Labour and postnatal care
Where to give birth: your options
We are able to offer a range of options for the birth of your baby and we recommended that you explore your different options to decide what is right for you and your family, our midwives will be on hand to support you and discuss your choices with you.
Our birth centre provides a clean, homely and comfortable environment for mothers who have been low risk and healthy throughout pregnancy and want a natural birth. Led by a team of experienced midwives specialising in natural birth, one-to-one midwifery care is provided, with prompt access to medical assistance if needed.
There are six birthing rooms, two of which have water birth pools. Birth centre midwives will encourage you to stay upright and move around in labour using modern equipment such as birth balls/mats/beanbags and our modern birthing chairs. If you want to have a water birth this can often be facilitated. After you have had your baby you will usually stay at the birth centre where all rooms have en-suite bathrooms. If you would like to have your baby at the birth centre we suggest you attend a 'talk and triage' appointment when you are 36 weeks pregnant. These are held at weekends and should be booked in advance. Please phone 020 8869 2930 and ask for the birth centre.
You may feel you would like to have your baby in the comfort of your own home in familiar surroundings. This can be arranged provided you are healthy and your pregnancy is free of complications. For more information please contact your community midwife directly or the community office on 020 8869 2871 or 020 8235 4252.
The delivery suite is staffed by midwives and an obstetric team, which enables us to provide all levels of care (high and low risk) during labour and birth. We have 11 spacious birthing rooms with en-suite bathroom, modern facilities and equipment. The unit is supported by two maternity theatres and eight specialist beds.
If you and your baby are both well and you feel confident to care for your baby, you may wish to go home a few hours after birth. The midwives will discuss this option with you. If you have had a caesarean section your stay in hospital will be longer. After you go home the community midwifery teams will visit you at home to continue your care.
If you have not received a visit from your community midwives the day after you get home from hospital please call the numbers below.
Harrow Community Midwives
Tel. 020 8869 2871
Brent Community Midwives
Tel. 020 8235 4252
Caring for you and your baby after birth
Regardless of where baby is born you will be encouraged to hold the baby in ‘skin to skin’ contact after birth. Skin to skin contact should last for a minimum of one hour and is important for keeping baby warm and calm while regulating the babies heartrate and breathing. It is particularly important for bonding and breastfeeding. Skin to skin can be enjoyed many times in the first days and weeks of your babies life.
If you have given birth on labour ward you will be transferred to the postnatal ward a few hours after the birth of your baby, where your baby will stay with you at your bedside.
See our leaflets:
Building a happy baby - a guide for parents
We are very proud that we have achieved full UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation which supports best practice in infant feeding. Breastfeeding support is provided by our trained midwives and midwifery assistants. If you have decided not to breastfeed and plan to bottle feed your baby, you will need to bring pre-mixed formula in with you. If your baby requires formula as part of his or her treatment because of illness or pre-maturity we will provide formula for you.
Breastfeeding is encouraged by all midwives and specialist support midwives are available to assist with initiation and encouragement with breastfeeding.
Why breastfeed? - information on breastfeeding from NHS Choices.
The Flower rooms
These are newly refurbished single rooms on Florence ward and offer a comfortable postnatal stay. They offer the privacy and comfort of having your own room with en-suite bathroom. You cannot pre-book these rooms. When you come into the maternity unit to have your baby, please tell the midwife caring for you if you would like one of the rooms. They are available to hire at a nightly rate.
Sometimes it is necessary for a baby to spend time in the neonatal unit for observations and treatment. We have the facilities and trained staff on Neonatal unit to look after your baby should it need extra care. We also offer ‘transitional care’ which is for babies who are not sick, but need more attention on the postnatal ward.