The amount of time full-term newborns stay in the hospital should be based on the health of the infant and mother, the family’s preparedness and access to follow-up care, according to an updated AAP policy statement.

Those circumstances will be different in each case and should be evaluated by both the obstetrician and pediatrician in consultation with the family, said William E. Benitz, M.D., FAAP, author of Hospital Stay for Healthy Term Newborn Infants, published in the May issue of Pediatrics (2015;135:948-953, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2015-0699).

“We don’t want to be sending a baby home whose mother is not ready or vice versa, so that coordination is something we wanted to be sure really took place,” Dr. Benitz said.

Most states require third-party payers to cover hospital stays of 48 hours for a vaginal delivery and 96 hours after birth by cesarean section. However, Dr. Benitz stressed payers should not determine...

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