​Birthing Suite/Labour Ward

​What to bring when you are in labour 

It is important that you bring your hand held antenatal record to hospital with you when you present in labour, this provides us with your history and plan of management for labour and birth.

Please ensure that you bring your antenatal record with you at all times and present it to the midwife or receptionist when you arrive at the Birthing Suite.

A plan for going home after birth

For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience.  Rather than stay in hospital after your baby is born, you may prefer to take advantage of early discharge with a Home Midwifery Service (HMS) where available, this is sometimes referred to as a Community Midwifery Service (CMP).

Provided both mother and baby are well and baby has had the first feed, mothers who are going home with Home Midwifery Service support may leave hospital quite soon after birth. Some may even go home straight from the Birthing Suite.  

Before you go home, a physical examination (mother/baby check) will be done and you will be given all the necessary documents and supportive information you will need.

Most women who stay in hospital after a normal birth will be discharged by day two. Women who have a Caesarean Section will usually be in hospital for between three and five days.

Make sure you have your baby capsule in the car to safely transport baby home.  

After you go home, a midwife from the Home Midwifery Service or you Group Practice midwife may call you to arrange a suitable time to drop by for after-birth home visits.

Husband/partner/support persons in labour and birth

Our Maternity Units welcome people who will support and encourage you throughout labour and birth.  

Most Maternity Units, depending on the size of their birthing rooms and individual protocols will have room for two support people at any one time.

Supporting you and ensuring you remain the focus of our attention and care is important.


It is up to you who will support you during pregnancy, labour, birth and after birth.

A doula is a layperson, identified by the woman, who provides continuous support during pregnancy, childbirth and after birth. The doula attends as an employee of the woman and will be made welcome by our staff. HNE Health does not accept responsibility and is not accountable for any actions or advice given to labouring women by doulas. 


Visitors are welcome in the birthing unit after the birth of your baby, for your own privacy and the privacy of other women please advise your visitors to check at the reception desk before proceeding to your room.  

Labour and birth enquiries 

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.

Videos recording and photography

You may wish to take photographs or video while you are in hospital, however, staff do have the right to refuse to be identified in photographs or on film and may refuse filming during specific procedures.  Please discuss this with your midwife. 

If your baby is born in the operating suite, only still photographs may be taken.

Mobile Phones

We ask that all mobile phones are turned to silent mode in the birth suite and ward environments.


Childcare facilities are not available in hospital.  If you wish to have your children present for labour and birth, we request you have one adult for each child so they are supported and can freely leave your room under supervision if necessary.

Keeping baby with you following birth

Your baby will remain with you following birth. Skin-to-skin is encouraged for at least one hour following birth. This 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. Skin-skin also stimulates the mothers’ production of the oxytocin hormone, which helps her uterus to contract and minimise bleeding.

We recommend that for the first 24 hours your baby is mainly handled by you and your partner. 

It is strongly suggested that during the important time immediately following birth that 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, and may be bathed. 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 with them to ensure they are accurate.  

After birth, during your hospital stay the armbands are routinely checked every day by the midwives.  Sometimes the armbands may fall off the baby while you are still in hospital.  Should the armbands fall off please tell the midwife as soon as you can so that new armbands can be provided.

Babies who require admission to the nursery

If medical treatment is required for your baby, they may be taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Special Care Nursery. Babies born in some of our smaller rural hospitals who require medical care may be transferred a larger hospital which will have more specialised care available.

In these circumstances plans will usually be made to transfer the mother as well. If your baby requires a long stay in hospital staff will provide assistance for you and your family to find accommodation close to the hospital to keep you near to your baby. As soon as your baby is well enough they will be transferred back to your local hospital.