Mothers are typically discharged home approximately 24 hours after giving birth if there were no complications. Mothers who have had a cesarean section birth generally stay in hospital two to three days. All mothers receive a newborn feeding plan and resource list during their hospital stay. Time of discharge is determined by how well mother and baby are doing.
All mothers are screened to assess their need for follow-up in the Healthy Baby, Healthy Children program offered by Public Health Departments. Find out more for the City of Toronto, York Region, Peel Region, Durham Region and Halton Region. This program provides additional support to mothers who have an identified need.
Remember to bring your car seat to the hospital before you are ready to go home (see section below). By law, all babies must be in safety approved car seats whenever they are in a car.
- Take your baby to their care provider within two to three (2–3) days of going home. You should choose a doctor to care for your baby while you are pregnant. You will need to provide your baby's doctor's name before you deliver the baby.
- If you have a midwife, she will visit you at home for your baby's first visit.
- Go sooner if you have problems or concerns.
- Remember to take your baby's OHIP number and a copy of the newborn exam sheet you received at discharge.
- If you have a midwife, she will check up on you at home.
- If your care provider is an obstetrician or family doctor, call to make a six-week postpartum check-up appointment.
- You will be checked to make sure that you have healed properly.
- Your doctor can answer any questions about sex, birth control, future pregnancies or other questions.
Make sure to bring clothes suitable for the time of year for you and your baby to wear when going home from the hospital.
North York General Hospital Mother and Baby Follow-Up Clinic
This is a discharge support program for new mothers and their babies operated by the Maternal Newborn Program at NYGH. Your nurse will discuss the clinic and its services with you before you go home.This is not a drop-in clinic, so please call for an appointment.
Mother and Baby Follow-Up Clinic
North York General Hospital
4001 Leslie Street
Toronto ON M2K 1E1
Hours: 9 a.m.to 4 p.m., seven days a week
Healthy Babies Healthy Children
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday
The Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program is operated by the Public Health Department of the City of Toronto.
Within two–three days of discharge, a public health nurse will call and see how you and your baby are doing. The nurse will be able to answer questions about baby and mom's care as well as about community resources. They can also provide help with breastfeeding. The nurse may offer to visit or you can ask her to come and see you. Your nurse on the Mother and Baby Unit will explain the HBHC program and, with your consent, will fax a referral to the Public Health Department when you leave the hospital. This is a free service provided by the government.
Most babies have a hearing screen test done before being discharged from the hospital. If your baby does not receive a hearing test before you go home or if your baby requires further testing, make sure you call 416-338-8255 (voice) or 416-338-0025 (TTY) to book an appointment.
Find out the locations of infant hearing screening clinics in the GTA on the City of Toronto website.
It is the law that all babies be in safety approved car seats whenever they are in a car. If you do not have a car, it is still recommended that you have a car seat because you will probably travel in a car or a taxi at some point.
Bring your car seat to the hospital before you are ready to go home. If you have any questions or if you are unsure if the seat is okay, you can discuss this with your nurse. The nurses on the Mother Baby Unit can help you put your baby in your car seat when you leave the hospital.
If the car seat has a base (most do) then make certain it is properly installed in your car. Police departments and St. John's Ambulance clinics can be helpful with this.
Remember, babies should be removed from the car seat when not in the car. Car seats are not meant to replace a crib, chair or basinette. Please note that car seat expiration dates vary by manufacturer.
These links provide important information about car seat safety and help with installation.
Smoking ban in cars with children
It is illegal to smoke in a vehicle with a child present. The law is aimed at protecting children under the age of 16 from the effects of second-hand smoke, which studies show can become highly concentrated inside cars and trucks. According to Health Canada, simply opening the window will not clear the smoke from the vehicle. Researchers found that second-hand smoke can remain in contaminated dust and on surfaces, even if the smoking took place days or even months earlier. Ontario drivers who continue to smoke in cars or trucks used to transport a child could face fines of up to $125.
"Extensive studies have shown there is no level of ventilation that will eliminate the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, and opening a window can result in air flow back into the car, which may cause the smoke to be blown directly back at the non-smokers." — Health Canada, 2009
Visit the Government of Canada website to read the guide "Make your Home and Car Smoke-free"
Birth registration and Child Tax Credit
All births are registered online. You will receive a card with the web address. If you do not have access to a computer, you can call the phone number on the card to find out where the closest birth registration centre is located. Births must be registered within 30 days. You can apply for a birth certificate and a social insurance number at the same time you register your baby's birth. You will receive a form to apply for the Child Tax Credits. Please send the completed form in the envelope provided.
Use the 4 in 1 bundle to:
- Register your newborn
- Get a birth certificate
- Apply for a social insurance number (SIN) and
- Sign up for Canada child benefits (including Ontario child benefits).
All moms with a valid OHIP number will receive an application form for an OHIP number for their baby. The last name on the application form will be the same name as mum used to register at the hospital. If you wish to use dad's last name, just put a line through the name on the form and fill in the last name you are going to use. You have 30 days to decide on a name for your baby.
It is very important to make sure that the name you put on the OHIP application is the exact same name you use when you register the baby's birth. If you have not decided on the baby's name, complete the OHIP form and leave the name part blank. You will receive the bottom portion of the form which has the baby's temporary health card number. There is also a phone number on the back that you can call to request a form to notify OHIP of your baby's name.
Once OHIP has the baby's full name, they will give you a permanent OHIP number and a plastic OHIP card for the baby. It is very important to complete this form before you leave the hospital. The form has a number on it that is recorded, so it is very important to make sure that the form is not misplaced or lost.
Find out the closest ServiceOntario centre.