Singleton Postnatal Unit
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. Singleton Hospital does not have a Home Midwifery Service, we ask you to return to the hospital between 48-72 hours after the birth of you baby for a postnatal check, baby check Newborn Screen Test and Baby weigh. We schedule these visits between 1:30pm and 3pm seven days per week.
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 postnatal ward at Singleton Hospital has one shared four-bed rooms and three single room for women with private health cover. A family member can only stay if you are in a single room. At times the single rooms are allocated to women admitted during pregnancy to facilitate a restful environment.
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:
- Singleton Hospital does not have a Breastfeeding Clinic however you may be referred to a lactation consultant through the Family Care Cottage at Maitland.
- You are able to contact the Maternity Unit for Breastfeeding advice and speck to a Midwife up to four weeks of age.
- 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 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 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. If you go home before test is done we will ask you to return to Maternity with your baby to have it done.
Baby hip checks will be performed by GP or Child and Family Health Nurse.
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.