We provide pain relief regularly for you depending on your needs. Some women may require more pain relief than others, and it’s very important that you tell your midwife if you are not coping well with the pain as this will make your recovery more difficult.
The midwives will need to know if you are taking any regular prescription medications. Please bring these with you when you come into hospital. Dorset County Hospital ask women to bring in their own paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief, which you will then be able to self-administer once your baby is born, ensuring you stay in control of your pain relief needs. Please hand these medications to the midwife on arrival to the Maternity Unit so they can be recorded.
Some women are advised to have a 10-day course of anti-coagulants (drugs that prevent blood clots). We will give this to you by injection and show you how to continue the injections when you go home. Any other medicines that are prescribed during your stay, such as antibiotics, will be given to you to take home.
We will help you to care for your baby and give you the information you need so that you feel confident when you take your baby home. Care will include things like showing you how to care for your baby’s skin, check their colour and tone, look after the cord, how to change nappies and how to dress your baby.
We practice keeping your baby close to you as this will help you both get to know each other, promote bonding, and help you to recognise feeding “cues” when your baby is hungry.
All staff in all the Maternity Units are trained to support mums with breastfeeding and formula feeding. Support will be given with your chosen type of feeding, to make sure you feel confident about feeding your baby when you go home. If you are struggling with this and need more help, ask your midwife for extra support.
If you choose to formula feed your baby, you need to bring in a starter pack of your chosen milk with you as we don’t provide it. If you need a longer stay in hospital, ask staff about sterilising facilities so that you can use powdered formula and your own bottles.
All babies have a full examination within 72 hours of birth to make sure they are adapting to their new life. This will be carried out by either a doctor, advanced neonatal practitioner or midwife trained in this examination. You can be present for the examination and are welcome to ask any questions or raise concerns you may have about your baby. The best time to complete the check is when your baby is quiet or asleep.
The examiner will pay particular attention to the skin, head, eyes, ears, heart, tummy, hips, spine and genitalia.
It is helpful if you can get your red child health book ready for the examiner to complete. Your health visitor will give this to you when they visit you towards the end of your pregnancy, but don’t worry if you don’t have it yet as it can be filled in later if necessary.
Occasionally babies will need to be separated from mums for medical procedures such as x-rays or specific tests. We will minimise this time as much as possible and keep you fully informed.