Are you prepared?
You should make sure that you have your hospital bag packed well before your due date - babies can come early.
In your bag, you should have:
- pregnancy records and any medication you may be taking
- dressing gown and slippers
- breast pads
- maternity sanitary pads
In your baby's bag, you shoud have:
- clothes to take baby home in
- a pack of nappies
How will I know that labour has started?
For most women, labour begins naturally between 38 and 42 weeks. There are certain signs to check for if you think you may be in labour:
- a show - this is a jelly like discharge and can happen as early as a week before labour
- waters breaking
Is there any procedure for coming to hospital once labour has started?
Make your own arrangements for getting to hospital and always contact the Maternity Unit before coming in.
The Maternity Unit is situated on the first floor via the main lifts in the hospital.
You may park your car outside the Parade entrance to the hospital for convenience, but it should be removed as soon as possible. Further parking is available in Patriotic Street car park.
At night all entrances to the hospital are locked for security reasons. You should enter the hospital via the Emergency Department and inform the staff that you are in labour. They will then take you to the Maternity Unit.
Where will the birth take place?
Most births in Jersey happen in the hospital.
Home births are becoming increasingly popular for low-risk women. If you are low-risk / have had a complication-free pregnancy and wish to have a home birth, discuss this with your midwife.
Birth options on NHS Choices website
The use of water for labour and birth is believed to help with relaxation.
We have a birthing pool at the maternity unit and we also have inflatable pools that we can bring to your home if you are having a home birth.
Who can come with me?
Your partner is very welcome to be with you for labour and the birth. If this is not feasible you may wish to have another member of your family or a friend.
Tell your partner to keep friends and relatives informed of your progress. The midwives will not give out information about you to anyone except to your partner or next of kin.
What should I wear?
Most women feel comfortable in a short nightdress or old T-shirt, but it is really up to you.
Comfy pyjama tops are good as they often open at the front for skin to skin contact with your baby.
How long will I stay in hospital?
That really depends on you and your baby – most women who have had a normal birth feel ready to go home after a couple of days.
Some women choose to go home after 6 hours.
More complicated births such as caesarean section births usually require a longer stay.