If you have your baby at our maternity unit at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, most mothers will transfer to the Postnatal Unit within a few hours of the birth of their baby, although some do go home directly from the Delivery Suite. The Postnatal Unit is on Level 3 of the Women and Children’s Department.
It has 31 single, en-suite rooms where mothers and babies are helped to recover from labour and birth and parents are helped to become familiar with care of their newborn and to begin to establish feeding.
Visiting is restricted to allow time for rest and midwifery / nursing care. Partners and your own children may visit any time between: 8am – 8.30pm. Other adult visitors between: 3.30 – 7.30 pm. Please limit the number of additional visitors to two at a time.
Postnatal Ward: Your care team
A midwife will be allocated to care for you on each shift. She will be supported by a team which include nurses, nursery nurses, students, clinical support workers, clerical and reception staff.
The midwife will check on your health and that of your baby. She will liaise with medical colleagues and other departments as required. She will also notify your community midwifery team when you are discharged.
Doctors come to the ward each day to review mothers who have medical problems and all babies are seen at least once for their first medical check. It is difficult to predict when these visits will occur, as the doctors are also on call for emergencies elsewhere in the maternity and children’s departments. They will prioritise by clinical need, but will also try to see as soon as possible anyone planning to go home. The midwife will also contact a doctor outside the normal rounds if she is concerned about any mother or baby.
Please take care if walking around the room with your baby. If you need to bring the baby out of the room with you, we suggest you wheel them in the cot. We have wraps available for use on the ward for kangaroo care, as well as those available to purchase for use at home. Please ask if you would like to try one.
Please be vigilant when your other children visit, especially of the opening windows which may be tempting to climb or drop items from.
Single rooms are an excellent environment for rest and privacy, but we recognise that some mothers may feel isolated. Please do not wait for someone to come into you if you have a problem, but ask for help. You may also choose to leave your room door open if you prefer.
Planning for discharge home
Planning for discharge home will begin soon after you arrive on the ward. The midwife will help you to plan with consideration for how your baby was born and any health concerns with you or your baby. On the day of discharge, you will need your car seat to transfer your baby from the ward to your car. Please be patient when waiting to go home, as the midwife may have to complete the discharge paperwork for several mothers and will also have to respond to other clinical priorities.
Occasionally, we may ask for you to vacate your room and wait in the lounge to go, so that your room can be cleaned ready for mothers waiting to come to the ward.
When you are preparing to go home after you have had your baby, it is a good idea to make sure that you have a supply of simple pain relief tablets at home such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. These can both be bought very cheaply over the counter in the supermarket or chemist.
This is particularly important if you have had a Caesarean section or an instrumental delivery. Whilst you are in hospital we will provide you with any pain relief that you need, but we cannot supply Paracetamol or Ibuprofen for you to take home with you.
Meals and refreshments
Meals are served in the patient lounge or can be brought to your room. A cereal and toast breakfast is followed by a hot meal at lunchtime and a lighter evening meal.
Please speak to staff if you require food outside of regular meal times, when there may be sandwiches or salads available. There is a vending machine on the ward which supplies snacks and food can also be purchased in the hospital restaurant on Level -1 or Costa on Level 0.
Hot drinks are available for you and your visitors to help yourselves from the trolley in the lounge at any time. We ask for a small donation for visitors’ drinks.