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Maternity Services in Guernsey - Frequently Asked Questions

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All you need to know about pregnancy, giving birth and support. If you can't find what you are looking for on this page, please get in touch and a member of the team will be happy to help.

Your Pregnancy


  • I'm pregnant, what next?

    • Your GP will refer you to the Midwives once your pregnancy is confirmed. You can expect two appointments within 2 weeks of your referral or from 8 weeks of pregnancy:
    • You will have a 'Booking Assessment' appointment with a Midwife
    • You will have an ultrasound scan appointment with a Sonographer
    • Your booking assessment with a Midwife will take place at the antenatal clinic at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. You will be given information regarding diet and nutrition, antenatal screen tests, antenatal care and classes, maternity and paternity benefits
    • You will be offered several antenatal screening tests which will be discussed and explained to you by a Midwife
    • To ensure that the right care and support is provided for you, your Midwife will ask you a number of questions. You may also have lots of questions yourself and we suggest you make a list of these prior to your appointment
    • You will also receive an ultrasound scan appointment with a Sonographer from Radiology
  •  Antenatal Care and Clinics

    • Antenatal clinics are held at the Hospital by appointment only between Monday to Friday day/evening:
      • Monday           12:40 - 20:00
      • Tuesday          12:40 - 20:00
      • Wednesday     09:00 - 15:00
      • Thursday         08:30 - 14:00 (Booking Clinic)
      • Friday              08:30 - 15:30
    • The Midwives also run specialist clinics to provide women with additional support for issues such as smoking, weight management, drug and alcohol concerns, previous caesarean sections (VBAC clinic), Bereavement and previous difficult births. If you have had a previous caesarean section you will be referred to the vaginal birth after caesarean section clinic (VBAC) to discuss your options for this labour and birth.
    • If you have non urgent enquiries or need to re-arrange your appointment please contact the Community Midwives on 01481 224682 or email with your name, query and contact details.
  •  Parenting Classes - Great Expectations

    • You will be given a booking form at your initial appointment with your Midwife for a free 4 week parenting class called Great Expectations. This course is designed to provide you with all the information and skills you need to feel confident about making the right choices for your new baby. Delivered by Health Visitors, Midwives and Family Support Workers, the topics include:
      • Having a healthy baby
      • Preparation for parenthood, birth and beyond
      • Communicating with your bump and baby
      • Changes in relationships
      • Getting your baby off to the best possible start
      • How babies grow and develop
      • It is also an ideal opportunity to ask questions you might have about becoming a parent.
  •  Pregnancy Assessment Unit

    • The Pregnancy Assessment Unit (PAU) on Loveridge ward provides care for those who have complications after the 20th week of pregnancy
    • Other conditions that may be addressed in the PAU include:
      • High blood pressure
      • Diabetes in pregnancy
      • Baby's growth
      • Baby's movements
      • Your Midwife/Consultant will be referred you to PAU
    • The usual opening times for the PAU are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 08:00 - 14:00
  • Maternity Triage

    • Triage allows a quick and efficient assessment of your needs.
    • If you think you may be in labour, or you have any concerns regarding yourself or your baby's wellbeing call the ward on 01481 224377. The Midwife will carry out an assessment over the phone before advising you as to whether you need to come in. The Midwife will take a detailed history to fully assess your needs and direct you to the most appropriate area of care, such as the Community Midwife, the Pregnancy Assessment Unit (PAU), GP, to stay at home or to come to the ward. If you are advised to attend the hospital you will initially be reviewed in our Triage facility
    • The Midwife will assess you and your baby
    • Why do I have to go to triage first?
    • Maternity triage is a service that provides women with access to high quality and consistent support and advice at the first point of contact when calling into the maternity unit
    • The maternity triage service will:
      • Provide you with direct contact with a Midwife who will provide advice and support over the telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
      • Ensure the care of women is undertaken in the appropriate place and by the appropriate person at the appropriate time.
      • Encourage appropriate use of the PAU for women requiring monitoring.
      • Avoid unnecessary travel for women and families.
      • Ensure Midwives are available to provide one-to-one care for women in established labour.
    • If you are in labour you will be invited into triage and assessed by the Midwife before being transferred to the relevant area of the labour ward. 


