Postnatal unit - Gunnedah
During your stay on the postnatal ward, you will be supported by midwives who will assist you to develop the skills to care for your baby. There are opportunities for inpatient education sessions on the ward such a baby bathing demonstration. These are all great opportunities to gain confidence as new parents.
When you first arrive to the postnatal ward, the midwife caring for you will discuss a plan of care for your stay including discharge planning.
For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience, which does not necessitate a long stay in hospital.
The Maternity ward at Gunnedah Hospital is a 9 bed combined antenatal and postnatal ward and has mostly shared two bed rooms. This means that family members are unable to stay overnight with the mother and baby. There is 1 single room available. Women with more complicated antenatal or postnatal stays are allocated to the single room as first priority. We also attempt to meet the needs of women who have private health insurance by offering a single room whenever possible.
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.
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. We provide sterilisation of equipment with Milton solution or microwave steam steriliser.
Support for breastfeeding your baby when you go home
Kaleidoscope (Child and Family Health Nursing Service) provide Breastfeeding Clinics in larger communities.
- 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.
- 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.
- Look for Who Can I Call? Refer to your baby’s blue book for useful phone numbers.
Physiotherapy after your birth
If required, your midwife may refer you to our physiotherapist who will see you while in hospital or as an outpatient. For further information, phone physiotherapy on (02) 67418093 or ask your midwife.
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 at your local Early Childhood and Family Centre if you go home early.
Newborn Bloodspot Screening will be done around day 3-4 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.
Discuss with your midwife your needs for discharge. Ensure that you arrange on the previous evening for someone to collect you.