ins at local children’s centres and other community locations. Your midwife will advise you and give you details of your local postnatal drop-in (also see below for more details).
We will contact your local hospital when you are discharged from Homerton to ensure they will visit you and your baby.
After you are discharged by your midwife, care of your baby will be handed over to your local health visitor. When your baby is 6 weeks old, you will have an appointment with either your GP or your hospital consultant to check your wellbeing following the birth of your baby.
If you haven't had a visit from a midwife
If a midwife has not visited you within 48 hours of your discharge from hospital, please contact us so that a visit can be arranged for you as a priority:
Weekdays, please telephone Homerton community midwifery secretary on 020 8510 5761 (9am - 4pm)
Weekends and outside of 9am - 4pm, please telephone Templar Ward at Homerton on 020 8510 7561 / 7541.
Our community midwifery teams currently have postnatal drop-ins at different locations, mainly based in children’s centres. If you and your baby are fit and well, and are able to go outdoors, you can choose to have your postnatal appointments at our postnatal drop-ins rather than at home.
Postnatal drop-ins won’t suit everyone, but may offer advantages for some women. If you are visited at home, your community midwife will not be able to commit herself to the exact time of day she will be visiting due to the unpredictability of her daily workload.
Postnatal drop-ins however take place at set times and will enable you to plan your day around your visit. Often there is additional support available (such as breastfeeding drop-ins running alongside the postnatal appointments). Postnatal drop-ins also offer the opportunity to meet other new mums in the area, and to see your local children’s centre and the services it has on offer for you and your child.
For more information about postnatal clinics, please speak with your midwife. For more information about children’s centres, please click here.
If you have decided to breastfeed your baby, we are here to support you. There are many breastfeeding drop-ins around Hackney where you can get advice and support to help you with feeding your baby.
You are welcome to attend any drop-in you like at a location and time which is convenient for you. View the list of drop-ins here.
If you had your baby at Homerton University Hospital or have a GP within the City and Hackney area we now provide a service to assess tongue tie and if necessary undertake a frenulotomy (tongue tie division). Referrals can be made by contacting your midwife, Health Visitor or GP to complete a referral to the service. For further information on tongue tie please read the following document
Blood spot screening test
This is a blood test carried out when your baby is about 5 days old. Four spots of blood are collected from a heel prick and tested for four serious but rare conditions which can be treated more effectively if detected early.
The conditions tested for are:
- Phenylketonuria: an inherited condition where the baby’s digestive system cannot break down certain foods, which therefore build up in the body and cause damage
- Hypothyroidism: a condition in which the thyroid gland does not work, seriously affecting the baby’s development if untreated
- Thalassaemia major: an inherited condition where the baby does not make enough red blood cells and becomes anaemic
- Sickle cell disease: inherited unusual types of blood leading to anaemia and likely serious infections
- Cystic fibrosis: an inherited condition which can affect the digestion and lungs leading to the baby not gaining weight and having frequent chest infections
Your health visitor will inform you of the result of this test, usually when your baby is 6–8 weeks old. If the blood test requires further action, we will contact you within 21 days of the blood test being undertaken.
After screening, blood spots are stored for five years and may be used anonymously for public health monitoring. In the future there is a small chance researchers may want to invite you to take part in research linked to the blood spot programme.
Please tell your midwife if you do not wish to receive invitations to take part in research, so that she can mark the blood collection card accordingly. Further information about this test can be obtained from the newborn screening test booklet which you can obtain when the test is carried out.