Going Home

Taking Your Bundle of Joy Home - Discharge Details

We understand how exciting it is to be bringing your baby home for the first time, so we will do all we can to make your discharge as smooth as possible. Here's what to expect:

  • Your obstetrician will discuss the plan for your discharge with you, and your pediatrician will discuss the discharge plan for your baby with you. Your nurse will let you know when you are clear to leave. Please let the desk know when you are ready and a team member will escort you in a wheelchair to your car.
  • You will receive discharge instructions for both you and your baby including information about making appointments once you leave the hospital. If you need to have any follow-up lab tests performed, all BayCare Lab locations provide blood collection services for babies. Our two most specialized locations are our Lakeview Road lab in Clearwater and St. Joseph's Pediatric Clinic in Tampa.
  • Your obstetrician will give you any necessary prescriptions
  • You can begin to pack your things and have them taken out to the car. Let us know if the person driving you home needs a cart.
  • As required by law, we will complete lab work and a hearing screening on your baby prior to discharge. A newborn screening, which includes a PKU test, is required for all newborns. A PKU test is repeated in the doctor's office. It checks the level of an enzyme that is important for normal growth and development.
  • If you require any special medication (Rhogam or Rubella), your nurse will provide you with it
  • You must have someone available to pick you up upon discharge from the hospital. We recommend that you do not operate a motor vehicle for the next seven days following discharge.

The following circumstances may slow down the discharge process, but may be necessary to ensure the health of you and your baby:

  • If a circumcision is done on the day of discharge, a necessary assessment may delay discharge
  • If you were GBS positive, your baby must stay in the hospital for 48 hours unless your pediatrician orders otherwise
  • If lab work is ordered the day of discharge, obtaining and responding to results may delay discharge

Car Seats

All infants being discharged require a car seat. The base must be installed in your car prior to discharge.

If you need more information on car safety seats, Morton Plant Hospital offers regular Car Seat Inspection appointments, where we will teach you how to properly install your car seat. To make an appointment, call (855) 269-4777.

Children's Medical Services

Part of the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS), Children's Medical Services provides medical care to children with chronic, disabling or potentially disabling medical conditions when families cannot afford to pay for all the needed treatments. For eligibility information, call (727) 893-2775 or 1-800-336-1612.