Where do I park?
The hospital has a visitors car park and you pay via the machines located outside the front of the hospital, please remember to take your ticket with you.
Can I use my mobile phone?
Yes. There is also a 'patient line' bedside phone service. We request that mobile phone calls are limited in respect of your neighbours and that you turn off/down your ring tone to prevent disturbances.
What are the visiting times?
We promote a family orientated environment and therefore welcome visitors, however we can only accommodate two visitors at the bedside at a time. We request that they respect the following visiting hours:
- Labour ward:
Husband, partners or a birth companion may attend the labour ward with you at any time. Other visitors are allowed by prior arrangement or in exceptional circumstances.
- Maternity wards:
Partner or birth companion
Siblings of baby (any age)
Family, friends and accompanied children over 10yrs
All welcome 9am - 9pm
Maximum of 2 people at a time to a bedside.
There may be times when we will ask visitors to wait outside when you or your baby require clinical care and no more than three visitors per bed are permitted. We welcome your children and your partner’s children when accompanied by an adult.
We ask that no other children under the age of ten years visit for reasons of infection control, safety and noise levels.
It is especially requested that persons with coughs, colds, vomiting and diarrhoea in the last 48 hours or anyone who has been in contact directly or indirectly with an infectious disease should not visit the department owing to the risk of cross infection. We respectfully request that, for reasons of infection control, flowers are not brought on to the maternity unit.
- Labour ward:
How do I make a complaint?
We will do all we can to make sure that your stay in hospital is comfortable.
If you have a concern about your own care, please ask to speak to the senior sister on duty or one of our maternity managers who will try to sort the situation out as quickly as possible.
Please raise any concerns as they happen rather than wait until you leave the hospital.
I am a visitor to the UK, do I need to pay?
If you are not ordinarily resident meaning someone who is living lawfully in the UK, and you do not meet an exemption you will be liable for your maternity care.
You are required to show evidence to support your exemption, examples include:
A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or S2 certificate issued in your European country of residence
A valid visa of more than 6 months issued with an NHS exemption card, having paid the health surcharge
A guarantee of payment issued by your insurance company covering maternity services
A valid passport or identity card if you are a resident of a bilateral agreement country
For more information on the maternity exemptions and charges, please contact the overseas business managers on:
Frimley Park Hospital
Office: 01252 649798
Mobile: 07920 415248
Wexham Park Hospital
Office: 01753 634049
Mobile: 07342 067121
Pregnancy related questions
How do I get my Maternity Certificate (MATB1 form)?
Your midwife or GP can give this to you after you are 20 weeks pregnant. You will receive it from your midwife at the next appointment after 20 weeks.
What if I come into contact with chickenpox when I am pregnant?
If you have had chickenpox, you are immune and there is nothing to worry about. You do not need to do anything. If you have never had chickenpox, or are not sure, see your GP as soon as possible.
You can have a blood test to find out if you are immune. If you develop a rash in pregnancy always contact your GP or midwife.
I have been in contact with the ‘slapped cheek virus’ (Parvovirus) what do I do?
See your GP as soon as possible if you’re pregnant and you think you’ve come into contact with the slapped cheek virus.
You should do this whether you develop a rash or not as there can be a small risk to your baby especially if exposure is before 20 weeks.
There’s no routine screening test for slapped cheek in pregnancy. Your GP will do a blood test to check if you have antibodies to the virus from a current or previous infection.
I have vaginal bleeding, what should I do?
If the bleeding occurs before 16 weeks you should contact your GP.
After 16 weeks you should contact the labour ward on 01276 604527 for advice and be prepared to come in and be assessed.
If the bleeding is very severe and you feel unwell you should attend A&E.
I have sickness and diarrhoea
It is better to stay at home and rest so as not to spread the virus to other people. Good handwashing is the best way to avoid transmission of the germs.
The most important thing is to be well hydrated so drink plenty of water and take paracetamol if required for any pain (as per instructions on the packet).
