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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Hospital Care

Midwifery Lead Unit (MLU) - Eden Suite

Eden Suite has five home-from-home rooms, two of which have birthing pools  for water births.

Eden Suite is a home from home midwifery-led birthing unit at Arrowe Park Hospital that offers a welcoming, safe and relaxed environment. The suite is staffed by experienced midwives who are passionate about promoting natural labour and normal birth.

Why choose to have your baby on Eden Suite?

Giving birth is generally very safe. Evidence suggests that healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies who plan to give birth in an alongside midwifery-led unit having fewer interventions during labour, for example to drip to speed labour up, and are less likely to need forceps or have a caesarean section. They have significantly more normal births than women who give birth in an obstetric unit with no difference in outcome for the baby.

Butterfly suite

Butterfly suite

Induction of labour

There are three methods of induction used depending on clinical examination and cervical assessment.

Cervical Ripening Balloon

This is a specifically designed catheter which is gently inserted through the cervix. The balloon is inflated with water to hold the device in place, for a minimum of 12 hours and maxim of of 24 hours.

 Prostaglandin Vaginal Pessaries/Tampons

  • This is an alternative method to the CRB and options will be discussed with you.Prostin tampon is inserted and left for up to 24 hours or until labour begins or
  • Pessary is placed behind the cervix, at the top of the vagina where it dissolves
  • Hormones in the pessary cause the cervix to soften and the uterus to contract
  • If labour has not begun 6 hours later, the process is repeated
  • A 3rd pessary is sometimes given the following day, if indicated

Artificial Rupture of Membranes and Oxytocin

Artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) is a further method if you meet a suitable criteria and is performed with a vaginal examination:-

  • A small, slim instrument is used to puncture the bag of membranes, releasing some of the fluid
  • Often this is sufficient stimulation for the uterus to start contracting and labour begins
  • An intravenous infusion of a hormone called oxytocin can be used to stimulate the uterus to begin contracting

Rhesus negative

People who are Rhesus positive (Rh pos) have a substance known as 'D antigen' on their red blood cells, whereas Rhesus negative (Rh neg) people do not.

If a Rh neg woman carries an Rh pos baby, there is a slight risk that a small amount of the baby’s blood could enter the mother’s bloodstream.

This could cause an immune response to the D antigen and her body will produce antibodies against it, which stay in her blood forever.

This doesn’t usually affect the existing pregnancy but can cause difficulties in subsequent pregnancies.

The antibodies in the mother’s blood can cross the placenta and attach to the D antigen on the baby’s red blood cells. This can harm the baby and cause anaemia and jaundice. 

Anti-D Immunoglobulin - Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital advises all Rhesus negative women to accept a prophylactic Anti-D injection at certain times:

  • Should there be any bleeding during the pregnancy
  • Following miscarriage and amniocentesis
  • Routinely at 28 weeks gestation
  • Following birth, if the baby is Rhesus positive
  • For further information, visit www.nice.org.uk/TA156

Blood tests

Routine blood tests taken at the start of your pregnancy include:

  • Blood group and Rhesus factor
  • Full Blood Count test for anaemia and Thalassaemia
  • Virology tests for Hepatitis B, Syphilis and HIV 

Further blood tests will be repeated during your pregnancy:

  • At 28 weeks the Full Blood Count and Rhesus factor tests
  • At 36 weeks the Full Blood Count is repeated if indicated, to detect and treat possible anaemia prior to delivery
  • After delivery, a Kleihaur test offered to all Rhesus Negative women and a Full Blood Count may be indicated

The Maternity Ward

Some women need care in hospital during the antenatal period. Care is provided on the Maternity Ward on the first floor of the Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital.

There are 26 individual rooms for newly delivered mothers and pregnant women, each with en-suite bathrooms. Your support person may be able to stay on the ward with you.

There is a six-bedded Post Operative Care Bay where you will go for a short period of time if you have been to theatre for any procedure.

The Postnatal ward also has four “Transitional Care” rooms that are used when babies require additional support that can be provided with the support of the Neonatal Unit.

Delivery Suite/Labour Ward

The delivery suite is where anyone who isn’t low risk will be give birth, this is also where care is given to ladies who are high risk and requiring additional care in the antenatal, intrapartum or postnatal period.

Who isn’t low risk? - Anyone who is being induced, less than 37 weeks pregnant, has a high risk obstetric or medical condition, unwell or with a fetal well-being concern.

We have:

  • 8 Delivery rooms – 7 are ensuite
  • High risk pool room (Use subject to criteria & availability)
  • 2 High Dependency rooms
  • Emergency maternity theatre and recovery room
  • Bereavement suite
  • Level 3 Neonatal Unit in immediate vicinity
  • There are two designated Maternity Theatres directly linked to the Delivery Suite and MLU which are staffed 24 hours per day for elective and emergency surgery

A new Induction of Labour suite is also in the process of being developed on delivery suite.