When you should contact Muswellbrook hospital
Please phone Muswellbrook Hospital Birth Suite on 65422023 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 clinic general information
The first Booking-in antenatal visit
All women will have their first visit with a midwife at Muswellbrook Maternity. 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 15 minutes prior to your appointment time, this will allow time to complete your paperwork before you see the midwife. 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 first visit.
Booking-in to hospital (admission procedures)
This is different to the antenatal ‘Booking-in’ visit. All hospital inpatients must complete admission procedures, including details of Medicare card, any health insurance, next of kin, etc. As pregnant women know they will be inpatients at some time in the near future, it is suggested that these are completed well ahead of the baby’s due birth date.
Specialty obstetric care
For women requiring specialist maternity care, the woman may be referred to either the Maitland Hospital or the John Hunter Hospital for pregnancy care and for the birth of her baby and will be determined on a case by case assessment.
The Antenatal Clinic at Muswellbrook Maternity can be busy. While we make every effort to keep appointment times, the clinic may occasionally 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 Muswellbrook Hospital
The Muswellbrook 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 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
The Muswellbrook 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.
What to bring to hospital when having your baby
Please bring all you need for yourself and your baby for one day in 1-2 small overnight bags, as space is limited in the hospital.
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 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,
- 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
- Phone or iPod, with selection of music, relaxation and/or affirmations for different stages of labour; some speakers available, but you may bring your own, 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 safety 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
- At least three singlets
- At least three sets of clothing (every day clothes, not good ones!)
- At least three bunny rugs/baby wraps (suggest brushed cotton if cold weather, fine cotton or muslin type if warm weather)
- One packet of cotton buds (for ‘cord’ care)
- Optional: bath solution or baby soap, baby lotion or wipes (just water for baby is fine)
- Disposable nappies will be supplied during your hospital stay
- 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 0265929014 to call an emergency response.
A REACH poster will be displayed beside your bed with this information.
At Muswellbrook 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 every shift.
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 Muswellbrook 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 8pm and 6am. During these hours, entrance and exit to Birthing and Maternity Unit is via the Emergency Department only.
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 Muswellbrook Hospital at no cost. Street parking is also available around the hospital, please be aware of time restrictions in some of these areas.
Muswellbrook Hospital has an open visiting policy. We acknowledge that new mothers need rest and so we encourage a rest period on the wards between 1pm and 3pm each day.
The majority of our beds are in two-bed rooms, and one four bed room, so 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 also 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, please avoid visiting new mothers and babies
Smoke Free Health Service
Muswellbrook 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.