The staff working in both maternity units are committed to helping all women to have a happy and healthy pregnancy and a safe birth of their baby. We provide care for women and families to help achieve a positive transition to parenthood. The service runs smoothly from the community to the hospital to meet the individual needs of women and their families. We aim to support all women to make decisions about what they want and need from their maternity care. This is done with up to date information about the service and enables an informed choice to be made about the care that is best for a mother and her baby.
Pregnancy is an exciting time and women have many questions. The information found on this website will cover all aspects of the services we offer, both in the hospital and in the community. Further information about pregnancy, birth and afterwards is available from a local midwife who will be happy to discuss our services in greater detail.
Midwives work throughout Doncaster and Bassetlaw providing both hospital and community care. They are specially trained to care for women during pregnancy and birth and they care for women and their babies after birth. They have the skill to provide this care or to recognise when additional care from a specialist is needed. For most women a midwife will be the "lead professional" providing all her care. For some women the midwife provides care with other team members as needed.
At the beginning of pregnancy all women will be given the name and contact details for their "Named" community midwife. She is responsible for planning the care and providing support before, during and after the baby's birth. A pregnancy and birth plan is given to women early in pregnancy, this gives information on the different options for maternity care that are available. Women are encouraged to complete their own labour and birth plan within this.
Antenatal care (Before the birth)
The first antenatal contact with the midwife can take quite a while, up to 1-2 hours, as a lot of information is needed to help both the mother and midwife discuss an appropriate plan of care for the pregnancy. Women can expect some or all of the following at this visit:
- A discussion about their own past and general health and any family illnesses
- A discussion about any previous pregnancies
- A sample of urine will be tested
- Blood pressure, weight and height will be measured
- Information regarding all the routine blood tests which are offered to screen for problems
- Information about keeping healthy during pregnancy
- Information about the patterns of antenatal care and what to expect
- To be given their hand held records and information about these
All other antenatal check ups will usually be much shorter. At each of these visits a sample of urine is tested and blood pressure is measured. From around 26 weeks of pregnancy, the size of the baby is estimated using a tape measure to measure the mother's growing abdomen. The baby's heart beat is also listened to at each visit.
The frequency of antenatal check ups varies from woman to woman. It is important that all pregnant women receive regular antenatal check ups, as they are a way of making sure that both mother and baby are well. Occasionally, problems arise even though the mother feels well and it is better that any problems are picked up early so that appropriate care and advice can be given.
In some areas, group antenatal care is provided to give mums the opportunity to meet and chat with others. All examinations are still done individually in a private setting.
All women, their partners or birth supporters are offered parent education in a suitable environment. This is in the format of one off workshops, longer programmes, a group antenatal sessions or specialist services such as for teenage parents. In Doncaster there are specific education sessions for parents on multiple pregnancy and for grandparents. These can be attended by anyone using Trust services. Foster parents are also welcome.
These programmes are available at weekends and in the evenings and support the normal birth process, give information regarding waterbirth and provide breastfeeding information. Please click here for information on classes and venues:
Parent Education Programme
Parent Education Programme
Antenatal screening tests
Very early in pregnancy all women are routinely offered blood tests to check a variety of things:
- Blood group
- Haemaglobin (Hb) levels to detect iron deficiency anaemia
- German Measles immunity (Rubella)
- Sickle Cell
- Hepatitis B
These tests are only carried out following full discussion with the mother and for some tests written information is given.
The tests are optional but are advisable as some of these conditions can have an effect on the baby and treatment may be needed.
Early Pregnancy Screening
A routine dating scan to assess the stage of pregnancy is available to all women between 10 - 12 weeks of pregnancy, this estimates the likely date for the baby's birth and again around 20 weeks to look closely at the baby's spine, other organs and growth. One other person is welcome to attend your scan appointment with you, anymore is at the discretion of the sonographer.
A Nuchal Translucency Scan is a special scan which is now offered to all pregnant women between 11-14 weeks on the NHS. This is to screen for Down's Syndrome. It is a test that measures the amount of fluid lying under the skin at the back of the baby's neck. As this test is based on the size of an individual baby it can be used to screen when there is more than one baby.
If however, a woman books late or declines the NT Scan a blood test to screen for Down's Syndrome can also be offered from 14-20 weeks of pregnancy. This indicates the level of risk to an individual mother of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome. It is important to note that the result of this test cannot give a definite answer. It cannot tell a mother whether her baby definitely does or definitely does not have Down’s Syndrome.
Further diagnostic testing may be offered depending on this test result or for women with specific risk, eg a close family history or other mothers.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), where a small sample of tissue is taken from the placenta, can be done from 11 weeks of pregnancy but is only available in a specialised centre.
An Amniocentesis is where a small amount of fluid from around the baby is tested for several genetic conditions and this can be performed on site in either of the maternity units, for women who need this procedure.
More in depth information regarding these tests can be obtained from a midwife who can also provide written information. Also from the national website www.nsc.nhs.uk
Other screening tests are offered if there are specific indications for example, a Glucose Tolerance Test is recommended to screen for diabetes in all women with a BMI of 30 and above, or when Glucose is detected in their urine on more than one occasion.
