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Coming to the RVI for the Birth of Your Baby

Maternity Assessment Unit - 0191 282 5748


IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

At the end of your pregnancy, any time from 37 weeks in fact, labour can start in a number of ways. We would like you to contact the hospital:

  • if you begin to experience contractions of your uterus (like strong, regular period pains) 
  • if you experience any bleeding from your vagina 
  • if your ‘waters go’. This can either be a gush of warm fluid or a constant leaking that you have no control over. The midwife on the phone will ask if the fluid is clear. If the fluid is green/brown or bloody, it is important to come into hospital at once
  • if you have noticed the baby has been moving much less than usual

What you should do nextShow [+]Hide [-]

Please telephone the Maternity Assessment Unit on 0191 2825748 before you come to hospital, as this will allow the midwives to give you any relevant advice. Please have your Maternity Notes to hand so you can give details such as your hospital number and the name of your Consultant. This all saves us time. Thank you.

If you are coming to hospital by car, make sure, in the last few weeks of pregnancy, that there is always enough petrol in the tank. It may be the middle of the night. Parking is problematic around the RVI, but we have parking spaces reserved for women in labour. Ask at the Main Leazes Wing Reception on the ground floor for information about where to park.

Parking in the reserved Maternity bays is free of charge and not time limited. If you need to be brought in by ambulance, please tell the midwife when you phone as this may take a while to arrange. Please use this as a last resort.

Where to find us

The Maternity Unit is situated on floor 2 of the Leazes Wing. Maternity Reception is staffed 24 hours a day. After 8-00 pm and before 8-00 am there is a security door with an intercom. You will be shown to the Maternity Assessment Unit where a midwife will begin your admission procedure.

What to expect when you come inShow [+]Hide [-]

The midwife will take your temperature, pulse and blood pressure and feel your abdomen to find out how the baby is lying and listen to the heartbeat. She will ask you what has been happening in the recent past and it will be helpful if you can tell us the timings of any contractions if you are having them, and details about your waters or a ‘show’, if this is relevant. She will ask you for a urine specimen. If the midwife needs to find out if labour is established or how it is progressing, an internal examination will be carried out. This tells a great deal about the state of your cervix (neck of the womb). Your partner can stay with you throughout all of these procedures.

As this is a large teaching hospital, there are other people who may be involved in your care. In addition to the midwives and doctors who work on this Unit, we have medical students and student midwives and occasionally, nursing students. You should always be introduced to all the people caring for you. Any students are properly supervised throughout their involvement with you. You are of course at liberty to refuse to be cared for by students and your care will not be affected. It is enormously helpful if you feel able to co-operate, students can be very helpful and knowledgeable. Please remember, students are supervised very closely.

Depending on the progress of your labour, one of two things may happen:

  • Women in early labour, who have no other problems like unexplained bleeding, will be invited to go home. Home is really the best place to spend the early part of your labour. We would encourage women to move around and use the bath, both these are good ways of dealing with the pain of early labour, wherever you are. You may want to eat small nutritious snacks to give you energy.
  • Women in established labour will be moved to one of the delivery rooms.

You may have noticed the section in your notes entitled ‘Birth Plan’. This is for you and your partner to fill in to record your wishes for labour and birth. This is a chance for you to express your concerns and opinions. Please tell the midwife caring for you if you have made a birth plan.

Things to noteShow [+]Hide [-]

Do not use mobile phones inside the building. On delivery suite, please ask for the trolley pay phone. On the postnatal ward you may use the pay phone located in the day room. In addition, Patientline, a TV, radio, and telephone service is by every bedside. There is a charge for this.

Below is a list of the things you might like to bring with you into hospital:

  • An old night shirt or extra large t shirt is good for labour and birth, one that you won't mind getting messy
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • BIG knickers! disposable ones can be good
  • We have 'terry' nappies and little nightshirts, but you may want to bring in disposable nappies and clothes for your baby
  • A couple of face cloths and a towel
  • Maternity pads (not ‘slimline’)
  • Fruit juice/bottled water
  • Food for your partner
  • A water spray
  • Some favourite CDs
  • A camera
  • Cotton wool
  • Change for the phone
  • Your own toiletries
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