Care in the hospital setting is provided on the delivery suite in either the high risk area or the midwifery led unit.
Women with pregnancy complications will be cared for on the main Delivery Suite, by a team of Midwives and Obstetricians. Our aim is to provide continuity of care by allocating a midwife to each woman throughout your labour, if possible.
Women with low risk pregnancies who do not want to deliver at home are cared for in the Midwife Led Unit, adjacent to the Delivery Suite.
For safety of you and your baby the labour ward has secure and restricted access. Presently only one birth partner may accompany you. We have no waiting area for visitors so please advise other family members and friends to stay near a telephone for news.
We would be grateful if others would refrain from phoning labour ward, as we cannot give out confidential information. We need to spend our time ensuring the safe delivery of your baby rather than answering the telephone every few minutes.
To find out more about the care we provide and to see our facilities, including Eden Suite (our Midwifery-Led Unit) and Labour Ward, please watch our online tour.
Induction of Labour
There are 3 methods of induction used at Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital, depending on clinical examination and cervical assessment.
Outpatient induction is offered for some women who fit a specific criteria
Prostaglandin Vaginal Pessaries/Tampons
Prostaglandin pessaries are the induction method of choice and are carried out as an inpatient. Individual condition determines which is more suitable.
- 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
Artificial Rupture of Membranes and Syntocinon
If the cervix is assessed and favorable an artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) can be performed. This should be no more uncomfortable than any other vaginal examination.
- Small, slim instrument is used to nick the bag of membranes, releasing some of the water.
- Often this is sufficient stimulation for the uterus to start contracting and labour begins
- An intravenous infusion of a hormone called syntocinon can be used to stimulate the uterus to begin contracting.
Labour and Birth
Before you come in to have your baby, we run sessions on how to remain as mobile as possible during your labour and birth and include positions and relaxation techniques for you to practise at home. These sessions are run within the community and your Midwife will make sure you know where and when they run. We actively encourage your birth partner to attend this session.
Our aim is to provide you and your family with all the information you need about where you can give birth to your baby.
You can give birth either at:
- The Wallasey Birth Centre
- Midwifery-Led Unit
- Delivery Suite
Pain Relief in Labour
The amount of pain that women can experience in labour varies enormously, both between women and between pregnancies. Many women find they need some sort of pain relief.
There are many forms of pain relief for you to choose from with guidance and advice from your midwife. These include, in increasing order of strength:
- Relaxation and Hypnosis
- Bathing in warm water
- Entonox (gas and air)
- Pethidine and Diamorphine
For further information please read your maternity hand held notes and try to attend Labour in Motion and Antenatal Education Classes. Your community midwife will have information about these.
The Maternity Ward is a mixed Antenatal and Postnatal ward.
The delivery suite has ten delivery rooms, the majority of which are en-suite. There are also birthing pools available for women who are unsuitable for the Midwifery-led unit. There are two dedicated theatres for delivery suite with easy access to the Neonatal unit.
In both the Midwifery-led unit and Delivery Suite birthing balls and bean bags are available for all women.
The ward is situated on the first floor of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Access to the building is through the main front entrance of the Women and Children’s Hospital 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Out of these times access is via the side entrance.
Access to the Maternity Ward is via an Intercom system and alcohol gel is available for you to use on your hands before you enter the ward and on leaving.
The ward has 26 single en-suite rooms with showers. With six bedded post operative bay for women who have been to theatre or who need closer observation. You will be moved from this bay into a single room when the midwife has assessed you as stable, usually 6-8 hours after surgery.
The Eden Suite boasts a home from home atmosphere in order to make your experience as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.
Fetal Medicine Unit
The Fetal Medicine Unit is situated on the ground floor of the Women and Children’s Unit. The service is Consultant led supported by a team of midwives.
Why might you be referred?
- An abnormality has been suspected/ identified on your routine scan
- A screening test has identified you as being in a high risk group
- You are expecting a multiple pregnancy
- You have a medical condition that may affect your baby
- You have had complications in a previous pregnancy
For more information, please see the related links to the left hand side of this page.
Early transfer home may be available from both the midwifery-led unit and delivery suite. Your midwife will advise you if this is possible.
Should there be any concerns, we will advise you to stay for a day or two for further observations and/or tests.
If you have had a Caesarean Section, you will be offered discharge as soon as fit to do so.