We have examined the safety and efficacy of an early postpartum discharge program in 289 patients who were identified prior to delivery and counseled and educated for discharge 12 to 36 hours after delivery. A total of 55% of the study patients were able to be discharged early. There were 4.3% significant maternal problems and 3% significant neonatal problems identified in the first 72 hours after delivery by a nurse practitioner home visit. Significant maternal problems after 72 hours (10%) and neonatal problems (5%) were also found by follow-up visits. The hospital readmission rate was 1.8%. These incidences are consistent with other studies in the literature and suggest that some type of early follow-up of both the mother and infant should routinely accompany early postpartum discharge programs.