About the unit
The unit provides emergency and follow-up antenatal care for women over 18 weeks gestation with specific pregnancy-related problems. It is midwifery-led, with support from an obstetrician (doctor who specialises in the care of women during pregnancy) when needed.
We would recommend that women attend their local hospital when possible.
If you are under 18 weeks gestation, please contact or visit the emergency gynaecology unit, 8th floor, St Thomas' Hospital. This offers a walk-in service. Tel: 020 7188 0864.
Please note that the maternity assessment unit (MAU) has recently changed its name from antenatal day unit (ADU) to better reflect the service we provide.
- Open 24 hours every day (closed Christmas day)
For emergencies outside the above opening hours, call the Hospital Birth Centre on 020 7188 2973.
Reasons for attending the unit
You should attend the maternity assessment unit (MAU) if:
- your baby is less active than usual
- your blood pressure is raised or there is protein in your urine (the midwife or GP will spot this)
- you are having severe itching during pregnancy
- you think your waters may have broken
- you have an urgent problem such as vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain
- you are having labour pain (contractions).
When not to attend the unit
Please do not attend the maternity assessment unit (MAU):
- for routine antenatal check-ups, missed appointments with your midwife/doctor, or for a membrane sweep
- if you have been in contact with flu, rubella or chicken pox (please call your GP or this unit before you come)
- if you are less than 18 weeks pregnant (please attend the Early Pregnancy and Acute Gynaecology Unit – EPAGU – 8th floor, North Wing, St Thomas’ Hospital).
Information about coming to the unit
What to bring with you
All women who book for their antenatal care with us are given a set of hand-held maternity notes (orange book). Please bring these notes with you to all visits and appointments.
What you can expect
There is an appointment service for women who need to visit the unit regularly. If this applies to you, you will be given appointments between 8am-12 noon.
If you are coming to the unit as an emergency, you will be triaged (assessed) on the basis of clinical need when you arrive. This means that we see patients in order of priority, not when they arrive. You will be assessed by a midwife, who may involve a doctor in the consultation if appropriate. The assessment could include:
- monitoring your baby's heart rate
- laboratory specimens
- emergency scans (if necessary).