New-born babies and mums will get only one home visit, hospital chiefs have confirmed.
The number of postnatal visits to Huddersfield households is to be cut back for most parents.
Midwives typically visit homes for up to 10 days following birth, before a community nurse or health visitor takes over for less frequent monitoring of the little ones.
Most mothers would have more than one visit at home as they get to grips with taking care of their child.
That is all set to change though as Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that one home visit is now the standard offer.
Huddersfield-based mums are being asked to visit the Acre Mills outpatients centre at Lindley for further checks.
The move has already upset many parents-to-be.
First-time mum Elle Wood said she was “shocked” and “absolutely disgusted” when told of the plan by a midwife.
Elle, who is due to give birth just before Christmas, said: “Vulnerable women and babies will be at risk – home visits are vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities it starts from birth.
“Children who need extra support and mums who need mental health support won’t be identified as quickly now, if at all.”
The Colne Valley based mum-to-be added: “There’s already evidence and reports published about the high infant death rate in Kirklees and now this.
“It just feels like a huge let down instead of the support you should have when having a child.”
Gail Wright, deputy head of midwifery at the trust, confirmed the policy change.
She said: “We are introducing a new postnatal visiting system which has recently been successfully introduced to our mums in the Calderdale area.
“All our new mums will continue to receive a home visit the day after they return home after giving birth.
“If the birth has been a straightforward one, the mum will be invited for any further check-ups at our outpatient clinic at Acre Mills.
“We are also exploring opportunities to provide this new postnatal outpatient service at other locations in our communities.
“Where needed, home visits may continue beyond the first visit and this will always be discussed between a mum and her midwife.”
Gill Adgie, the Royal College of Midwives regional head for the North of England, said: “Postnatal care is incredibly important to ensure that both mother and baby are safe after the birth and for support in areas such as breastfeeding.
“I welcome the trust’s comments that women can have a discussion with their midwife about how often and where postnatal care is provided.
“Services should be organised to reflect the needs of the local population, and what may work and be suitable in one area, may not be appropriate in another. “What is important is that services are available to mums locally and in their home if needed.
“For example is the service providing maternity support workers who can visit mothers to help with feeding and parenting?
“There will be many mothers with family commitments who do not drive or have a car who will be simply unable to get to a possibly distant central site for their appointments, and their needs must be taken into account.
“The level of postnatal care, and where it takes place, should be based on the needs of the woman and her baby and I am sure the trust operate on that basis.”