Just a few hours after the Duchess of Cambridge went into labor and arrived at London’s St. Mary’s Hospital on Monday, April 23, Kate gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Then, only seven hours later, the new mom of three left the Lindo Wing looking very glamorous, posed for photos, and promptly headed home to Kensington Palace. So, why exactly does Kate leave the hospital so soon after giving birth?
“The length of time a woman spends in hospital will vary depending on their needs,” Louise Silverton, the director for midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, recently explained to The Guardian. “Midwives need to check to make sure women feel up to going home. However, provided the woman is medically fine, has the support she needs at home, and the right postnatal care plan in place, and a good community midwife service, then going home even five or six hours after birth may be absolutely fine.”
For comparison, most women in the US stay in the hospital for an average of two days after giving birth. However, British women tend to leave the hospital much more quickly; on average, they depart after just a day and a half. When Kate previously gave birth to son, Prince George, back in July 2013, she did stay overnight in the Lindo Wing. But when she and Prince William welcomed daughter Princess Charlotte in May 2015, Kate left the hospital after just 10 hours.
Besides being medically well enough to do so, Kate has a few other big reasons for leaving the hospital so soon after giving birth. For starters, she would likely be more comfortable at home — she does live in a palace, after all. And, her presence at St. Mary’s creates nothing less than a total media frenzy, so Kate heading home hours after welcoming a new royal baby majorly simplifies things for the hospital and its other patients. Check out the video below to see all of the new prince’s first photos!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Closer Weekly.