When you should contact Armidale hospital
Please phone Armidale Hospital Birth Suite 67769642 immediately for advice if any of these occur:
- Your baby stops moving or there is an obvious reduction in your baby’s movements at any time during your pregnancy
- Trauma to the abdomen, assault, serious fall or car accident
- Vaginal bleeding at any time
- Sharp pains in the abdomen with or without vaginal bleeding
- Your waters break or if you have a constant clear watery vaginal discharge
- Fever or chills, temperature over 37.8 degrees
- Severe nausea and persistent vomiting
- Recurring and persistent headaches
- Blurred vision or spots before your eyes
- Pain or burning on passing urine
- Contractions at any time before 37 weeks
- Sudden swelling of the face, hands or feet
- Persistently itchy skin, especially hands and feet
- Labour has started and you feel it is time to come to hospital
- Booked Caesarean birth and labour commences
Antenatal clinical general information
The first Booking-in antenatal visit
All women, regardless of their model of care (ie Obstetric, GP or midwife led) will have their Booking in visit with a midwife at the Armidale Maternity Unit. This is a comprehensive visit where we will discuss your previous medical history, family medical history, and your general well-being. This is to determine ways we can provide you with appropriate care and support throughout your pregnancy and to ensure your pregnancy care meets your needs.
You can expect your first appointment to take about one and a half hours. Please arrive at the clinic at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment time, this will allow time to complete your paperwork before you see the midwife. A client registration form will need to be completed this includes details of Medicare card, any health insurance, next of kin, etc and will be reconfirmed on your admission. Your partner or support person is always welcome at your visits, but due to the length and personal nature of your first visit, we ask that you attend this appointment alone where possible. Your next appointment will be booked before you leave your booking visit should your chosen model of care be hospital based.
Specialty obstetric care
We have a range of specialist services for women with broader issues that may affect their well-being during the pregnancy, including women with physical or intellectual disability, or concerns with substance use. This is in the form of a High Risk clinic which operates twice per week. There are also specialist clinics for women with conditions such as diabetes or other medical conditions that may impact on the pregnancy or the baby’s well-being.
These services have staff with expertise in social support, mental wellbeing, counselling, diet, physiotherapy, peer support.
If you need support from specialist services, it will be arranged by the midwife completing your booking visit or by the team providing your pregnancy care. Referral may be required to another specialist services outside of this local area, such as John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and will be determined on a case by case assessment.
The Antenatal Clinic at Armidale Hospital is often very busy. While we make every effort to keep appointment times, the clinic does sometimes run late. We ask for your patience during these times and will endeavour to keep you well informed.
Ultrasound and pathology results
Routine antenatal care involves blood and urine tests, and ultrasounds examinations. These test results are made available to you at your next antenatal visit appointment. All abnormal results that require follow up will be communicated to you by your care provider. We ask that, where possible, that you do not phone for test results.
Students at Armidale
The Armidale Hospital is a teaching hospital, providing important training opportunities for a wide range of health care professionals. Students are always under the direct supervision of an experienced practitioner. You will be asked permission before a student observes or participates in your care and you have the right to say no. Your wishes will be respected at all times and this will not affect your care.
Our future midwives, the midwifery students are available to share your pregnancy journey with you, and can provide a familiar face throughout your pregnancy, birth and postnatal experience. Speak to your midwife if you would like to be part of this special program.
You may be invited to participate in research projects taking place at the Armidale Hospital. These projects are designed to increase our knowledge about pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, so that we may improve our services for your care and for women in the future. Participation in research is completely voluntary. The standard of care you receive will not be affected in any way if you choose not to take part.
Overseas Visitors or those who don’t have a Medicare card
Armidale Hospital is a public health care facility. All patients must have a Medicare card. Women not eligible for Medicare benefits will be asked to pay a fee at each visit; this may be reimbursed later by their own Health Insurance Fund.
Armidale - Antenatal Admission
Some women will require admission to hospital during their pregnancy for their health or the health of their unborn baby.
In the Maternity Unit, we aim to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Our team of midwives will care for you throughout your stay. Our team of staff doctors will visit you daily and develop a plan of care for you. If you are under the care of a GP obstetrician, he/she will visit you on the ward.
The circumstances that led you to the admission may cause you some stress; for example, you may be facing a long stay due to difficulties with your pregnancy. Please discuss these issues with your midwife. We have additional staff who may offer you support to meet your needs.
Located on the wall at each bedside you will find a patient care board which is a useful communication tool between you or your family and your care providers. Here you can write down questions, your midwife can write down what is happening for that day or perhaps you can write down reminders for questions to discuss with your doctor.
We encourage expectant mothers to have a rest period between 1pm and 3pm each day. You may like to communicate this to your friends and family.
Your midwife will be available to offer education and discuss a range of topics with you during your stay. There are a range of educational resources available to support your learning. Talk to your midwife or use your patient care board as a reminder to staff.
While an inpatient on the ward, please inform staff if you intend to leave the ward area for any reason and advise them of your estimated time of return. This helps us to keep you safe and provide you with the best care possible.
What to bring to hospital when having your baby
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)
- Comfortable underwear
- Sanitary adhesive pads (Maternity 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; bring your own speakers if required, 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 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
Armidale Hospital supplies some basic baby clothes, cloth nappies and bunny rugs to use whilst you are in hospital. Or you may choose to bring in your own.
- At least three sets of clothing (every day clothes, not good ones!)
- Bunny rugs/baby wraps (suggest brushed cotton if cold weather, fine cotton or muslin type if warm weather) to take baby home in.
- Optional: bath solution or baby soap, baby lotion or wipes (just water for baby is fine)
- Disposable nappies (Cloth nappies are available in the maternity unit)
- If you are formula feeding your baby, bring a tin of your choice of infant formula. Sterile bottles and teats will be provided only while you are in hospital
- 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 0428256040 to call an emergency response.
A REACH poster will be displayed beside your bed with this information.
At Armidale Hospital 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.
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.
To help prevent infection the following rules are for all visitors for the Armidale 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.
The hospital has a lock down period between 6pm and 6am. The main entrance of the hospital can be used until 8pm and then access to the hospital is through the Emergency Department.
Security cameras are located in most areas throughout the hospital.
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 is available at Armidale Hospital on the Street and in West Ave Parking area.
Armidale Hospital Visiting Hours are 8am until 1pm and 3pm until 8pm. This is flexible to ensure that new mothers are supported by their significant others. We acknowledge that new mothers need rest and so we encourage a rest period on the wards between 1pm and 3pm each day.
Although the majority of our beds are single rooms, when visiting we ask that you are mindful of this quiet period for your family member and for other women and babies on the ward.
We 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 to not come to the hospital and to avoid visiting new mothers and babies.
Smoke Free Health Service
Armidale Hospital is a smoke-free health service. 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.
Other Services Available
Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care
Chaplains and Pastoral Carers are available to all patients and visitors. Please ask one of our friendly staff to contact the service if required. The Armidale Hospital Chapel is located near the main entrance and is open at all times.
Places to eat
Hospital Kiosk located near the main entrance of the hospital
Crosswords Café Cnr of Butler and Rusden Streets opposite the hospital
Accommodation for Families
There is a small amount of hospital accommodation available on the hospital grounds with priority given to immediate family members of women from out of town.