Postnatal and Newborn Care
Welcome to Postnatal Services
We have a fabulous team that care about your journey into parenthood. We are respectful of your choices and our aim is to educate and support you during your stay. We work collaboratively with the multidisciplinary team to achieve a smooth transition into the Fourth Trimester: Parenthood.
Postnatal Services is located on level three at the Royal Hospital for Women. It comprises of the Paddington and Oxford Wards and has a combination of shared and single rooms available.
We are a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hospital (BFHI). Our maternity service encourages, respects, and supports mothers’ informed choice of infant feeding. We adhere and practice the ‘10 steps for successful breastfeeding, which is beneficial for all mothers and babies. We practice rooming-in to help mothers become familiar with their baby’s behaviour and needs. We don’t have a designated well baby nursery.
The postnatal ward is staffed by an array of healthcare disciplines and providers, spanning a wide spectrum of specialties and professionals. This encompasses experienced midwives and student midwives, reflecting our role as a teaching hospital.
Single rooms are prioritised for women who have babies in the Neonatal intensive care. They are also available for women who are under the care of a private obstetrician with private health insurance. However, it must be noted that this is subject to availability.
Consult the Patient Liaison Officer at front desk for further information.
Partners are welcome to stay if you are in a single room. There is a boarder fee for overnight accommodation attached to this which includes breakfast only. Please discuss this with the midwife caring for you. Children are unable to stay overnight.
Please inform the staff of any dietary requirements you may have.
On booking you will be given a flyer with information as to what to bring into hospital.
We have mini fridges in each room and a patient kitchenette for you to store food and beverages.
Please ask staff for stickers to label your food and beverages.
4:00pm - 8:00pm
Quiet time 1:00pm-4:00pm
Children must be supervised at all times
Partners are welcome all day and can stay until 10:00pm
Only 2 people are allowed at the bedside at the same time
Mother – What to Expect
A midwife will do a daily head to toe check and assessment of your postnatal wellbeing. They will ask you a series of questions regarding your health and if you have any concerns. They will discuss management of postnatal issues and plan your care for the day. A physical assessment may be conducted by a midwife or doctor. Please ask your midwife if you have any questions or concerns about yourself or your baby.
Baby Wellness Check
This will be completed prior to your discharge by a midwife or paediatrician.
If you are worried about a recent change in your condition or that of your loved one please REACH out.
Six-week postnatal check
Your six-week postnatal check-up is either with your local GP if you were on the GP Shared Care Program, your obstetrician if you had your care privately or midwife with the Midwifery Group Practice. This is an opportunity for your health care professional to check that your body is returning to its pre-pregnant state, your lactation is established and you’re coping with life and your new baby.
Baby – What to Expect
Baby Wellness Check
This will be completed prior to your discharge by a midwife or paediatrician.
Once your baby enters the world the birthing midwife will give you your birth registration package. This contains information you will need to fill out to register your baby with Births Deaths and Marriages. Only one set of papers are given to you. If you lose them you will need to consult Birth, Deaths, and Marriages for a replacement copy.
You will have 4 weeks to fill it out and send in it. A Medicare and Centrelink form are also in the package. You will need to lodge this form so they can add and issue you a new card with your baby’s details.
Centrelink payments are made at discretion and are means tested. For further information contacted Centrelink to see if you are eligible for any allowances.
Personal Health Record- Blue book
After birth your midwife caring for you will give you your Personal Health record, otherwise known as the ‘blue book'. This keeps a record of your baby details, child and family health visits, milestones weight and height charts, and immunisations. It is important that you don’t lose it as it contains important information concerning your baby. You will need to have it with you when you visit your GP and Child and Family Health Centre and all health professionals.
Postnatal Follow-Up Services.
So it’s now time to go home – you have the car packed, the baby seat secured on the back seat and a newborn in your arms. You are probably asking where I go next and who I can contact if I need assistance.
Rest assured there are a variety of services that are available to follow up with.
