During your stay on the maternity unit, you will be supported by midwives who will assist you to develop the skills to care for your baby and gain confidence as a new parent.
When you first arrive to the unit, the midwife caring for you will discuss a plan of care for your stay including discharge planning.
Within hours of birth, you and your baby may go home if you are both well and your baby has fed. This enables you to be cared for in the comfort of your own home with supportive midwifery care provided by regular visits from the Home Midwifery Service (HMS). If you choose or need to stay in hospital, your care will be provided in the hospital’s postnatal unit. For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience, which does not necessitate a long stay in hospital.
The Maternity Unit has mostly shared two-bed rooms and a four bed room. This means that family members are unable to stay overnight with the mother and baby. A single room is available for women and babies with more complicated postnatal stays.
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. We also ask that this board is used to communicate with the staff if you are leaving the ward for any reason. We request that you write your mobile phone number and the approximate time of your return to the ward.
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.
Support for breastfeeding your baby when you go home
Home Midwifery Service midwives will provide assistance during the first few days.
- The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) provides breastfeeding support in the community. 24-hour phone number: 1800 686 268 (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 Useful Contacts leaflet in your postnatal pack for useful phone numbers.
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 which is completed by the midwives.
Newborn Bloodspot Screening will be done around day 2-3 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.