The Delivery Suite is where women who have received ‘Consultant led care’ come to labour and give birth, or for a Caesarean Section. Some women also may choose to give birth on the Delivery Suite because this is where they feel most comfortable, or due to the pain relief options available.
During your pregnancy your Midwife will have ongoing discussions with you about where you would like to give birth, and the options available.
Women experiencing problems in pregnancy may also be asked to come to Delivery Suite for assessment.
We are very proud to be the only unit in the East of England to have passed assessment by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) at level 3. This means we have proven that our care is based on good evidence and given by staff focussed on keeping our families safe.
The following pages will give you information about what to expect when you come to Delivery Suite and some ideas that might be useful as you prepare for your birth.
If you need to speak to a midwife urgently please call: 01493 452480
Each shift is co-ordinated by a Senior Midwife: please ask to speak to her if you have any concerns.
Care in labour & birth
Care in labour and birth is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of Midwives, Doctors and Support Workers. We will work in partnership with you to provide individualised plans of care.
Student midwives often work under the supervision of midwives on the Delivery Suite, and medical students are also occasionally placed here. Clinical experience is invaluable as we prepare the midwives and doctors of tomorrow, but we will respect your wishes if you would prefer to not have a student allocated to your care - please speak to your midwife.
Women in labour are cared for in single rooms, some of which have en-suite bathrooms. Special birthing beds, which can be moved into different positions to help you in labour, are in each room and we can also provide birthing balls, mats and beanbags to help you mobilise in labour.
We have our own dedicated Operating Theatre, Recovery and Observation bay. Anaesthetic doctors are on call 24 hours to provide epidurals for women who choose them for labour.
Paediatricians are also available 24 hours, and the Neonatal Unit is located next door.
When to call us
- You think you are in labour
- Your waters may have broken
- You have any vaginal bleeding
- Contractions are regular, every 5–10 minutes
- You are worried that your baby is not moving as much as usual, or your baby’s normal pattern of movements has changed
- You have any other anxieties or queries
Early signs and symptoms of labour
A show: This is the mucous plug that comes away as the cervix or neck of the womb starts to change in preparation for labour. It is usually jelly like and may be streaked with blood. A show can happen a few weeks before labour starts.
Contractions or pains: This is the most common indication that labour has started. They may start as mild, period like pains that come and go as waves across your abdomen, or be strong from the start. Some women feel them in their back or even the top of their legs. Keep a check on how frequently they are coming, perhaps using a timer. When they are regular (every 5-10 minutes), and last 40-50 seconds call us for advice. We will chat with you and help you to decide when is the right time to come in: this will depend on how you feel you are coping, where you live, whether it is your first baby and whether there have been any complications in this or previous pregnancies or in your general health.
Waters breaking: This may happen before or as labour starts. Sometimes it doesn’t happen until just before the baby is born. If you think your waters may have broken please call us to discuss as you will usually need to be seen: this may be at home or in hospital.
If you are in labour
Please call 01493 452480 to speak to a Midwife to discuss when to come in.
Please note: Ambulances are only for emergency use. Please make your own arrangements to come in when in labour.
You are welcome to have a birth partner with you to support you in labour. This can be your partner, the father, or a friend or family member.
In order to respect others confidentiality and because we are a busy and often unpredictable clinical area, we do not have visiting hours. Please speak to your midwife to discuss if it is appropriate for you to have visitors. We will usually ask you to wait until you are at home or transferred to the postnatal ward, but are pleased to discuss individual needs.
For more information about the use of mobile phones please visit our mobile device page here.
Central Delivery Suite video tour
Please see below for a short video that shows you around our delivery suite and explains a little more about what you can expect to see when you come in.