Don’t worry if you don’t feel like eating as your baby will still get energy from you. Most viruses last 24 to 48hrs. If you are concerned or you still feel unwell after this time phone your GP for advice.
I haven’t felt my baby move today, what should I do?
If you are more than 24 weeks pregnant and you feel you have had a reduction in fetal movements from what you consider to be normal, try having a hot drink or an ice cold drink and a snack.
We then advise you to lay on your left side and rest for up to two hours to see whether the food and drink stimulates the baby to move.
If you are still concerned then please contact the labour ward on 01276 604527. Please do this immediately and do not wait until the next day.
The labour ward will arrange to have your baby’s heart rate monitored. Usually we find all is well, in which case you will be reassured and able to go home.
Parent education information
In order to facilitate your needs we have moved to online parent education available through our website.
You should check with your airline and your insurance company before flying when pregnant as different rules will apply.
As a general rule, most airlines won’t allow a pregnant woman to fly after 36 weeks.
However if the pregnancy is deemed high risk this may be restricted to much earlier.
If you are able to fly you should ensure you drink plenty of water during the flight and avoid sitting still for too long. This is because pregnant women are more susceptible to deep vein thrombosis.
Support stockings are also advised.
I have thrush what should do?
Thrush is quite common in pregnancy. If you believe you may have it make an appointment to see your GP or Pharmacist.
I am constipated
You may become constipated very early in pregnancy because of the hormonal changes taking place in your body. To avoid it:
- Eat foods that are high in fibre, like wholemeal breads, wholegrain cereals, fruit and vegetables, and pulses such as beans and lentils.
- Exercise regularly to keep your muscles toned.
- Drink plenty of water.
I have a headache
Some pregnant women find they get a lot of headaches. In order to ease them try and get more regular rest and relaxation and drink plenty of water.
Paracetamol in the recommended dose is generally considered safe for pregnant women but there are some painkillers that you should avoid. Speak to your pharmacist or GP about how much paracetamol you can take and for how long.
If you often have bad headaches, tell your midwife or GP or ring the labour ward on 01276 604527 for advice.
Severe headaches can be a sign of high blood pressure.
Mild itching is common in pregnancy because of the increased blood supply to the skin. In late pregnancy the skin of the abdomen is stretched and this may also cause itchiness. If you think your itching is more severe, contact your midwife or GP.
I have swollen ankles, is this ok?
Ankles, feet and fingers often swell a little in pregnancy because your body is holding more water than usual.
Towards the end of the day, especially if the weather is hot or if you have been standing a lot, the extra water tends to gather in the lowest parts of your body.
Suggestions to try and relieve swollen ankles are to avoid standing for long periods, wear comfortable shoes and put your feet up as much as you can.
Try to rest for an hour a day with your feet higher than your heart.
When will my scan appointment be?
Your first scan will be expected to take place from 12-14 weeks. You will receive a letter to let you know when and if you have consented, a text to remind you. Your second scan will take place at around 20-22 weeks and will be booked when you attend for the first scan.
I can’t get an appointment at my surgery with the midwife
If you are unable to see the midwife then please make an appointment with your GP who are partners in your maternity care.
What medications can I take in pregnancy for a cold or any other minor ailment?
Please consult a Pharmacist who will be able to advise you on what you are able to safely take in pregnancy.
Why should I take folic acid?
Folic acid Is very important for the development of a healthy fetus as it reduces the risks of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
The recommended dose is 0.4mg or 400micrograms per day for at least eight weeks before pregnancy and for up to 12 weeks into the pregnancy.
If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30, are taking anti-epileptic drugs, have a family history of fetal abnormalities or you have diabetes the recommended dose is 5mg per day which should be prescribed by your doctor.
Do I need to take vitamin D?
Vitamin D is needed to keep bones healthy and to provide the baby with enough vitamin D for the first few months of their life.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and these are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy. Deficiency of this vitamin can cause children’s bones to soften and can lead to rickets. It is recommended that pregnant women should take a supplement of 10micrograms of vitamin D every day.
