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Care in labour

Mums-to-be under the care of Poole Hospital may choose to have their baby at home, or give birth in the hospital's Haven Birthing Suite or Central Delivery Suite, depending on their clinical needs:

At home

If you are fit and well, have no medical conditions and have a straightforward pregnancy you could choose to have your baby at home.

Please click here for further details.

If you would like to discuss having a home birth in more detail please speak to your community midwife. Alternatively please ring 01202 442692, leave a message and a midwife will contact you to discuss your choice.

HavenHaven Birthing Suite

The Haven Birthing Suite is our low-risk, midwife-led birthing suite.  It is set in a homely environment and the emphasis is on normal birth and empowering you to achieve this.

Mothers who are fit and well, have no medical conditions and have a straightforward pregnancy can choose to give birth in the Haven Birthing Suite. 

The community or Haven Birthing Suite midwife will carry out a risk assessment late in pregnancy to assess whether mothers are suitable to give birth in the Haven Birthing Suite.

The Haven Birthing Suite has recently undergone a major refurbishment and now has five en-suite birth rooms.  The environment in the Haven is relaxed and women are encouraged to be as active and mobile as possible in labour. Water is a fantastic method of pain relief, and there are three birthing pools in the Haven for mothers to use, either just for pain relief or for birth as well.

These pools are on a first-come, first-served basis, and cannot be booked in advance.  It is a good idea, however, if you tell us you would like to use the pool when you phone up in labour. The pools can take 10-15 minutes to fill, so we can get it ready while you are on your way in.

Low risk aids such as birthing balls and mats are freely available on the Haven Birthing Suite.  In addition, febromed equipment is available to help mothers to adopt comfortable positions in labour. 

The majority of staff have also been trained in the use of aromatherapy so please ask if you would like to consider this for use in your labour.

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Central Delivery Suite

Mothers who have had a high risk pregnancy in the past, have an existing medical condition, have developed a complication in this pregnancy or who wish to use epidural as a method of pain relief are strongly advised to give birth in the Central Delivery Suite.

Mothers being cared for on Central Delivery Suite will be supported and encouraged to achieve a normal birth.  There are two water pools available to women on the central delivery suite, you should discuss the appropriateness of using water for labour/birth with your midwife or obstetrician as part of your plan for birth.

Pools are available on a first come, first served basis, and cannot be booked in advance.  It is a good idea, however, if you tell us you would like to use the pool when you phone up in labour.  The pools can take 15-20 minutes to fill, so we can get it ready while you are on your way in.

When you are admitted you will be given your own room which you will normally stay in to give birth. Sometimes however it might be necessary to transfer you to the theatre suite for delivery, for example if you need a forceps or caesarean delivery. A midwife will be assigned to look after you. Midwives normally work 12 hour shifts. Depending on the time of your admission and the length of your labour you may have more than one midwife looking after you throughout your labour.

maternity trio

The rooms on Central Delivery Suite do have quite a lot of equipment but this is there to ensure the safety of you and your baby. Most mothers and babies in this suite need to be monitored more closely throughout labour. However we encourage mothers to be as active as possible to increase the chances of achieving a normal birth. Continuous monitoring using telemetry is also available on the Central Delivery Suite.

Telemetry is a remote system that permits wireless monitoring of fetal and maternal wellbeing in water or whilst moving around. This is appropriate for mothers who need continuous monitoring and who wish to be as mobile as possible to support a normal birth.

Other birthing aids such as balls and mats are also available on the Central Delivery Suite, please ask your midwife if you would like to use these for labour.

A midwife and babyPosition during childbirth is also really important in achieving a normal birth. Lithotomy positions (putting your legs on leg rests similar to the position for having a smear taken) will only ever be used for assisted births i.e. with forceps or if you need stitches after delivery.

Within the suite there are two dedicated obstetric theatres for women who require a caesarean section.  These are run by a dedicated team of theatre staff. If you need to give birth in the obstetric theatre you will be accompanied by a midwife who will support you and your birth partner through the caesarean section.

Contact details

Phone handset graphicMaternity main reception:
01202 442319

Maternity triage (for women in labour or worried about pregnancy):
01202 442114 or 01202 448509

More contact details

How to find us

St Mary's Maternity HospitalThe maternity unit is located a few minutes' walk from the main hospital. From the front of the hospital, cross Longfleet Road and proceed through the walkway signposted ‘Maternity’. The unit is directly ahead.

Click here for a map

Click here to view a virtual tour of the Maternity Unit

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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