In the heyday of drive-through deliveries, moms and babies were sent home 6 to 24 hours after delivery. This was particularly dangerous for babies with health problems such as heart defects or infections contracted during delivery.
Fortunately, none of the experts I spoke to felt Congress would dare reconsider such popular legislation. If you choose to go home early, take some steps to get the benefits the law guarantees. "Learn in advance what your insurance covers," says Terre McFillen-Hall, executive director of The Center for Patient Advocacy, a nonprofit that lobbies for quality health care. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be evaluated within 48 hours of an early discharge. Talk to your pediatrician before delivery to discuss how to recognize infant health problems. And consider your location: If a medical issue arises, you'll want to be close to a hospital. And may the only drive-through you experience be well-stocked with hamburgers!