General information for maternity inpatients - Gunnedah

What to bring to hospital when having your baby

Please bring all you need for yourself and your baby for one day in 1-2 small overnight bags, as space is limited in the hospital.

For the mother

  • 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 nonperishable; 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 WH&S 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

For baby

  • An outfit to go home
  • Gunnedah Maternity provides baby singlets, gowns, and cloth nappies, bunny rugs, bonnets and bootees during the stay.
  • Optional: bath solution or baby soap, baby lotion or wipes (just water for baby is fine)
  • Disposable nappies if desired, although staff may suggest cloth to assess fluid status.
  • If you are formula feeding your baby, bring a tin of your choice of infant formula, bottles and teats. The hospital uses Milton solution to sterilise bottles and teats but does have a microwave if steam steriliser is used.
  • 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.

Mother and Baby Care Boards

Near each bed you will notice a Mother and Baby Care Board. We use these boards in all ward areas across the hospital to communicate the daily and anticipated plan for care between the woman, the family and carer and healthcare team.

Ward staff will update the board each shift, and you or your family or carer can write comments and questions on it at any time. If you have any questions regarding your care board, please ask one of our staff members. For your safety, we want to work together to plan your care and know what is important to you.

PLEASE INFORM US WHEN YOU LEAVE THE WARD

We need to check if there is anything we should do for you before you go, and confirm what time you plan to return.

REACH: Recognise, Engage, Act, Call, Help

If you or a family member becomes concerned about your condition while in hospital:

  • Have you spoken to your midwife or doctor?
  • Have your concerns been answered?
  • Are you still concerned?

If so, ask your midwife for a ‘Clinical Review’, or you can dial 0428628354 in business hours and 67678195 to call an emergency response.

A REACH poster will be displayed beside your bed with this information.

Clinical handover

At Gunnedah Maternity we aim to provide excellent healthcare for every woman, every time. An important part of this commitment is staff performing a clinical handover at the bedside every shift.

At the handover, the midwife who has been caring for you provides information regarding your care and reason for your admission to the midwife who will be looking after you during the next shift.

The staff will involve you in this process, which will allow you to participate in the planning of your care and ensure that the information that is exchanged is accurate. You will also have an opportunity at this time to ask any questions regarding your care.

Hand Hygiene

To help prevent infection the following rules are for all visitors for the Gunnedah Hospital:

  • Gel hands on entering unit
  • Gel hands on entering patient’s rooms
  • Gel hands on exit from patient’s room
  • Inform staff if you are unwell

Providing a safe environment for clients and staff

Creating a safe environment for patients, visitors to our hospital and our staff is our priority. Any behaviour which compromises the safety of mothers and babies will not be tolerated. Any behaviour which disrupts the ability of our staff to fulfil their duty of care will also not be tolerated.

Should any person display such behaviour they may be asked to leave.

Security

The hospital has a lock down period between 8pm and 7am. During these hours, entrance and exit to Gunnedah Hospital is via the Emergency Department entrance only.

Belongings and Valuables

To minimise the chance of misplacing your belongings it is helpful if your items are marked with an identifying label, especially valuables such as glasses and phone chargers.

We do our best to ensure all private items are returned to you if misplaced but we cannot take responsibility for lost items.

Valuable items are best left at home for safekeeping. There is no secure environment on the wards to store valuable items.

Car Parking

Car parking is available at Gunnedah Hospital.

Visiting Hours

Gunnedah Maternity’s visiting hours are from 11am to 8pm. We acknowledge that new mothers need rest and so we encourage a rest period on the wards between 1pm and 3pm each day.

The majority of our beds are in two-bed rooms, so when visiting we ask that you are mindful of respecting the other women and babies on the ward.

We also request that visitors are up-to-date with the whooping cough vaccination when visiting new babies, and if feeling unwell with colds and flu-like illness, please avoid visiting new mothers and babies.

Mealtimes

Meal times are approximately:

  • Breakfast - 7.30am
  • Lunch- 12.00pm
  • Dinner - 5.00pm

A small kitchen is located on each ward with tea, coffee making facilities, ice machine, refrigerator, toaster and microwave.
Please be mindful of safe food handling practices at all times.

Smoke Free Health Service

Gunnedah Hospital are smoke-free health services. Smoking is not permitted in the hospital or on hospital grounds. The midwife caring for you will assist you with smoking cessation support if required.

Televisions

Televisions are available for your use at each ward bed at no cost. The television service includes all major television channels.

We ask that you consider any others in the room in relation to TV usage and noise.

Other Services Available

Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care

Pastoral Carers are available to all patients. Please ask one of our friendly staff to contact the service if required. The Gunnedah Hospital Chapel is located near the Maternity unit entrance and is open at all times.

Places to eat

Gunnedah Hospital has a small kiosk operated by the Hospital auxiliary that provides hot and cold food between the hours of 9am and 3pm. This is located down the steps from General Ward.

There is also a small café called the Poets corner, attached to Mackellar Health, which is in the hospital grounds. The hours of operation are 7am until 1pm and provide hot and cold food and various beverages including coffee.

Within the hospital there is a vending machine for snacks and a drink machine.

Accommodation for Families

Gunnedah hospital has no allocated accommodation for families of patients. At booking – in, families from out of the area are  given a list of accommodation options in Gunnedah that they can select from.