How Long Do You Stay In The Hospital After Giving Birth On Average?

Giving birth may feel miraculous, but it’s definitely intimidating as well. You may wonder how long it will take for you to return home from the hospital after you give birth, and if there are some complications that you may have to deal with. 


You do understand that giving birth is a tough process, and one that can keep you in the hospital for a while. You may also wonder if the amount of time you stay in the hospital will depend on whether or not you give birth vaginally or you have a c-section. It may also depend on whether or not there are complications with you or the baby.

There are a lot of factors that play into this. Let’s take a look and see how long you may have to stay in the hospital.

Normal Birth 

A vaginal birth that doesn’t have any complications means that you’ll be leaving the hospital the quickest. You may stay in the hospital for about 1-2 days. You’re pumped with anesthesia and have spent a long while in labor, so sleeping that off is always a good thing. Also, you may have to stay a bit so that the doctor can take a look at your baby and make sure that there is nothing wrong with it. You can leave early, but you may wonder if it’s possible to leave earlier. It is possible.

Under 24 Hours 

Some mothers are able to leave under 24 hours. For whatever reason, they may be eligible to leave early. However, it’s something you want to talk to your doctor about before you give birth. Being able to go home early means that you can put the birth behind you, and if you’re eligible to leave early, it can be good. However, you do need to see the doctor a few days after leaving so they can check on the baby and make sure that everything is fine. 

We do understand there are some circumstances where you want to leave early, and if you want to, you should. However, you may want to stay in and make sure everything is fine. While the hospital room isn’t the most comfortable place, it’s the safest should there be anything that happens with you or the baby.


Normal C-Section

A c-section is going to mean that you have to stay in the hospital for much longer. Obviously, if you’re cut open, you have to spend longer to heal, and your doctor will want to keep you in longer. Depending on the c-section, you can stay in the hospital for about 2-4 days. This is because your doctor needs to make sure you heal and make sure you aren’t dealing with any possible side effects of the C-section. 

What You Have To Do To Go Home 

When you have a C-section, there are a few things you may need to do before you’re able to go home. Once you do all of these, you may be able to go home. These include:

  • Going To The Bathroom

Being able to get up and walk to the bathroom is one way your doctor can determine if you’re ready to go home or not. Obviously, your doctor isn’t expecting you to run a marathon after having a c-section, but being able to walk to the bathroom is a good first step. After walking back and forth, the trip to a bathroom may feel like a journey with how out of it you are.

  • Peeing Without Catheter

During your c-section surgery, you had a catheter on you. This catheter helped get the urine out, and now you need to learn how you can urinate without it. Using the bathroom at first can be a challenge, but once you’re able to do it, you’re one step closer to going home. You may have to prove to the doctor you can do it by peeing into a cup.

  • Keep Your Food Down 

Shortly after your c-section, it can be hard for you to eat or drink without throwing up. Your doctor will probably want you to keep your food down before you eat. If you’re unable to do so, you may need to stay a little bit longer. Don’t go home if you’re unable to eat anything. This may end up causing some serious complications.

  • Your Baby’s Health 

What’s just as important as your health is the health of the baby. If the doctor suspects that there are any complications with the baby, they may keep you in for a little longer. This is to ensure the health of the baby and you. Don’t leave unless you know that everything is good. 


If your baby ends up in the intensive care ward, then you may not be able to stay for longer. Instead, you may need to go home and visit from there. Staying in the hospital for longer than necessary usually isn’t allowed and your insurance may not cover it. They have to have room for other people who need it, so if you’re able bodied, you may not be able to stay.

If You Need To Stay Longer 

There are wards and places to sleep for your partner should they need it. It’s important that your partner gets rest as well. While they haven’t dealt with the labor, they are probably in some dire need of sleep as well. Make sure every party is getting it, and you’ll feel better as a result, along with your spouse. Sleep is always important.

Anything Else? 

If there are complications from the birth, whether it’s vaginal or c-section, you’re going to stay in the hospital for longer. It can be a little bit frustrating, but it’s so that your doctors can make sure that everything is going right. 



It can be hard to give birth, but once you do, you’re in for a magical journey of raising the best kid you possibly can.


DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a

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