Giving Birth

You can find information about Labour rooms and suits here.

  • What to do when you go into labour

    • If you are in any doubt as to whether you may be in labour please do not hesitate to contact Loveridge Ward  anytime - 01481 224377 where there will always be a Midwife to advise you
    • The most common signs indicating that you are in labour are:
      • A 'show' (when the plug of mucus sealing your cervix comes away)
      • Waters breaking
      • Backache
      • Vomiting or nausea and diarrhoea
      • You may also experience the urge to go to the toilet which is caused by your baby's head pressing on your bowel
      • Contractions - During a contraction, the muscles in your womb contract and the pain increases. If you put your hand on your abdomen, you can feel it getting harder. When the muscles relax, the pain fades and your hand will feel the hardness ease. The contractions are pushing your baby down and opening your cervix (entrance to the womb) ready for your baby to go through. You may have had contractions throughout your pregnancy, particularly towards the end. During pregnancy, these painless tightenings are called Braxton Hicks contractions. Your Midwife will probably advise you to stay at home until your contractions are frequent e.g. when your contractions last 30-60 seconds and every three minutes (every five minutes if it is your second baby or more). If you require advice please call Loveridge Ward - 01481 224377
  • What to bring into hospital with you

    • As you approach your 36th week of pregnancy, you should start to pack a bag ready for your admission to the Maternity unit. Whatever you decide to bring is your personal choice, but we have put together some suggestions below.
    • For labour: 
      • Any hospital notes, a copy of your birth plan and list of contact telephone numbers
      • Comfortable clothing (including something to wear in the birthing pool if you are planning to use it)
      • Large bath towel
      • Maternity pads and disposable underwear
      • Toiletries including soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and lip balm
      • Hair bands or clips for long hair
      • Dressing gown and slippers
      • Refillable water bottle
      • High energy sweets and drinks
      • Other snacks, such as cereal bars or fruit
      • Music - CDs or iPod (we have a docking station)
      • Camera
    • After delivery: 
      • Comfortable clothing (including nightwear and a nursing bra)
      • Baby clothes including baby grows, vests, scratch mittens, hat, blanket and something warm to go home in
      • Nappies
      • Cotton wool
    • For partners: 
      • Comfortable clothing (remember it gets very warm in the unit)
      • Suitable indoor footwear
      • Meals and snacks (please note only mothers receive free meals in the Maternity unit)
  • Pain relief during labour

    • There are a range of methods and options available to you to support you during your labour. The Midwives will discuss the types of support available to you, including water, birthing ball and medications as examples. The Midwife is also there to ensure that both you and your baby are appropriately monitored and cared for during your labour period. Talk to your Midwife about the types of pain relief available to you will help you make informed choices about what is right for you and your baby through labour and birth.
    • All women experience labour differently. Whilst it is a good idea to have in mind and/or write down your preferences on your birth plan, also remember to keep an open mind. You may find that you want more pain relief than you'd planned, or your Obstetrician or Midwife may suggest more effective pain relief to help the delivery. Different ways of relieving the pain are listed below:
      • Self-help
      • Hydrotherapy (being in water), available in Lavender and Ocean
      • Gas and air (Entonox)
      • Injections of opiates such as Pethidine
      • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS)
      • Epidural anaesthesia- only available in Delivery Suite
    • Alternative methods of pain relief (hypnobirthing, aromatherapy, reflexology, etc.). If you are using alternative methods please inform your Midwife upon admission so we are able to fully support you.
    • Talk to your Midwife or Obstetrician about the various methods of pain relief to obtain more information and decide what is right for you and your baby.
    • Some top tips for being more relaxed during labour and more able to manage the pain are:
      • Learn about labour to help you feel more in control and less worried about the process; you can talk to your Midwife or Obstetrician,  or take the opportunity to ask any questions at the antenatal classes
      • Try and learn some techniques to relax and stay calm, such as deep breathing
      • Keep moving - your position can make a lot of difference to how you are feeling, so try kneeling, walking around or rocking backwards and forwards
      • Bring a partner, friend or relative to support you however, if that is not possible or maybe it is your preference, your Midwife will give you all of the care and assistance that you need.


