If you have an uncomplicated birth, you can expect to go home in three to six hours.
If you need to stay in hospital after you give birth, you will be offered a bed on Hazel Ward.
Our Community Midwives also provide postnatal care in various settings for example in your own home or a Children's Centre in your community.
All babies require a neonatal examination within 72 hours of birth.
In our Consultant-led Units these checks are performed by Paediatricians. Midwives have been trained in our Birth Centres to perform these checks.
After you leave the hospital or birth centre
After your baby is born, you will be seen by a Midwife either at home or at your local Children's Centre on the day after you are discharge from hospital and then as needed up for up to 28 days.
During these visits the Midwife will assess the wellbeing of both you and your baby and explain or complete any routine tests.
For more information about what to expect when you go home after having your baby see our 'Going Home from the Maternity Unit' Leaflet linked above.
Click the link to download our Patient Information Leaflet: After the birth of your baby
Registering your baby's birth
All new parents must register their baby's birth within 42 days (six weeks) of the birth.
Please see Swindon Register Office: Register a birth.
Baby Buddy App
Baby Buddy is a free mobile phone app for parents and parents-to-be with personalised content approved by doctors and midwives that spans from pregnancy right through to the first six months after birth.
It's produced by Best Beginnings (see below).
If you use the app when you're pregnant, then it will be 'Bump Buddy' - helping you with pregnancy developments. When your baby is born, it changes to 'Baby Buddy', which will support you and your family through the first six months of your baby's life.
You can download Baby Buddy on Google Play and in the App Store.
There's also a web version - please see:
Baby Friendly Initiative
The UK Baby Friendly Initiative is based on a global accreditation programme of UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
It is designed to support breastfeeding and parent infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care he UK Baby Friendly Initiative is based on a global accreditation programme of UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is accredited by the Baby Friendly Initiative (please see below).
This website also includes some foreign language resources.
Basis (Baby Sleep Info Source)
Basis aims to "provide online access to up-to-date research based evidence about infant sleep, in forms which are accessible to parents and health professionals, supported by references to research relevant to families in the UK".
Their website includes lots of information on how and where babies sleep, and it offers advice on how to cope with sleeping problems.
There's also an Infant Sleep App, which provides similar information for mobile devices.
Best Beginnings is a charity dedicated to ending child health inequalities in the UK - to giving every baby the healthiest possible start in life.
Their vision is "a future in which all children in the UK enjoy excellent care from the very beginning".
They use innovative approaches to ensure families have the information and support they need to protect their children's health.
One of their newest innovations is the Baby Buddy App (see above).
Best Beginnings focuses on the time period between preconception and two years of age because "this is where the foundations for a healthy life are built".
Our Birth Matters Service can provide a warm friendly environment giving you the opportunity to talk through the events of your labour and birth of your baby, enabling clarification, filling the gaps and answering your questions, or talk about birth anxieties and worries.
This service is open to anyone who has had or is planning on having a baby at The Great Western Hospital.
Please telephone or email to request an appointment with our specialist midwives
Please leave your name, date of birth and contact number.
An online resource designed by new fathers and health professionals to better equip them through the transition to parenthood.
It includes practical information, in bite size chunks, on things like feeding, communicating and bonding with their baby, how babies like to be held and help to cope with less sleep.
Dads can dip in and out when they need to and get the information they need quickly and easily.
First Steps Nutrition Trust
The First Steps Nutrition Trust aims to provide "better information and support for good nutrition - and good food - from pre-conception to five years".
The website is divided into three main sections:
- Eating well in pregnancy
- Infant feeding
- Eating well - birth to five
Each of these sections includes useful general information, and more specific guides on things like vegan diets and nutritional information for pregnant teenagers.
Health Visitor Services
Health visiting services work alongside midwives, nurses, general practioners, obstetricians and pediatricians, caring for families from conception until the age of five.
Children have a health review at specifica points in their development:
- At birth
- At age six weeks
- Between two and two and a half years
If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.
This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers.
Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week.
Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.
The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness on sudden infant death (also referred to as 'cot death'.
Working with the NHS, it runs a national health-visitor led service for bereaved parents, Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme, which supports families before and after the birth of their new baby.
They also support research into understanding why 600 babies a year die suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK and to find out more about how to prevent these tragic deaths.
Pregnancy in Mind
Pregnancy in Mind is a new, preventative mental health service for parents-to-be that has been developed based on the latest evidence.
The service, which is provided by the NSPCC, is designed to support parents who are at risk of, or experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and depression during pregnancy and the first year after birth
Parents-to-be are able to attend between 12 and 28 weeks gestation (the middle trimester of pregnancy).
This links well with the Baby Steps programme, which begins at or after 28 weeks gestation, so that parents can get high quality support with their mental health as well as preparing for parenthood.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources
- Antenatal classes
- Antenatal and newborn screening
- Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) Maternity Voices Partnership Plus
- International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG): Coronavirus and your pregnancy.
- Swindon Breastmates are continuing to offer support through online chat and video calls - please see Information for parents and parents-to-be: Swindon Breastmates
- We've put together a guide of online support for infant feeding. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your midwife.
- Royal College of Midwives website: Help us keep maternity services open
- Your baby's movements in pregnancy are a sign that they are well. If your baby moves less, or if you notice a change, this can sometimes be an important warning sign that your baby is unwell. For more information, please see the Kicks Count website: Reduced movements during Covid-19 pandemic.
- There are some changes to the normal process for registering births in Swindon - please see the Swindon Borough Council website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - What you need to know
- There is no evidence showing that the virus can be carried in breastmilk, the well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk - please see the UNICEF website: Infant feeding during the COVID-19 outbreak
- It's understandable to feel more anxious and stressed than usual in times like these and it's a big adjustment to stay inside all day. It's important to look after yourself whilst you stay at home, and in particular to look after your mental health - please see the Mental Health Foundation website: Mental health and wellbeing when staying at home.
- Tommy's website - please see:
- It's understandable to feel more anxious and stressed than usual in times like these and it's a big adjustment to stay inside all day. Please see:
- NHS website: Your pregnancy and baby guide
- Exercise is important in pregnancy. It's okay to go out for a walk once a day. Keep your distance from others, wash hands and follow guidance for social distancing. Please see:
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website: Coronavirus infection and pregnancy
- During this challenging time, stress levels at home may be increased and it is important to find ways to cope with a crying baby. Infant crying is normal, and it will stop! Please see:
- UK Government website: Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse
- Refuge website (including the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline)
- Women's aid website: COVID-19/Coronavirus: Safety advice for survivors
- Respect Phoneline website
- Information for parents and parents-to-be - lots more local and national support and advice
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) - how our other services are affected
We're Baby Friendly
We're very keen supporters of the UNICEF/World Health Organisation (WHO) Baby Friendly Initiative (please see above) and are ourselves accredited as Baby Friendly by UNICEF.
Please see our Privacy statement for details of our policy on external links.