New mums and their babies sometimes go home from the delivery suite. If this is not appropriate mums will be transferred to the ward with her new baby.
All our rooms are individual with their own en-suite shower and toilet, except for the post-operation bay which has 6 beds.
Most new mums spend only 1 or 2 nights in hospital following the birth of their baby.
The Postnatal ward also has four “Transitional Care” rooms that are used when babies require additional support that can be provided outside the Neonatal Unit.
Follow on Care and Advice
- The Health Visitor is notified of the baby’s birth by the hospital
- She/he will make contact when the baby is 10-14 days old. The Midwife will ensure contact has been made before she stops visiting
- The Health Visitor is there to support parents in the care of their young children and to monitor their development, until they reach school age
- The GP is notified of the baby’s birth by the hospital
- A baby registration form can be obtained from the surgery
- 6 weeks postnatally, women are advised to visit their GP for their routine postnatal examination, to ensure everything has returned to normal
- Please take the baby to the GP if she/he appears to be unwell
- Discuss any problems with your midwife or health visitor
- All mothers are encouraged to stay in hospital until feeding is established
- Maternity support workers work closely with community midwives to support you in your own home.
- Home Start Breastfeeding Peer Support
Volunteer breastfeeding peer supporters attend the ward on a daily basis to help new mums initiate breastfeeding. Their support will continue at home as and when needed and can also be arranged antenatally, if mums would like to have discussions about how to breastfeed before their baby is born. Contact Number 0151 652 8952
- The Midwife will discuss this before discharge. Women can conceive again within a few weeks of childbirth if adequate contraception is not used
- Contraception and Sexual Health Services are provided by Wirral Community NHS Trust. Clinics are available at Arrowe Park Hospital, St Catherine's Hospital, Victoria Central Hospital and many other community based venues. Appointments are not usually necessary, most clinics run on a ‘drop-in’ basis – however appointments are required for some procedures. For more information including clinic times please visit www.wirralct.nhs.uk
- A cervical smear should be performed 12 weeks (3 months) after childbirth to check the health of the cells of the cervix after labour
- This can be done by the GP, the Practice Nurse or at a Family Planning Clinic
- The Midwife present notifies the Registrar of Births of every baby’s birth within 24 hours
- It is a legal requirement that a parent then registers the birth within 42 days (six weeks) and the Birth Certificate will be issued
- Babies born in Wirral are registered at:
Town Hall, Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, Open: 09.00am – 12.30pm and 2.00pm – 4.00pm Tel: 0151 606 2020 between 8.00am and 8.00pm
Sudden Infant Death
Sudden Infant Death is rare. Since parents and carers have been following the risk reduction advice, the number of babies dying has fallen.
Information will be provided to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death prior to leaving the unit and by community midwife.
Key points for safe sleeping
- Place baby on their back to sleep, in a cot in a room with you
- Do not smoke in pregnancy or let anyone smoke in the same room as the baby
- Do not share a bed with baby if you have been drinking alcohol, taking drugs or are a smoker
- Never sleep with baby on a sofa or armchair
- Do not let baby get too hot – keep baby’s head uncovered when indoors
- Place baby in the “feet to foot” position in the cot
It is important for a woman’s future health that regular exercise is maintained. The midwives and physiotherapists will provide information. There are also local yoga and pilates groups running specifically for pregnant and postnatal women. Ask the midwife or children’s centre for more information.
Any medication prescribed for a woman or baby should be completed. The GP should be consulted if there are any problems or further medication is require
All babies are offered a hearing screen in the first few weeks of life.
One or two babies in every 1,000 is born with hearing loss in one or both ears, often into families with no history of impairment.
Early detection is important for the development of the child. It also means that support and information can be provided to the parents at an early stage.
The audiology team at Arrowe Park assess all babies born in the unit when they are 24 hours old, using specialised electronic equipment. Occasionally it may need to be repeated, if there is fluid still present in the ears.
Babies born at home or who go home straight from the MLU/delivery suite will be sent an appointment for approximately 2 weeks time.
Always wash your hands thoroughly using warm soapy water before touching your baby and also after you have changed your baby's nappy.
You should also remove your jewellery as bacteria can linger on watch straps and under rings. It's advisable not to wear nail varnish or false nails for the same reason.
Hand gel is extremely effective for the removal of lingering bacteria on hands that look clean. After washing, use the gel covering all areas of your hands and fingers.
At home you would not usually use gel, but because of the risks of hospital born bacteria, it is particularly important to be vigilant in your hand hygiene. Please ask your visitors to observe the signs about hand washing too.
Hand gel should be used on entering and leaving the Neonatal Unit to reduce the risk of infection being brought into the unit and also maintain cleanliness when you leave.