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It’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to feed your baby. But you do not have to make up your mind until your baby is born. How you feed your newborn is your choice.


After you have had your baby and depending on your birth experience you may need to stay in hospital for a period of time. You will move from the place where you gave birth to either the Maternity Ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, The Women’s Centre. Here midwives will give you any support you may need with your recovery, feeding and looking after your baby.

You can read more about the Maternity Ward on the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation trust website.

Partners staying overnight

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust now offers partners the opportunity to stay overnight with new mothers and their babies in the bedside chairs that are provided. Find out more about partners staying overnight  (PDF).


Once you and your baby are ready to go home, you will be given your hand-held notes and the ‘Red book’. This is your baby’s personal health record and contains information and growth charts to keep track of their weight, their immunisation records and development records. Remember to take this book with you whenever you take your baby to see your midwife, health visitor or GP.

You will also be given some leaflets before you leave the hospital. These will include information about postnatal exercises, where you can find support with feeding your baby, and registering your baby’s birth. Read more  about registering your baby’s birth or book your appointment.

Car seat safety

Unless you are walking home from hospital, you will need a car seat for your baby that is suitable for a newborn. It is a good idea to practice attaching the car seat properly in your car before your baby arrives so that you can quickly make the journey home

Going home can seem daunting – there is lots to know about your new baby. If you notice anything that worries you, however small, speak to your midwife.


Going home can seem daunting – there is lots to know about your new baby. Many new parents worry about whether their baby is getting enough milk, for example. Your midwife will ask about the colour of your baby’s poo and this is because what’s in a nappy can tell us a lot about baby’s wellbeing.

Read more about nappy care.

If you notice anything that worries you, however small, speak to your midwife.

You’ll probably spend a large part of the first few days after birth looking at your baby.



Having a baby changes your body. Some things may never be quite the same again, but other changes don’t need to be permanent.You can tighten your tummy with exercise, for example, and any weight you’ve gained will gradually drop off if you eat healthily and exercise.It won’t happen overnight. It took nine months to make a baby, and it could take at least that long to get back into shape again.


Some of you have shared your experiences of your lives with a newborn.