Follow-up care during the post-natal period

The postnatal period is the time from when the baby is born until six weeks after the birth. In Norway, parents and babies are entitled to follow-up care (postnatal care) after the birth.

Bilde av en baby på skulderen til sin mor

Illustration: Johnér Bildbyrå AB

Follow-up care in the postnatal period (barseltiden) depends on

  • how quickly breastfeeding gets started
  • how quickly the baby gains weight
  • interventions and complications during the birth, which may mean staying longer at the hospital or clinic before going home, and require extra follow-up

Follow-up after coming home

When you leave hospital, you will need an arrangement for postnatal follow-up. The hospital is responsible for notifying the Child and Maternal Health Centre (helsestasjon), your GP and the midwifery service that you and your baby have been discharged and gone home. As this may take a few days, it is a good idea to contact your Child and Maternal Health Centre to let them know that you are out of hospital.

If you need follow-up before the scheduled first home visit, contact the Child and Maternal Health Centre in your municipality or the hospital where you gave birth.

As the mother, you should have a home visit from a midwife within the first three days of being discharged from hospital. You will be visited by a public health nurse on day 7-10 after the birth of your baby.

The Child and Maternal Health Centre also offers preventive healthcare for your baby to prevent disease. This healthcare is provided under a standard programme.

Parents’ and children's rights

As users of the health service, your wishes and decisions must be met with respect and understanding. As parents, you have the right to be treated with dignity, consideration and kindness.

The mother and child are treated as ‘patients’, while the father of the child or the mother’s partner are treated as next-of-kin/relatives.

Specific information must be adapted to their needs and knowledge. In the event of any language problems, the health service is required to use trained interpreters. Both the interpreters and the healthcare professionals have a duty of confidentiality.

The information you receive must be sufficient to enable you as parents to make decisions about matters affecting the postnatal health of the baby and mother.

Ask for help, and ask questions

​The most important information that a healthcare professional receives about you as the mother, about your child and relatives is the information you provide yourself. In order for them to provide the right help and treatment, it is important that you ask the healthcare professionals about anything you are unsure of. Before an appointment, you can make a note of questions to ask.

Information can be provided in several ways, such as in writing, one to one or in group-based instruction.