- Child and Family Health Centres
- The Child and Family Health Centres are available in all areas and a great resource to access. They provide free health, growth and development checks for babies and children from birth to five years. Please call the central booking number within the first week of going home to make the first appointment. They can often offer this as a home visit
- To see where your closest centre is click this link.
- Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA)
- The Australian Breastfeeding Association is a service offered to new breastfeeding mums who offer support with lactation and breastfeeding. It provides telephone help line for peer counselling support, groups for breastfeeding women lots of online resources who need advice during this.
- Contact ABA on website www.breastfeeding.asn.au or by phone on 1800 686 268 (1800 mum 2 mum) – this hotline is 24/7 and a free service.
- General Practitioner/ Obstetrician/ Paediatrician
- If there any medical issues for your newborn or yourself it is best to consult with your local GP and/or, Obstetrician or Paediatrician or immediate support can be found at Sydney Children’s Hospital Emergency.
- Sydney Children’s Hospital
- Once your newborn is discharged from the Royal Hospital for Women and your child is unwell, it. It is advisable to take them to Sydney Children’s Hospital High St.
- Contact SCH on (02) 9382 1111 or visit Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.
Postnatal education is our primary focus to support your transition to parenthood. We offer a number of classes including bath, settling, fourth trimester, breastfeeding to name a few.
Check out the timetable for details.
Free to air TV education channel is available in each room.
In a BFHI facility, breastfeeding mothers are given consistent information and support with breastfeeding by midwives. Our lactation service provides additional support and assistance for new mothers who are having difficulties with their breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Support Unit
The Breastfeeding Support Unit (BSU) is a unique service offering outpatient and inpatient consultations to postnatal mothers. For more information, click this link.
Our Midwifery Support Programme is a service offered to new mothers.
To be eligible for the program, you must leave within the time periods according to your method of birth.
To qualify you must live within the designated boundaries for the Royal Hospital for Women catchment area postcodes 2000- 2036 + 2060. If you live out of this area, other hospitals offer home visiting programs as well and we can get in contact with them and see if they have availability.
A safety check will be discussed on discharge to ensure it is a safe work environment for the midwife to visit. The midwife will acquire your details and give you information on the program. They will not phone you but should arrive between the hours of 9 am and 3:00 pm. Please give accurate details on parking, cross streets, pets and any safety concerns.
A midwife will come to your home and spend up to one hour a day with you and your newborn. They will individualise their visits according to your needs and support you through this period. They will visit you over a period of 4 days. Three visits will be offered. The first two will be consecutive then we will miss one day, and the final visit will be granted on the 4th day of your visits. You will still be under the care of the hospital during this time so if any complications arise or follow up is required, then the midwife caring for you can contact the hospital to arrange follow up or review of care, for you and your newborn.
A week following your discharge from the program, the midwives will contact you via phone to do a final wellness check and feedback questionnaire. If you have any questions during this phone call, the midwives will direct you to suitable follow-up.
We start planning your discharge as soon as you arrive to our postnatal service. Your midwife caring for you will guide and discuss this with you. They will help you plan and prepare for your discharge home as well as assist you in your transition into parenthood.
Length of stay
Some women may stay up to 3 days (72 hours) for a vaginal delivery or 5 days (120 Hours) after a caesarean section. If other complications arise each individual will be assessed, and length of stay will be assessed accordingly.
Some women may prefer to go home earlier (6-8 hours after vaginal birth or 24 hrs after a caesarean) with the support of the midwives visiting them at home. Depending on the type of antenatal care you may be followed up by different midwifery support. If the antenatal care was with a GP or private obstetrician, then the Midwifery Support Programme (MSP) with visit at home.
Alternatively, some women may have received antenatal care and are followed up by the Midwifery Antenatal Postnatal Service (MAPS) or Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) program for their home visiting postnatal care.
If you have been followed up by Midwifery Group Practice or Midwifery Antenatal Postnatal Service, we encourage discharge as a soon as possibly unless you are experiencing other issues that forgo early discharge, so your midwifery team can follow you up with care at home.