Hospital birth

Our expert team of midwives and doctors works hard to give you the care and support you need to have a safe and satisfying birth. Every woman has her own ideas about how she would like her baby to be born – whether at home or in hospital – and we do our best to help you to achieve this.

Visiting times (all maternity wards):
Partners/siblings of the baby (only): 8am-8pm
Other visitors: 6-8pm
Labour Ward - there is no general visiting allowed. Only birthing partners and siblings of the new baby allowed.

If you choose hospital as the place to have your baby, you will be in one of our maternity wards at Hillingdon Hospital. They have recently undergone a massive £1.5 refurbishment, including a completely new, state-of-the-art delivery theatre. In addition to the labour rooms, there is a Day Assessment Unit where we can monitor any problems you are having.

Amenity rooms

After the birth of your baby we can offer an amenity room if one is available. The cost is currently £110 for a room with a shared bathroom, or £160 with individual bathroom, per night. Unfortunately these rooms cannot be booked in advance but please mention your request to the labour ward midwife after the birth of your baby. Every effort will be made to accommodate your request if a room is available. The cost of the room does not include any private care or separate menus.

Amenity rooms request form (224KB)

Who will be with me during my hospital birth? »

Day Assessment Unit »

This service is designed for women who may be showing signs of early complications, but do not require admission to hospital. It allows for your pregnancy to be more closely monitored. If you require an appointment in this unit your midwife or obstetrician will give you information on what to expect.

Maternity Triage »

The Maternity Triage is an assessment area adjacent to the Antenatal clinic which is staffed by a midwife 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It is available to women 18 weeks pregnant and onwards who may require further care or assessment.
You should call the maternity triage if you:

  • Think you may be in labour
  • Have any vaginal bleeding
  • Think your waters may have broken
  • Have a change in the pattern of baby’s movements
  • Have any itching on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet
  • Have a headache or visual disturbances
  • Have any abdominal pains
  • Are worried and require any advice

Triage contact number – 01895 279054

The midwives working in Triage take telephone referrals from the women themselves or from GPs and community midwives. The midwives will be able to assess you and give you appropriate advice as to whether you need to come in to the unit, stay at home or even be seen by your own GP.

On arrival at triage, the midwife will take your history and undertake an initial assessment. Maternity Triage can be a very busy area, and women will be seen on a priority of care basis. We are about to implement a ‘traffic light’ system in order to streamline our service.  This will mean that you will be assessed according to clinical need and allocated as either Red, Amber or Green.

Red       =     Review within 15 minutes of arrival
Amber   =     Review within 90 minutes of arrival
Green    =     Review within 4 hours of arrival

Your patience is very much appreciated at this time and we aim to see everyone as soon as possible. We will try to keep you informed of the expected waiting times when you arrive.  In triage, we work very closely with our obstetricians and you may need to be seen by one of the Obstetric Team depending upon the reason for your referral.

Additional procedures including blood tests, blood pressure monitoring, and internal examinations may be performed if required.  We can also perform a CTG to monitor your baby’s heart rate if this is necessary.  

If you do not understand what is happening to you or you have any worries or questions, please ask the triage midwife.

Delivery Suite / Labour Ward »

Birthing Pool
Katherine Ward (antenatal)
Our labour ward has 11 birthing rooms. Ten of these rooms have recently been refurbished and now provide a light, spacious, home-from-home birthing environment with greatly improved facilities. All of our birthing rooms now benefit from en-suite bathrooms, music system and television. The labour ward also has two co-located maternity theatres and a two-bedded theatre recovery area.

We have one permanent birthing pool which can be used as a means of pain relief and relaxation, or for birth in the water. We also offer a 24 hour epidural service and have recently introduced a patient controlled epidural top-up service which has received very positive feedback from the women who have used it.

If there are no complications following the birth and you feel confident with feeding your baby, we are happy for you to go home between two and six hours after your baby has been born.

The latent phase of labour (pre-labour)
The majority of women who attend our triage do so because they believe that they might be in established labour.  Labour is thought to be established from when the cervix becomes 4cm dilated or more. There is however, an early phase of labour (the latent phase), when the cervix is closed until it dilates to 4cm. It does not last a specific amount of time and you can experience irregular, painful tightenings or contractions during this phase. Contractions can last 30 to 60 seconds, and can vary in frequency from five to 20 minutes apart. Some women have backache which comes and goes, or stomach cramps. These can all stop and then start up again later on. This is all perfectly normal and is unique to every woman. The latent phase can last up to 24 hours or more and can be extremely tiring. During this phase the cervix, which was previously long and closed during pregnancy, gradually thins out and begins to open and can often result in the passing of a mucousy ‘show’ from the vagina which might be clear or pinky in colour. This is perfectly normal.

