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Our values: Care with compassion, Respect and dignity, Striving to excel, Professional standards, Working together
Maternity Department
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Maternity services

Over 5,000 women chose to have their babies and postnatal care at Darent Valley Hospital Birth Centre and Delivery Suite. Our skilled team of obstetricians, midwives, and specialist teams work together to help women have a positive pregnancy, birth and postnatal experience - in whatever setting they choose


Depending on a woman’s pregnancy and individual needs and circumstances, our patients  can choose to have their baby in our Midwifery-led Birth Centre, in our Delivery Suite staffed by obstetricians, midwives and specialists including anaesthetists; or at Home. 


Throughout her maternity journey, our patients receive continuity of carer, which means they will see the same midwife and clinical team continually throughout pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. Our team has a named obstetrician, providing expertise for women who require obstetric input. Our team-based approach enables the co-ordination of our patient’s care to ensure all the needs of a woman and her baby are met.


Our service has the nationally recognised Stage 3 Accreditation from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative so mothers and families are assured they are receiving the best possible care, and our staff have the skills to ensure that mothers receive the best possible support and experience with breastfeeding.


Our maternity team has won a number of awards in recognition of the difference they have made for women, their families and new-borns from the Royal College of Midwives, and more recently a nomination for 'Midwifery Educator of the Year' for Sally McGrath at the MaMa 2018 Awards. 


99% of mothers asked said they would highly recommend our labour ward/birthing unit to friends and family (71 responses). 

Referrals

If you would like to have your baby at Darent Valley Hospital, please make a self-referral using the Online Self Referral Form, ideally earlier than 10 weeks of pregnancy as some tests are now offered before 10 weeks.

Birth Centre

Our Midwifery-led Birth Centre has 3 birthing rooms and a 4-bed postnatal area for straightforward/ low risk pregnancies and for mothers who would like to have their birth in a more homely and relaxed environment cared for by midwives and maternity support workers who provide one to one care. Our staff ensure that partners are involved at every stage. 


Our facilities include: a birthing pool, birthing balls, hypnobirthing (at an additional cost) and gas and air (Entonox) for managing pain. If a woman decides that she would like an epidural, or if any complications develop, she will be transferred to our Delivery Suite.


Both our Birth Centre and Delivery Suite provide reclining chairs for a birth partner to stay overnight. There are also shower and microwave facilities for birth partners on our antenatal and postnatal wards, Cedar and Aspen Wards.


Early transfer to the Community Midwifery Service is available as soon as our patients feel ready to return home.


We are currently offering ‘Katharine Graves’ Hypnobirthing sessions in preparation for labour for all women, at an additional cost. Amenity rooms are also available at an additional cost. Please call Lara Hutchins, Private Patients Manager on 01322 428100 for further information and to book.

Delivery Suite

For pregnancies that are more complex, or for mothers who have had a previous caesarean birth, they are usually advised to plan to give birth in our Labour Ward under the care of our team of a specialist obstetrician, midwife and anaesthetic staff.

At home

We offer a home birth service, which means that if patients plan to have their baby at home, a midwife will visit to help prepare, and to support them at home throughout labour and birth.

 

We have the following online video for women considering a home birth


Support during early labour

The Trust now has a community triage process for women in the latent stages of labour. A woman is now able to contact a health professional by phone to provide support and arrange a home visit to assess and give early labour advice. This has meant that women are now able to stay at home for longer and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital until they are ready to be admitted (or have their baby at home) where they will have the full support of our midwifery team.

Postnatal care 

  • After a woman has given birth she will be transferred to a bed in our postnatal area
  • Women who've had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 6-24hours after the birth
  • If a woman has been transferred to our labour ward during the birth she can come back to the Birth Centre postnatally
  • Security is paramount at Darent Valley Hospital to ensure babies are kept safe at all times.  The Trust has an identification-band system for new-borns and their mother, and staff are required to wear ID badges with controlled access to all maternity wards
  • Protecting the privacy and dignity of all our women on our maternity wards is applied at all times so mothers for example, breast feeding, having catheters removed after surgery etc. have privacy from other patients and their visitors. 

Statistics

Safety statistics - www.safetythermometer.nhs.uk  

Birth Place Study, 2011 - www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/birthplace