Coronavirus: maternity services update
Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we understand that many of you will be worried about the situation and the impact it will have on your pregnancy and care. We have created a list of frequently asked questions to reassure you in this difficult time. You should also read about the changes we have made to our community midwifery services and specific advice for women who are breastfeeding.
Now that your baby has arrived we want you to have a great start to becoming a parent and building a relationship with your baby.
After the birth
If you have your baby in the Home from Home birth centre and everything is straightforward, you will stay in the same room until you go home. This is normally between six and 12 hours post delivery. Before you go home you and your baby will be health checked and our midwives will support you with feeding your baby. If you need to stay longer than 24 hours, you will be transferred to the Postnatal Ward.
If your baby is born in the Hospital Birth Centre, you will normally be transferred to the Postnatal Ward. With very straightforward births, it may be possible to be discharged straight home within about six hours.
If you have a complicated delivery and need closer observation, you may be admitted to the high dependency unit within the Hospital Birth Centre until you are well enough to be transferred to the Postnatal Ward
On the Postnatal Ward
While you are on the ward you will be cared for by a team of midwives, support workers and doctors. Unless you or your baby have additional needs, you will normally be ready to go home within two days.
Read more about your stay on the Postnatal Ward.
If you would like to know more about staying as a private patient, please see our information about the Westminster Maternity Suite.
Caring for your newborn
Skin to skin contact between you and your baby as soon as possible after birth is a lovely way to welcome your baby. It helps to keep them warm and calm them after they have been born. It also tends to tempt them into breastfeeding. Continuing to have skin to skin contact in the days and weeks after birth is a really good way to reassure and comfort your baby.
Keeping baby close at night is also very important. It can be very helpful to breastfeed your baby in bed; however, it is safer to put them down to sleep in a cot near to the bed after the feed has finished. Your discharge pack will contain more information about ‘Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death’ and ‘Caring for Your Baby at Night’. You can read more about reducing the risk of SIDS on the NHS website.
Feeding your baby
If you are breast or formula feeding it is important that you know possible feeding cues such as mouth movements, restlessness, sucking their hands and turning in towards your breasts. Most babies will show you their feeding cues before they start to cry. It is often easier to feed your baby when they show these early feeding cues.
Read more helpful advice about feeding your baby.
Babies who require extra care but are not in intensive care, will be cared for on our Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).
If your baby is very premature or needs surgical care, they will be cared for on our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Read more about our Evelina London Children's Healthcare neonatal services.
We run workshops giving helpful advice for new mums and dads about parenting skills. There is more information on our workshops page.
Advice for partners
For information and guidance on how to support yourself, your partner and your baby throughout pregnancy and thereafter, please see our advice and resources page for partners.