Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Now that you are pregnant you will need to decide where you have your pregnancy care and where you have your baby. This will depend on your general health, your preferences, where you live and your previous birth experiences.
There are 13 public hospitals within our District offer pregnancy, birth and after birth care in hospital and/or at home. All of our maternity hospitals are part of a network. Not all of our hospitals have the same facilities and therefor some women during pregnancy may need to be transferred to another hospital as close to home as possible to be able to receive the necessary care for them and their babies.
At your first visit to the hospital for your pregnancy, your booking in visit a midwife will discuss options for your pregnancy care, we often refer to these as ‘models of care’.
This can include:
Aboriginal Mothers and Babies Team (AMIHS) antenatal/postnatal service
What to bring to hospital when you are having your baby
Please bring all you need
for yourself and your baby for one day in 1-2 small overnight bags
- Antenatal Record
- You are encouraged to wear your own clothes during labour and birth. A comfortable cotton nightshirt or long T-shirt or sarongs are suitable (you may need more than one if you wish to be covered while in the shower or bath)
- Extra sarong or long scarf to hold heat pack in place as a comfort aid during labour
- Comfortable underwear
- Sanitary adhesive pads
- Maternity bras or "crop top," breast (nursing) pads (disposable or cloth, not plastic lined)
- Comfortable clothing, suitable when breastfeeding: T-shirts, shorts/trousers or leggings for day wear, pyjamas, nightshirts, dressing gown;
- Non slip footwear
- Toiletries, tissues, etc
- Massage oil
- Your favourite food and drink to keep up your energy levels, preferably these should be non-perishable; special foods that require cooling or heating must be carried and stored following Safe Food Handling Guidelines
- MP3 or iPod, with selection of music, relaxation and/or affirmations for different stages of labour; some speakers available, but you may bring your own, labelled (all optional but may be helpful)
- Mobile phone
- Camera or smart phone (still photos only)
- Note pad/ book and pen
- Please leave all valuables at home – there is nowhere to secure them safely in the hospital
For the Support person:
- Wear 'closed' shoes for safety in the Birthing Service
- Change of clothes/board shorts if assisting mother in shower or bath
- Jacket or warm clothing for cool air conditioning
- Snacks and drinks (following Safe Food Handling Guidelines)
- Toothbrush & paste
Suggestions for baby
(these items are generally not supplied, although some of our smaller rural maternity facilities do have baby clothes – please check with your maternity service):
- At least three singlets
- At least three sets of clothing (every day clothes, not good ones!)
- At least three bunny rugs/baby wraps (suggest brushed cotton if cold weather, fine cotton or muslin type if warm weather)
- One packet of cotton buds (for 'cord' care)
- Optional: bath solution or baby soap, baby lotion or wipes (just water for baby is fine)
- Disposable nappies will be supplied during your hospital stay
- If you are formula feeding your baby, bring a tin of your choice of infant formula. Sterile bottles and teats will be provided only while you are in hospital
- An approved baby restraint as required by law should be fitted to your car; it is strongly suggested that you do this when you are about 34-36 weeks pregnant. If you need help with this, check the Transport NSW website for fitting stations located near you.
When you should contact your midwife, doctor or the hospital
You are the best judge of how active your baby usually is. It is important to let your midwife or doctor know if there has been any change in your baby’s usual movements
If you have any vaginal bleeding or change in vaginal discharge
Your waters break or if you have a constant clear watery vaginal discharge
Feeling unwell with fever, chills or a temperature more than 37.8° C
Severe nausea and repeated vomiting persistent headaches that won’t go away
Headaches, blurred vision, or spots before your eyes or sudden swelling in the feet, hands and face
Sharp pains in the abdomen (with or without bleeding)
Pain or burning when you pass urine or you suspect you have a urinary tract infection
Irregular painful contractions at any time
Persistent itchy skin
Exposure to someone suffering from rubella (German measles) or chickenpox
Any trauma such as assault, a car accident or a significant fall
Labour has started and you feel it is time to come to hospital.
An environment of learning and education
HNE Health plays a key role in preparing medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health staff for future service to the community. This means there maybe medical, nursing and midwifery students assisting experienced doctors and midwives, and you will encounter them during your hospital stay.
You may be invited to participate in a research project. The person who seeks your participation will provide you with information and if you agree, obtain your written consent agreeing to participate in a research project.
Courtesy services from hospital volunteers
Most of our hospitals have volunteer courtesy services including a trolley service that brings magazines, newspapers, sweets and toiletries for sale to all ward areas.
Most hospitals also have gift shops which are staffed by volunteers and sell a range of sweets, toiletries and gifts, souvenirs, clothing and baby goods. All proceeds from the sale of items are donated back to the hospital.
With an increasing number of people being allergic to latex, please let your friends and relatives know that regular latex balloons are not accepted in any hospital wards. Foil balloons are okay.
It may also be a good time to think about flowers in hospital. While they beautifully mark a wonderful event, many people find the pollens and perfume overwhelming.
Planning to care for baby in hospital and take baby home
Please clearly mark your surname on your baby’s clothes and linen.
It is important to organise for the approved infant or baby restraint to be installed in your car when you are about 34 to 36 weeks pregnant.