Early postnatal hospital discharge

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Early postnatal hospital discharge is typically defined as discharge of the mother and newborn from the hospital within 48 hours of birth.

The length of stay in a hospital after childbirth decreased gradually over several decades in the U.S., initially because of consumer desire for a less medical interventions related to childbirth, and later in an effort to reduce costs.[1] A similar gradual shortening of postnatal hospital stays occurred in Canada.[2] Early discharge has also occurred in the U.K.[3] and Australia.[4]

There has been controversy over the practice[5][6][7] and its relationship with follow-up care, cost, and maternal and newborn health may be complex.[8][9][10] A 1995 review found that available studies were insufficient to shed much light on the consequences.[11] A study concluded that early discharge is safe if it is part of a program involving postnatal care outside the hospital.[7]


  1. ^ (Commentary), A. P. (February 2001). "Early Postpartum Discharge: Recommendations From a Preliminary Report to Congress". Pediatrics. 107 (2): 400–403. doi:10.1542/peds.107.2.400. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  2. ^ Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (April 2007). "Postpartum maternal and newborn discharge" (PDF). SOGC policy statement (190). Retrieved 2009-07-04. The length of stay in hospital postpartum has been steadily decreasing over the last 50 years. 
  3. ^ Oddie, S.J.; D Hammal; S Richmond; L Parker (2005). "Early discharge and readmission to hospital in the first month of life in the Northern Region of the UK during 1998: a case cohort study". Archives of Disease in Childhood. 90 (2): 119–124. doi:10.1136/adc.2003.040766. PMC 1720274Freely accessible. PMID 15665161. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  4. ^ Hickey, Anthea R.; Philip M Boyce; David Ellwood; Allen D Morris-Yates (1997). "Early discharge and risk for postnatal depression". Medical Journal of Australia. 167: 244–247. Archived from the original on 2009-06-23. 
  5. ^ Britton, John R.; Helen L. Britton MD; Susan A. Beebe MD (1994). "Early discharge of the term newborn: A continued dilemma". Pediatrics. 94 (3): 291–295. PMID 8065852. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  6. ^ Parisi, V. M.; Meyer, BA (December 1995). "To Stay or Not to Stay? That is the Question". New England Journal of Medicine. 333 (24): 1635–1637. doi:10.1056/NEJM199512143332412. PMID 7477203. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  7. ^ a b Dershewitz, Robert; Marshall, Richard (October 1995). "Controversies of early discharge of infants from the well-newborn nursery". Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 7 (5): 494–501. doi:10.1097/00008480-199510000-00003. PMID 8541948. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  8. ^ Marbella, Anne M.; Veerappa K. Chetty; Peter M. Layde (1988). "Neonatal Hospital Lengths of Stay, Readmissions, and Charges". Pediatrics. 101 (1): 32–36. doi:10.1542/peds.101.1.32. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  9. ^ Maisels, Jeffrey; Elizabeth Kring (1997). "Early Discharge From the Newborn Nursery---Effect on Scheduling of Follow-up Visits by Pediatricians". Pediatrics. 100 (1): 72–74. doi:10.1542/peds.100.1.72. PMID 9200362. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  10. ^ Grupp-Phelan, Jacqueline; James A. Taylor; Lenna L. Liu; Robert L. Davis (1999). "Early Newborn Hospital Discharge and Readmission for Mild and Severe Jaundice". Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 153 (12): 1283–1288. doi:10.1001/archpedi.153.12.1283. PMID 10591307. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  11. ^ Braveman, Paula; Susan Egerter; Michelle Pearl; Kristen Marchi; Carol Miller (1995). "Early Discharge of Newborns and Mothers: A Critical Review of the Literature". Pediatrics. 96 (4): 716–726. PMID 7567337. Retrieved 2009-07-04.