Support during and after your pregnancy


  • Friends of Loveridge

    • Friends of Loveridge Charity has been set up to raise funds to buy essential equipment for Loveridge, Maternity Ward and to help improve the facilities for all parents and families to use.  The Charity also supports the network of Bailiwick Maternity Voices Group, the Friends of Loveridge
    • Friends of Loveridge Charity has been set up to raise funds to buy essential equipment for Loveridge, Maternity Ward and to help improve the facilities for all parents and families to use.  The Charity also supports the network of Bailiwick Maternity Voices Group, the parent and professional forum that oversees maternity services.
    • The Charity is committed to helping women birth in an environment that is peaceful and comforting during both labour and birth.  We would like to make that transition from bump to baby, from pregnancy to parents as smooth, enjoyable and comfortable as we can.  The Charity was instrumental in purchasing the permanent Birthing Pool in the Lavender Suite, along with many other elements of the ward that help to make your stay comfortable and safe.
    • If you or your family have used Loveridge Ward and would like to make a donation you can make a payment by BACS to Friends of Loveridge, sort code 30-93-73, Account No - 28405860.  Please email with your details so that your generosity can be acknowledged - all donations are very gratefully received.  Please email us if you would prefer to send a cheque, or would like to set up an event at your place of work to support Loveridge Ward. 
  • Maternity Voices 

    • All information about this group can be found here..
  • Information for Birthing Partners

    • You are a very important person providing valuable support to your pregnant partner and will be involved in every stage of their care. Providing information for you is therefore important too. You may find these links helpful:
  • Support for families who have lost a baby

    • Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy is heart-breaking.  Every family's experience is individual and their circumstances are different, but the death of a baby is a very distressing experience and one that is generally unexpected.  Losing a baby brings grief that is much deeper than you may have ever experienced before and can last much longer than most people expect.  There is no time limit to grief, so take it one day at a time. There is a dedicated Bereavement Midwife but all of our Midwives are trained in Bereavement care, so they can support you through your labour and birth and aftercare.
    • The team are here to provide compassionate and individualized care.  They can help and guide you to make memories and spend time with your baby.  If you wish, you may have contact with our Bereavement Midwife throughout your stay whilst in hospital.  She is here to offer you, your partner/husband and family emotional and practical support following your loss.  She is also here for additional support for the Midwives.  The Bereavement Midwife can also visit you when you go home.
    • Bereavement Midwife - Shelley Blake - Tel 01481 224377
    • There is also a supporting book available entitled 'Saying Goodbye by Zoe Clark-Coates a copy can be obtained from Loveridge Ward or The Ivy Trust
    • Support is also available from:
      • The Ivy Trust are a local charity who provide practical and emotional support.  They furnished our bereavement room on Loveridge Ward and provide our memory boxes and bags.  They also have a garden of remembrance at the hospital. Email: and
      • Guernsey Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) is part of a nationwide network of local groups to provide emotional support, practical help and care to anyone affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy, at birth of shortly afterwards. Tel: +44 (0) 7911 715973, Email:, Web:
      • The Guernsey Bereavement Service provides emotional support to adults (over 16 years of age) who are struggling to cope with a significant loss, usually, but not always a death. This support can take the form of one-to-one, group or telephone support. Tel: 01481 257778, Email: or, Web:
      • The Sunflower Project - A Barnardo's service which aims to enable children and young people experiencing a bereavement or serious illness in the family to come to terms with their situation and move positively forward with their lives by improving their emotional wellbeing. Tel: 01481 724421
      • The Samaritans are a local and national support helpline, they can offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way - about whatever's getting to you.  You don't have to be suicidal. Tel: 01481 715515 [local charges apply]
      • National telephone 116 123 [this number is free to call] or email Samaritans:
      • The miscarriage association provide support and information for anyone affected by pregnancy loss Tel: 01924 200799

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