There’s no place like home….
Entering a clinical hospital environment at this early stage can increase adrenaline levels, which suppress the body’s natural labour hormones and can slow down your labour. We therefore encourage women to stay at home or return home in the latent phase, where they will feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Here are things you can try at home to help you through the latent phase:

Water
A warm bath or shower can be extremely soothing and relaxing.  These can be taken at regular intervals. Be careful not to get overheated and if you do feel this way come out of the water, have a cold drink and cool off for a while.

Massage
Backache is one of the most common complaints in labour. Massage can be extremely useful in relieving this and can be done by your birth partner.  Massage can be particularly effective when focussing on the lower back.

Food and drink
Once you reach established labour you may not have much of an appetite so it is important in the latent phase to keep drinking and eating light meals or snacks to prepare you for active labour. Foods high in carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, oats and rice will help maintain energy levels.

TENS
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator machines are ideal to use in the latent phase of labour. The machines can be bought or hired during the pregnancy and work by delivering small electrical pulses to the body via electrodes placed on the skin. TENS machines are thought to affect the way pain signals are sent to the brain. They also stimulate the body to release its own pain relieving chemicals, called endorphins.

Paracetamol
Paracetamol tablets are perfectly safe to take during pregnancy and labour, and combined with baths and massage, are very useful in easing the discomfort of the latent phase. Take 1g every four to six hours.  Do not take more than eight (500mg) tablets in 24 hours.

Contacting the midwife
Once the contractions have become regular – at least three in 10 minutes, stronger and longer lasting and you have tried some or all the above, you may want to call for advice. The midwives will ask questions to ensure you and the baby are well, and you may be asked to attend the maternity unit, but will be advised appropriately.

Telephone numbers:
01895 279441
01895 279463
Any specific visiting restrictions:
Birthing partners only. No children until after baby is born, then only baby's siblings on the ward for a short period of time only.
Senior Midwife:
Labour ward co-ordinator
Manager:
Lyn McLaughlin

Antenatal Ward (Katherine Ward) »

Birthing Pool
Katherine Ward (antenatal)
Katherine Ward is a 17-bedded inpatient ward on the second floor. Four beds are for day assessment. There are nine single rooms allocated for women who have pregnancy complications, where mother's and baby’s health can be monitored. These are for women who are likely to stay a long time.
Telephone numbers:
01895 279462
01895 279935
Any specific visiting restrictions:
Three visitors only to each bed at any one time. No children under the age of 14 years old.
Senior Midwife:
Seleena Yates

Postnatal Ward (Alexander Ward) »

Birthing Pool
Katherine Ward (antenatal)
Alexander Ward is a 22-bedded inpatient ward situated on the third floor. The postnatal ward is where you will go after the birth of your baby (unless you go directly home). There are also five single-bedded rooms. The postnatal team here looks after both mother and baby in the postnatal period.

After the birth of your baby we can offer an amenity room if one is available. The cost is currently £110 for a room with a shared bathroom, or £160 for individual bathroom, per night. Unfortunately these rooms cannot be booked in advance but please mention your request to the labour ward midwife after the birth of your baby. Every effort will be made to accommodate your request if a room is available. The cost of the room does not include any private care or separate menus.

Once you have been discharged you will be moved to the transfer lounge ready to go home.

If your baby requires additional support or care (s)he may be admitted to the Neonatal Unit. If you are medically fit for discharge you will be discharged home and will need to make arrangements to visit your baby. You may go home and make travel arrangements to visit whilst your baby is receiving specialist care. Arrangements can also be made for taking your baby’s first photograph.

Telephone numbers:
01895 279459
01895 279934
Any specific visiting restrictions:
Three visitors only to each bed at ay one time. No children under the age of 14 years old.
Senior Sister/Charge Nurse:
Meena Down
Matron:
Anne Thysse

Midwives

Maternity Unit
Hillingdon Hospital
Telephone: 01895 279471