Those who will particularly benefit are: women of South Asian, African, Caribbean or Middle Eastern family origin, women who have limited exposure to sunlight such as those predominantly housebound or usually remain covered when outdoors, women who don’t consume oily fish, eggs, meat or breakfast cereals and therefore have a low intake of vitamin D and those with a pre-pregnancy BMI above 30.
Why should I have the flu vaccine?
It is recommended that people in high-risk groups be vaccinated against H1N1 (swine flu). This includes all pregnant women, at any stage of their pregnancy. The reason for this is that during pregnancy the immune system is naturally suppressed.
This means that pregnant women are more likely to catch flu and, if they do catch it, they are more likely to develop complications. However, it is important to remember the immune system still functions and the risk of complications is very small.
Most pregnant women will only have mild symptoms but if a pregnant woman develops a complication of H1N1 flu, such as pneumonia, there is a small chance this will lead to premature labour or miscarriage.
It is, therefore, important to be well prepared and to take precautions against H1N1 flu. All pregnant women are advised to take the seasonal flu jab, which protects against H1N1 flu. This is because there is good evidence that all pregnant women are at an increased risk from complications if they catch H1N1 flu.
There is no evidence that inactivated vaccines, such as the seasonal flu vaccine, will cause any harm to pregnant women or their unborn babies.
Why should I have the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine?
It's recommended that, for the time being, all pregnant women should get vaccinated against whooping cough when they are 28-38 weeks pregnant.
This is a new recommendation, as there has been a sharp rise in the number of whooping cough cases in the UK.
Whooping cough is a serious disease that can lead to pneumonia and permanent brain damage. Many babies with whooping cough will be admitted to hospital and they are at risk of dying from the disease.
Deaths from whooping cough are rare in the UK but more babies have already died this year than in recent years.
Young babies are particularly at risk of serious disease and they remain vulnerable until they can be vaccinated against whooping cough from two months of age. You can help protect your unborn baby from getting whooping cough in its first weeks after birth by having the whooping cough vaccination while you are pregnant.
You should have the vaccination even if you've been vaccinated before or have had whooping cough yourself. The best time to get vaccinated to protect your baby is from week 28 to week 38 of your pregnancy – ideally between 28 and 32 weeks. Talk to your midwife or GP and make an appointment to get vaccinated.
Your baby will still need to be vaccinated as normal when he or she reaches two months of age.
Why is Carbon monoxide screening being offered by the midwife?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and tasteless poisonous gas which can kill people. It can be present in exhaust fumes, faulty gas appliances, coal/wood fires, oil burning appliances and cigarette smoke.
It is especially dangerous during pregnancy because it deprives the baby of oxygen, slows its growth and development and increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death. This is why it is important to offer and encourage pregnant women to have the CO monitor screen.
Alcohol in pregnancy - will it harm my baby?
Alcohol can harm an unborn baby in different ways at different times during pregnancy. Alcohol is passed to the baby from the woman’s blood through the placenta.
Babies are unable to process alcohol through their liver as an adult would.
Drinking alcohol when pregnant puts your baby at risk of miscarriage, premature labour, stillbirth and being born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
The only certain way to avoid the risks is to abstain from drinking alcohol at all stages of pregnancy and while trying to conceive.
Labour and birth
When should I come into hospital?
If you think you are in labour please contact the labour ward triage 01276 604527 where you can speak to a midwife who will be able to give you individual advice.
Can I book the pool?
No one can book the pool as you only use the pool once in established labour. You can mention when coming in that you would like to use it but if you feel very strongly that you want a pool, you may wish to think about hiring one for use at home.
What should I bring?
There is limited space to store items on the ward so it is easier to bring the minimum and have things taken home and brought in as required.
Suggestions of what to bring in:
Large old t-shirt or nightie for labour
CD’s for music in labour
4 bottles of isotonic/energy/glucose drinks for labour
Maternity sanitary pads (2xpacks)
Money for phone/TV card
Babygrows, vests, hat cardigan
If intending to bottle feed: formula in ready-made disposable cartons, bottles & teats
Top and tail bowl
Will there be students?