Healthy Lifestyle Midwives
The Healthy Lifestyle Midwives offer advice and support to all women with a BMI of 30 and above, and can support pregnant women in a sensitive and non-judgmental way to make lifestyle changes that will enable their babies and them to enjoy a healthier pregnancy and the best possible start in life. Your community midwife can provide more information about this service.
After the birth
If the mother has a home birth, care from the community midwife team is ongoing in the post natal period.
Following a hospital birth most women can expect to be transferred home on the same day if all is well. Following a Caesarean Section, most women are transferred home within 3 days. The community midwifery team will then continue to provide ongoing support and individual care in the home, a local centre on a needs basis for at least 10 days and in some cases up to 4 weeks.
It is important that women think about what family and friend’s support, they can call upon in the early days at home to help with domestic chores, shopping and support. It is wise to set up arrangements before the birth of the baby.
If the community midwife identifies a need for a longer hospital stay, she will discuss this with the mother and inform the hospital team. It is important to note that midwifery care is continuous throughout pregnancy, birth and after the birth in whatever setting it is required.
The Maternity Units
The Trust has 2 maternity units, each providing midwifery led care, with the option of a home birth service for low risk women and ‘Maternity Team Care’ with a consultant obstetrician for women needing additional care. Antenatal care is provided in the community setting, in GP surgeries, at home or in one of the 4 hospitals:
Doncaster Women's Hospital
Mexborough Montagu Hospital
Bassetlaw District General Hospital
Women who choose to give birth in hospital will ‘book’ at either Doncaster Women's Hospital or Bassetlaw District General Hospital. There are no birthing facilities at Mexborough Montagu or Retford Hospitals.
In 2011, 4002 women gave birth in Doncaster Women's Hospital and 1602 women had their babies in Bassetlaw Maternity Unit.
Please ask a community midwife about the option of a home birth, she will be pleased to discuss this in detail with you.
If you would like to see statistical information about birth at either hospital, you can find this on the Dr Foster website www.drfoster.org.uk
Both of the main hospital sites run a full 24 hour and 7 day per week service.
There are facilities for epidurals for pain relief in labour on both sites, with a designated Anaesthetic service, able to provide an Epidural service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Statutory Supervision of Midwives
The purpose of Statutory Supervision of Midwives is to protect women and babies by promoting high standards of midwifery care. Supervisors of Midwives are trained to provide support, advice and assistance to midwives within their daily practice and are also happy to speak to women and their families regarding their options for care and any other concerns or queries that cannot be addressed by the community midwife. Please find our Supervisory of Midwives Strategy below:
Supervisory Strategy 2014 - 2017
A Supervisor of Midwives can be contacted through either the Labour ward at Bassetlaw Maternity Unit 01909 502235 or the Central Delivery Suite at Doncaster 01302 553165.
For more information:
Local Supervising Authority
NMC - Supervision of Midwives
How They Can Help You
The maternity services of Doncaster and Bassetlaw want women and families to play an important role in developing future maternity services.
Current service users (Mums to be) need to be given good information, to be listened to and to have their wishes respected. They need to be able to make choices and give informed consent before any treatment.
Recent service users (Mums and Dads) can give feedback on what was good, what could have been improved and their priorities for improving the service.
Experienced service users (Mums, dads, grandparents and other family members), who have used the service in the past, can also offer suggestions and have input to developing the service.
Please contact Sharon Smithson on 01302 366666 ext 6344 if you would like further discussion about the local Maternity Service Liaison Committees or would like to contribute to other groups in either Doncaster or Bassetlaw. The National Maternity Service Liaison website can be seen at www.mslc.org.uk
Infant Feeding Support
The options for feeding a baby will be discussed, help and advice are given whatever the mother chooses. However, there is no doubt that breastfeeding is the best way to feed a newborn baby.
Both Doncaster and Bassetlaw Maternity Units are working to achieve the Baby Friendly Certificate of Commitment for breastfeeding and then to achieve full accreditation. This a measure of service quality
Help with breastfeeding is given from midwives and trained midwifery assistants from birth onwards.
All midwives and support staff are trained in breastfeeding management and offer 24 hour telephone support via the postnatal wards:
M1 Doncaster 01302 553159
M2 Doncaster 01302 553160
A2 Bassetlaw 01909 502232
There are also the staff listed below available in the day time.
There are active breastfeeding peer support groups in several areas and trained peer supporters provide a voluntary service to the postnatal wards. If you would like a peer supporter to contact you or would like information regarding peer support training please contact:
Maternity Service staff who provide feeding support:-
Daniella Giddings - Thorne, Moorends, Hatfield, Stainforth, Dunscroft etc.Tel: 07929 208034
Lucy Gethin - Town, Intake, Hyde Park, Bessacarr, Cantley, Wheatley, Balby, Balby Bridge etc . Tel:
Karen Graham - Edlington, Conisbrough, Denaby, Mexborough etc. Tel: 07979 906206
Kath Hepplewhite - Askern to Bentley inc Woodlands, Scawsby, Sprotbrough etc Tel: 07979 906220
Carol Keenan/Helen Smith - Bassetlaw, Retford and surrounding area. Tel: 07979 906230
Elaine Fullard - Worksop and West Bassetlaw area. Tel: 07970 027215
Local community midwives can also be contacted and their details are provided to all pregnant women.
