Leaving the Hospital
Your doctor will decide when you are ready to go home. Generally, it is safe for new moms to return home within 24 to 48 hours of a vaginal delivery. Your stay will be longer if you had a cesarean-section delivery. If you are not medically ready to go home, the doctor will ask you to stay longer in order to receive the care you need.
Before you leave, your nurse will review instructions for caring for yourself and your baby and help you complete any remaining paperwork.
Please arrange for someone to drive you home as you should not drive a vehicle for several days after delivery.
Washington state law requires all babies to travel in approved infant car seats. Before your baby is born, make sure you have an approved car seat. Practice using it and securing it correctly in your car. This is extremely important to your baby’s safety and well-being.
Before you leave the hospital, you will need to fill out some important documents to request a birth certificate for your baby, including a:
- Certified Birth Certificate order form from Seattle-King County Health Department
Confidential Birth Certificate worksheet for Swedish to file a Certificate of Live Birth with the Washington State Center for Health Statistics
A nurse can help you complete these forms.
Social Security card
It's easy to apply for a Social Security card for your child at birth. When you give information for your baby's birth certificate, you'll be asked if you want to apply for a Social Security number for your baby. If you say yes, you should provide both parents' Social Security numbers. Social Security will assign your baby a number and mail the Social Security card directly to you. If you do not check the box, you will need to visit your local Social Security office in person.
The main reason you should get a Social Security number is to claim your baby as a dependent on your income tax return. For more information, visit the Social Security Web site at www.ssa.gov.
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One Patient's Story
Amazingly, her twin boys were born three weeks apart.