The maternity unit is in a teaching hospital and will have student midwives fully supported by midwives. We also support medical students. You can request not to have a student looking after you if you wish.
Can my partner stay?
Whilst you are on the labour ward your partner can stay. Unfortunately this is not possible on the antenatal and postnatal wards as we have to respect the privacy of all the women. However in exceptional circumstances, such as the baby being on the special care unit, this can be negotiated if required.
Can I book an amenity room on the postnatal ward?
You can book an amenity room on the postnatal ward but not in advance. Ask the midwife after the birth of your baby to try and book an amenity room for you (please note that the rooms do not currently have en-suite facilities). You will be charged on a nightly basis and a bill will be sent to you at home once you have left the hospital.
How quickly can I go home following the birth of my baby?
If the birth was normal and all is well, mum and baby could go home within six hours of giving birth. Mothers who have a caesarean may be able to go home after 24 hours depending on how well they are.
New born hearing screening
We aim to screen your baby's hearing before discharge from the hospital but if this is not possible, or we need to complete the screen, we will offer appointments at the following venues :
Frimley Park Hospital, Aldershot centre for Health, Farnham Hospital , Brants Bridge clinic ( HealthSpace), Bracknell
If you have any concerns at all , however small please ring - Newborn Hearing Screening team - 01483 783107
For further information visit:
After going home
What time will the midwife visit?
There is no set time of the day that the community midwife will visit. You will get a visit on the day after going home, day 5 and day 9.
If you need to be visited more frequently your midwife will negotiate this with you.
Please wait in on the days that you are due to be seen.
I am having problems feeding my baby, what can I do?
If you are still receiving care from your community midwife please contact them for specific advice. If you are receiving care from your health visitor please contact them.
Other useful information can be found in the breastfeeding section and via the breastfeeding video.
Why does my baby have red / watery eyes?
Some babies have bloodshot eyes due to the pressure during delivery; this is not a problem and will resolve spontaneously.
Watery eyes are very common in newborn babies. Baby’s tear ducts are immature at first and do not always wash away dust or dirt in the baby’s eyes. This will naturally resolve in time. You can clean your baby’s eyes with cooled boiled water using a clean cotton wool ball with each wipe if your baby’s eyes appear ‘sticky’. If the discharge becomes green or yellow your midwife may take a swab to ensure that there is no infection present.
What’s in a nappy?
The contents of your baby’s nappies change day by day at first.
These changes can help you know if your baby is feeding well.
Ask your midwife if there is anything you feel concerned about.
On days 1 – 2
- Urine – two or more wet nappies per day
- Dirty nappy – one or more per day. The first motion that your baby will pass is called meconium which is greenish black with no smell. It has gradually accumulated in the baby’s gut since the sixteenth week of pregnancy and is usually passed in the first 24 hours following birth. If your baby has not passed meconium within 48 hours please inform your midwife.
On days 3 – 4
- Urine – three or more per day. The volume of urine increases and the nappies feel heavier.
- Dirty nappy – two or more per day. The colour changes and looks more green, these are called ‘changing stools’. They change because your baby is taking more milk and digesting it.
On days 5 – 6
- Urine – five or more heavier nappies per day
- Dirty nappy – at least two soft, yellow stools per day.
Day 7 onwards
- Urine – six or more heavy nappies per day.
- Dirty nappy - at least two soft, yellow stools per day greater than a £2 pound coin. You might notice little seedy looking particles in it, don’t worry as that is normal. In the first couple of days some babies may have pink or orange staining in the nappy, this is because the urine is concentrated and high in coloured urates.
Baby girls may also have a mucousy vaginal discharge and may also have a small period because they are withdrawing from the hormones that were passed from you across the placenta.
The genitals of boys and girls often appear quite swollen but will look in proportion with their bodies in a few weeks.