Pregnancy Assessment Centres
The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) is a nurse led service and deals with non urgent problems under 16 weeks of pregnancy. An appointment system is in operation. Women can be referred either by a Community Midwife or GP, or they can contact the unit for advice themselves. It is important that women who use this service have had a positive pregnancy test. Depending on the urgency of the problem women will either be seen on the same day or given an appointment for the next working day.
In Doncaster the EPAU is open from 8.00am to 5.00pm during weekdays. Telephone 01302 553161 to speak to a nurse or to make an appointment.
In Bassetlaw this service runs each weekday morning from 8.00am – 2.00pm. Telephone 01909 502307 to speak to a nurse or to make an appointment.
Some women need closer monitoring during the mid and later stages of pregnancy. The Antenatal Assessment Unit (ANAU) is a midwife led service that is run on weekdays. It is used when a pregnancy needs closer monitoring than can be provided at an Antenatal Clinic. Each visit to the ANAU takes two to three hours.
The unit is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. To contact the Antenatal Assessment Unit please telephone 01302 553162.
The unit is open from 9.00pm to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Telephone 01909 502307 to speak to a midwife or to make an appointment.
Doncaster and Bassetlaw have developed specialist midwifery services in the following areas:
- Clinical Specialist Midwives for labour and care during birth
- Antenatal screening
- Teenage pregnancy support
- Breastfeeding support
- Substance misuse
- Domestic abuse
- Bereavement support
- Mental Health Services
Hospital and community midwives can contact these staff for their input as required.
Both units operate a robust security system for the safety of all new mums and babies. All ward areas are locked, access and exit is controlled by ward staff. All clients are given information about security and safety whilst in hospital, so that they are aware of the measures in place.
Bassetlaw Maternity Unit
The Maternity Unit was opened in April 1990, and extensive work was carried out to modernise the Labour Ward in 2003. This £850,000 refurbishment has created a range of birth rooms.
The Labour Ward has 5 birth rooms which are homely and furnished to provide well equipped facilities giving a range of options for labour and normal birth. Rooms are spacious and include birthing aids to support active labour and birth. Wall bars to support squatting positions, birth mats, birth balls and beanbags are available in each room. A ‘plumbed in’ birth pool facility is available for women who wish to use water for labour and birth. There is a family room which offers facilities for partners to stay in some circumstances, or where there are sensitive situations. All birth rooms have ensuite facilities.
Whilst women are welcome to choose their birth partners and who they wish to be present to support them during labour, the unit does not have a waiting area or facilities for other visitors within the labour ward. It is therefore not recommended that visitors who are not birth partners, attend the labour ward.
Ward A2 is the combined antenatal and postnatal ward. This was modernised in 2006. There are 18 beds on this ward including 3 single rooms.
If required the Special Care Baby Unit is close by and so is the Obstetric operating theatre for more complex situations.
Ward A2 (ante and post natal ward)
Partners, one person and the woman's own children are welcome from:- 8.30am to 12.30pm, 2.30 to 9pm. Other visitors 11.00am to 12 noon, 4.00 to 5.00pm, 6.00 to 8.00pm. Ward closed 12.30 to 2.30pm for a mother’s rest period.
Doncaster Women's Hospital:
The Women's Hospital was opened in February 1969. Since then, the unit has been considerably developed to meet the changing needs of maternity care and the community. An extensive modernisation programme within recent years has created a new Central Delivery Suite, Ante-natal Clinic, ante natal assessment unit and Ultrasound department.
The Central Delivery Suite is situated on the top floor of the Women's Hospital, close to the Neonatal Unit and Maternity Theatres. There is a three bedded observation area and nine well equipped birthing rooms, eight of which have ensuite facilities. A waterbirth room with plumbed in pool is available, as well as a family room where there are facilities for partners to stay when there are sensitive situations. Doncaster Women's Hospital promotes normality in childbirth, has been modernised to support this and has won an award recognising its’ achievements.
The Doncaster Unit encourages women to choose up to two birth partners to accompany them during labour. No other visitors are encouraged at this time, as they cannot be accommodated separately on the unit.
Both units work to the same evidence bases clinical guidelines to ensure up to date and effective clinical practice.
Visiting Times on M1 and M2 (Ante/Post natal wards)
Visiting times daily:-
11.00am to 8.00pm Husbands/partners/a woman’s own children
Another close friend or relative can be nominated instead of a partner if preferred.
Other Visitors to M1 and M2
11.00 to 11.30am
3.00 to 4.00pm
6.30 to 8.00pm
Other Support Services
NCT (National Childbirth Trust) Helpline Tel: 0870 990 8040 or visit the website at www.nct.org.uk
Tommy’s (The Baby Charity) Tel: 0870 777 3060 or visit the website at www.tommys.org (both services can answer any questions about pregnancy and motherhood)