Armidale - Postnatal unit

During your stay on the maternity unit, you will be supported by midwives who will assist you to develop the skills to care for your baby and gain confidence as a new parent. There is inpatient education on the ward such a baby bathing demonstrations. These are all great opportunities to gain confidence as new parents.

When you first arrive to the unit, the midwife caring for you will discuss a plan of care for your stay including discharge planning.

Accommodation options

Within hours of birth, you and your baby may go home if you are both well and your baby has fed. If you choose or need to stay in hospital, your care will be provided in the Maternity unit. For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience, which does not necessitate a long stay in hospital.

The postnatal ward at Armidale Hospital has mostly single bed rooms. Family members are unable to stay overnight with the mother and baby unless there are significant health concerns with the mother or baby. A small fold out couch is available for use during these times.


It is important not to separate mothers from their babies, so mothers keep their baby at the bedside with them, 24 hours a day. The midwives will assist and provide support with all aspects of baby’s care.  Please ask for assistance if required. There is also a Mother and Baby Care Board near each bed which is a very useful way to request support. We also ask that this board is used to communicate with the staff if you are leaving the ward for any reason. We request that you write your mobile phone number and the approximate time of your return to the ward.

Feeding your baby

The midwives caring for you are able to give assistance, support and advice with breastfeeding.

If you are artificially feeding your baby, you will need to bring a tin of your choice of infant formula with you, sterile bottles and teats, to use in hospital.

Support for breastfeeding your baby when you go home:

  • A Breastfeeding Clinic is available for women with a baby less than 4 weeks old. For appointments please  telephone: 6776 9642
  • Child and Family Health Nurse provides long-term ongoing feeding and parenting support. You will be linked to this free service before discharge from our maternity service.
  • The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) provides breastfeeding support in the community.
    24-hour phone number: 1800 6862686 (1800 MUM 2 MUM); while membership supports this valuable organisation,               non-members can still receive support
  • Look for Useful Contacts leaflet in your postnatal pack for useful phone numbers.

Armidale Hospital Routine screening for your baby

Routine screening as outlined in the NSW Health Having a Baby book will be done in the early postnatal days. You will be offered a screening test for hearing for your baby soon after birth. About one to two babies out of every 1000 will have a significant hearing loss. This screening program is called the NSW State-wide Infant Screening Hearing program (SWISH), and is available in the postnatal ward.

Newborn Bloodspot Screening will be done around day 2-3 by your midwife or a pathology technician.

Transport for going home

Please plan for your transport home. You will need an approved baby restraint fitted to your car. Ideally this should be in place around 34-36 weeks pregnant. The Transport NSW website can help you locate a fitting station near you.

Discharging Home

Discuss with your midwife your needs for discharge. Ensure that you arrange on the previous evening for someone to collect you
Please note:  Discharge time on the postnatal ward is between the hours of 10-11am.

Mothers with babies in SCN

Sometimes babies requiring care in the SCN may need a longer hospital stay than the mother. In these instances the mother will be discharged from hospital before the baby. Mothers will be a boarder within the maternity unit until their baby is discharged or transferred to another facility.