Welcome to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital Maternity Unit.
Our Maternity Service aims to provide excellent care in a friendly and nurturing environment to give mothers, babies and their families personalised care from the early antenatal period, during pregnancy and labour and during the first early days of parenting.
You will have an opportunity to talk about the various options available to you to help you choose the right personalised care package for your pregnancy, together with a delivery plan that suits you and your family .
- The Lavender Suite is situated on Loveridge ward and provides a "home from home" environment within the safety confines of a Hospital setting with women centred, normal care for healthy women with low risk pregnancies.
- As long as you remain low risk during your pregnancy and go into labour yourself between 37 and 42 weeks, you can have your baby in The Lavender Suite.
- The suite consists of a spacious relaxing area with a bean bag, Bradbury cushion and birthing pool all of which encourage mobilisation and normality in labour.
- The use of the Lavender Suite can be discussed with your Midwife at 36 weeks if this is your preferred option and we welcome the opportunity to assess whether this service would suit your needs.
Delivery Suite/Labour Ward
- Our Labour Suite is typically for those women with complications who may require Obstetric and Midwifery care during labour and birth. Occasionally, if the Lavender suite is in use, the labour suite can also be used for those women whose care is Midwifery led.
- The labour suite is an appropriate choice for Obstetric led and Midwifery led care. Maternity care in the labour suite is provided by a team of healthcare professionals, including Midwives, Obstetricians, Anaesthetists, Paediatricians and Support Workers. All members of the team will ensure the focus is on respecting your individual preferences. We promote normality wherever possible and you are encouraged to participate fully in your care, with support from your birthing partners.
- Delivery suite facilities:
- 3 birthing rooms: Ocean, Woodland and Blossom. Ocean is our secondary water birth room which can be used if the Lavender Suite is unavailable.
- The Cove - is a big bath which can be used by women in early labour.
- Listed below are a number of reasons it may be more appropriate for you to give birth in our labour suite:
- Have medical or obstetric complications in your present pregnancy
- Have had complications in a previous pregnancy or birth
- Go into labour before 37 weeks
- Require Induction of Labour (IOL)
- Need a Caesarean Section for medical or obstetric reasons
- Choose to have your baby on the Labour Ward
- Would like an epidural
What to do when you go into Labour
- If you are in any doubt as to whether you may in labour please do not hesitate to contact Loveridge Ward anytime - 725241 ext. 4110 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
- 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 - 725241 ext. 4110
What to bring with you
- As you approach your 36th week of pregnancy, you should start to pack a bag ready for your trip 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)
- After delivery
- Comfortable clothing (including nightwear and a nursing bra)
- Baby clothes including babygros, vests, scratch mittens, hat, blanket and something warm to go home in
- 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:
- 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
Here at the Hospital we are with you every step of the way throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Serving the families of the Bailiwick, delivering approximately 600 babies a year, we pride ourselves on providing a full range of antenatal, maternity and postnatal services.
Our team of Midwives, Obstetricians, Paediatricians, Physiotherapists and Maternity Support Workers work closely together to provide an excellent multi-disciplinary team [MDT] both in Hospital and community.
The nature of living in an Island environment and being part of a small unit means that our team are privileged to get to know the women, their partners and families which means we are ideally placed to provide support throughout all stages of their care.
Visiting Loveridge Ward
The entrance to the ward is monitored by CCTV and is securely locked at all times. Parents/birthing partners are welcome to visit any time during the day, however, the only children allowed to visit are siblings of the baby, and our rationale for this is to reduce the risk of infection.
Visiting times to the Unit are:
15.30 to 16.30
18.30 to 19.30
We do not have facilities for friends to stay on the unit however, we are now very fortunate to be able to offer overnight accommodation for birthing partners if requested.
We pride ourselves to make sure that women, partners and their families receive the best focused care possible and are entitled to work without fear of aggression or abuse. Antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
The information provided for you here explains in more detail about the advice, information and care we offer. You can also contact the ward on 725241 ext. 4110.