If you had a vaginal birth, you may be able to go home as early as the next day. Most women who have C-sections stay for 2-4 days after their deliveries.
If you give birth in a hospital, there will be certain things that you will need to do before you will be discharged. These include being able to empty your bladder, having your pain controlled only by medications taken by mouth, and having vaginal bleeding that is within the normal range.
While it is true that most of these are bigger issues after having a C-section, even recovery from a vaginal delivery can sometimes be tricky! With that said, while the above timeframes are general guidelines, anytime your provider has a concern or feels there is a medical reason to keep you in the hospital longer, they will do so (for example, if you are recovering from preeclampsia).
It is important while you are in the hospital to get as much information as you can about caring for yourself and your baby, and definitely be sure to get help with breastfeeding if you are having any trouble or if this is your first time nursing. You will get a ton of paperwork before you leave and a lot of this includes discharge care and instructions. Be sure to put this in a handy place for when you have questions in the middle of the night!
Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, January 2019