​Birth Suite

The Birth Suite is located on level 2 from the main entrance on York Street.
Entrance between 8.00pm and 6.00am is via the Emergency Department located on High Street.
Day Stay Unit is located on the Ground level in the Allied Health department.

When you arrive at Manning Hospital, follow the signs to the Maternity Unit on level 2, press the ‘labour ward’ buzzer and a staff member will open the door for you and ask you to proceed straight to the Birth Suite reception desk. You will be met by a midwife who will take you to an available room.

Day Stay Unit

The Day Stay Unit (located on Ground level in the Allied Health department) is an area where pregnant women may be directed to go following an antenatal clinic visit, or after speaking with a midwife in Birth Suite. Reasons may include: being more than 41 weeks pregnant, waters leaking after 37 weeks and not in labour, high blood pressure, and other events. While in the Day Stay Unit, a comprehensive assessment will be undertaken, and this could take up to 4 hours. You may be admitted to maternity or discharged home with a follow up plan of care.

Travelling to have your baby in hospital

  • Contact the midwife in the Birthing Service (or your own midwife as arranged) for advice.
  • Wear a sanitary pad (or more!).
  • Have your support person drive safely, and use your seat belt with lap belt positioned below your baby.  Have old towels available to catch leaks if they occur, and an old ice-cream bucket in case of nausea or vomiting.
  • In NSW, an ambulance ride can be very expensive; it is strongly suggested that you join an ambulance fund for your family emergency situations, if you are not already covered by private health insurance (this may be done through any major private health fund office or online).
  • Bring your antenatal record. Your antenatal record provides us with your history and plan of management for labour and birth. Please carry it at all times, and present it to the midwife on your arrival to the Birth Suite.

A plan for going home after birth

For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience. Many women choose to go home from the hospital soon after the baby is born, and take advantage of our Home Midwifery Service (HMS). This is dependent on both mother and baby being well, baby has had the first feed, and mother is confident going home with adequate family support. You can go home straight from Birth Suite. A physical examination of mother and baby will be done before you leave. All the necessary documents and supportive information will also be provided. The midwife from the HMS Practice will contact you the day after your birth and inform you of an approximate time for your home visit. They may visit you for up to about 7 days after birth, depending on your circumstances.

Husband/ partner/ support persons in labour and birth

We welcome people who will support and encourage you throughout labour and birth. There is room for a maximum of two support people at any one time in the Birth Suite.

Doulas

It is the woman’s choice who supports her during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period. A doula is a layperson, identified by the woman, who provides continuous support during the antenatal period, childbirth and the postnatal period. The doula attends as an employee of the woman. Under normal circumstances each woman is able to have two support people with her in delivery suite. A doula is to be considered one of the two support people.

Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) is open to the use of doulas at birth, and maternity services will facilitate a productive, receptive environment for doulas to support women. However, HNELHD clearly states that it does not accept responsibility and is not accountable for any actions or advice given to labouring women by doulas.

Visitors

If there are some visitors you would like to visit you soon after the birth of your baby in the Birth Suite, we request that your visitors check at the Birth Suite desk before proceeding to your room. This is to protect your privacy and the privacy of other women in the unit. Please be aware that there is no waiting room for visitors in the Birth Suite.

Enquiries while in Birth Suite

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. 

Video recording and photography

We respect your wish to film labour and birth. However, all staff have the right to refuse to be identified on film or refuse filming during specific procedures. Please inform your midwife of your intention to film. If your baby is born in the Obstetric Operating Suite, only still photographs may be taken. 

Music for labour

Within each Birth Suite room there is either a speaker dock or CD player available for you to play your own music using your own device. You are also welcome to bring your own speaker dock for your smartphone if you would prefer.

Children

There are no childcare facilities available in the maternity unit. If you wish to have your children present for labour and birth, we request you have one adult, other than your main support person to care and supervise. However, the limit of two additional people at a time will also need to be considered.

Mobile phones

We ask that all mobile phones are turned to silent mode in the Birth Suite, and ward environments.

Keeping baby with you following birth

Your baby will remain with you following birth. Skin-to-skin is encouraged for a minimum of 1 hour after the birth or until the first breastfeed. Skin to skin contact stimulates the mothers’ production of the oxytocin hormone, which decreases bleeding, promotes bonding and breastfeeding. It 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.

It is strongly suggested that during this important time 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. 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 to ensure they are accurate.

The armbands are routinely checked by the midwives. Should the armbands fall off, please tell the midwife as soon as you can so that new armbands can be provided.

If medical treatment is required for your baby, then he or she may be taken to the Special Care Nursery adjacent to the Birth Suite. As soon as possible, you will be able to visit and care for your baby.

What happens to the placenta (afterbirth)?

After the birth of your baby, the placenta will be disposed of in accordance with NSW Health Guidelines. 

On some occasions the placenta may be sent to the Pathology Department, for extra information. This may happen if you gave birth to twins, or if you or your baby has a serious medical or obstetric condition. If you would like to take your placenta home please talk to your midwife.

Stem cell collection and storage

If you are interested in the collection of stem cells from your baby’s cord blood for possible future use, you need to organise this with one of the private companies several weeks before coming to hospital to birth your baby. You will need to organise the collection, equipment, courier service and storage with the private company.