Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton gave birth to her third child with Prince William April 23, according to a tweet from Kensington Palace, which revealed that Middleton also went home the same day.
News of the royal birth spread fast! The entire civilized world now knows that Duchess Kate Middleton has given birth to a baby boy. She and Prince William spent one night at the hospital and after the birth, headed back to Kensington Palace before the day ended.
Her hospital stay was shorter than for most women giving birth. Why the quick exit?
Well, in its search for news on the royal birth, the world press has focused on the brevity of Kate’s postpartum hospital stay. Kate left the hospital a mere seven hours after giving birth to the newest royal. Even for the U.K., which has the lowest average postpartum stay (a day and a half) among developed nations, this is a remarkably short postpartum hospital stay. The U.S. is also at the low end of the post-birth hospital stay spectrum, at two days. Ukraine has the highest stay of women giving birth, at 6.2 days.
With all the surrounding circumstances, Kate’s decision to hurry home makes perfect sense.
First, there’s a wealth of medical resources available to her and her baby. Kate and the new prince will enjoy at least as much expert medical attention at home as they would have received during a lengthier stay at the hospital. The 20-person medical team that attended the birth of the 8 lbs. 7 oz. baby will certainly be delighted to provide prolonged house calls at Kensington Palace.
Next, while they were at the hospital, the royal family was besieged by public attention. Kate and William no doubt value the peace, serenity, and privacy of their home over the barrage of frenzied adulation leveled at them while they were in the public eye.
Finally, consideration for the hospital and its other patients was probably one of the main reasons the Duke and Duchess scurried for home. Fans of the monarchy actually camped out near the hospital just to catch a glimpse of the baby. The hospital staff and patients are no doubt relieved to get back to their normal routine.
For us commoners, what factors control a postpartum hospital stay in the U.S.?
The most important issue postpartum is the medical status of mother and child. If they are doing fine, then with well-planned postnatal home care and the ongoing availability of medical services, most women giving birth are advised to remain in the hospital for 48 hours following a vaginal birth and for 96 hours after a cesarean section. So when all the effort and hard work of giving birth is optimally present, a 2-day hospital stay may well be advisable.
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