Armidale ​Birth Suite

The Armidale Hospital Birth Suite is located within the maternity unit.

The Birth Suite is located on level 2.

When you arrive at Armidale, go straight to the Maternity Unit reception desk. You will be met by a midwife or receptionist and taken to an available room

Travelling to have your baby in hospital

  • Contact the midwife in the maternity unit for advice.
  • Wear a sanitary pad.
  • Have your support person drive safely, and use your seat belt with lap belt positioned below your baby.  Have old towels available to catch leaks if they occur, and an old ice-cream bucket in case of nausea or vomiting.
  • In NSW, an ambulance ride can be very expensive; it is strongly suggested that you join an ambulance fund for your family emergency situations, if you are not already covered by private health insurance (this may be done through any major private health fund office or online).
  • Bring your antenatal record. Your antenatal record provides us with your history and plan of management for labour and birth. Please carry it at all times, and present it to the midwife on your arrival to the Birth Suite.

A plan for going home after birth

For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience.  Women can go home at any point, when they are feeling confident and well enough to do so. Most women who have had a vaginal birth go home after 2-3 days and those women who have had a caesarean section 3-4 days. Your time in hospital will depend upon your and your new baby’s needs. The timing of going home is also dependent on both mother and baby being well, baby having established feeding, and mother is confident going home with adequate family support. A physical examination of mother and baby will be done before you leave. All the necessary documents and supportive information will also be provided.

Husband/ partner/ support persons in labour and birth

We welcome people who will support and encourage you throughout labour and birth.

Doulas

It is the woman’s choice who supports her during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period. A doula is a layperson, identified by the woman, who provides continuous support during the antenatal period, childbirth and the postnatal period. The doula attends as an employee of the woman. Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) is open to the use of doulas at birth, and maternity services will facilitate a productive, receptive environment for doulas to support women. However, HNELHD clearly states that it does not accept responsibility and is not accountable for any actions or advice given to labouring women by doulas.

Visitors

If there are some visitors you would like to visit you soon after the birth of your baby in the Birth Suite, we request that your visitors check at the Maternity unit reception desk before proceeding to your room. This is to protect your privacy and the privacy of other women in the unit.

Enquiries while in Birth Suite

To protect your privacy and confidentiality, information is not given to people enquiring about you without your consent.  We will take messages for you to contact the enquirers at a convenient time. 

Video recording and photography

We respect your wish to film labour and birth. However, all staff have the right to refuse to be identified on film or refuse filming during specific procedures. Please inform your midwife of your intention to film. If your baby is born in the Obstetric Operating Suite, only still photographs may be taken. 

Music for labour

You are welcome to play your own music using your own device. You are welcome to bring your own speaker dock for your smartphone or other devices suitable for playing your own music.

Children

There are no childcare facilities available at Armidale Hospital. If you wish to have your children present for labour and birth, we request you have one adult, other than your main support person to care and supervise.

Mobile phones

We ask that all mobile phones are turned to silent mode in the Birth Suite, and ward environments.

Keeping baby with you following birth

Your baby will remain with you following birth. Skin-to-skin is encouraged for a minimum of 1 hour after the birth or until the first breastfeed. Skin to skin contact stimulates the mothers’ production of the oxytocin hormone, which decreases bleeding, promotes bonding and breastfeeding. It allows the baby to smell, touch and know mum as well as stay warm. When the baby shows signs of readiness, he/she will be able to breastfeed.

It is strongly suggested that during this important time the baby stays with mum, rather than being handed around to other family members. The father of the baby has an important role in protecting the new mother and baby.

After your baby has fed, he / she will be weighed and measured. With your consent, Vitamin K (Konakion) and Hepatitis B vaccine injections will be given at this time. 

Two arm-bands with the baby’s correct identification details will be placed on the baby’s arm and leg – the midwife will ask you to check these details to ensure they are accurate. The armbands are routinely checked by the midwives. Should the armbands fall off, please tell the midwife as soon as you can so that new armbands can be provided.

If medical treatment is required for your baby, then he or she may be taken to the Special Care Nursery adjacent to the Birth Suite. As soon as possible, you will be able to visit and care for your baby.

What happens to the placenta (afterbirth)?

After the birth of your baby, the placenta will be disposed of in accordance with NSW Health Guidelines. 

On some occasions the placenta may be sent to the Pathology Department, for extra information. This may happen if you gave birth to twins, or if you or your baby has a serious medical or obstetric condition. If you would like to take your placenta home please talk to your midwife.

Stem cell collection and storage

If you are interested in the collection of stem cells from your baby’s cord blood for possible future use, you need to organise this with one of the private companies several weeks before coming to hospital to birth your baby. You will need to organise the collection, equipment, courier service and storage with the private company.