The Maternity Unit at Dorset County Hospital has a happy, friendly atmosphere, with enthusiastic Midwives, Doctors and Maternity Care Assistants. You will be assured of the warmest welcome if you come here for the birth of your baby.

  • Seven, large, en-suite birth rooms

The Cranberry Team

We are really excited to announce the launch of The Cranberry team, a team of midwives covering the North Dorset area who will provide continuity to women throughout their maternity journey.

Expectant mothers will be seen by the same midwife and maternity support worker throughout their pregnancy and will be invited to attend “Meet The Midwife” sessions in order to meet the rest of the team. This means that when labour occurs, women will have met the midwife looking after her.

This initiative isn’t new and historically midwives worked in this way for years before maternity services evolved. By returning to this model of care women get to know their midwife more personally and build a relationship of trust prior to welcoming their baby.

The area covered spans from Blandford to beyond Sturminster Netwton which means that anyone who is pregnant in that area will be invited to be part of The Cranberry team.

In addition to Meet the Midwives, women and their chosen birth supporters will be given the opportunity to attend informal discussions around birth and parenthood, this will also offer an opportunity to meet other parents who live locally.

We are all very excited about this new venture and our shared vision is to continually improve the way in which maternity services are delivered.

VIRTUAL TOUR

Who can give birth here?

The Maternity Unit is consultant-led and caters for low and high-risk mums. Mum will be cared for by midwives with medical facilities and doctors on hand if extra support is needed.

Pain Relief Options

Birth Facilities

There is a dedicated theatre for maternity cases located on the unit.

More about Dorset County Hospital Maternity Unit

For mums that need extra care, the maternity unit has 24-hour Obstetrician support, along with Anaesthetists should you choose to have an epidural.

If your baby has any medical issues following the birth, Neonatologists and paediatric staff are available at all times.

We have a dedicated Infant Feeding Team to help you with feeding while you are staying with us. However, all staff are trained to help you feed your baby and we have full BFI accreditation.

After the birth

Provision for partners staying overnight

  • Partners are not guaranteed to be able to stay overnight, but due to the number of single rooms this can be accommodated in most circumstances

  • Partners can stay on the postnatal ward on a reclining chair if a single room is available

Your stay after you’ve given birth

  • You will usually stay in the same the same room throughout your stay

  • Women who’ve had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 6- 24 hours after the birth

Contact and visitor information

Contact information

  • Maternity reception telephone number: 01305 254267

  • Main hospital telephone number: 01305 251150

  • If in labour telephone: 0300 369 0388

Visitor information

Partners

  • No restriction (subject to agreeing to comply with privacy and dignity rules)

  • Vending machines and outlets can provide hot drinks and snacks for partners

  • Day room with tea and coffee making facilities

Your own children

  • 08:00 – 22:00

Friends and family

  • 14:00 – 19:00

Flowers and plants are not permitted on the maternity ward.

Car parking

Women in labour

  • Drop off outside entrance maximum 20 minutes stay

Partner and visitor

  • £1.70 per hour (coins only)

  • Parking permits available

Free road parking is available in some of the surrounding streets for a limited time period.

Other useful information

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair access to the wards and delivery suite

  • Limited mobility: you will have a plan of care arranged antenatally. You can be taken on a visit to the maternity unit before labour so you identify potential difficulties. There are facilities for your partner to stay.

  • Hearing problems: you will have a plan of care arranged antenatally. There are facilities for your partner to stay.

  • Sight problems: guide dogs allowed in the building you will have a plan of care arranged antenatally. You can be taken on a visit to the maternity unit before labour so you identify potential difficulties. There are facilities for your partner to stay.

  • Learning disabilities: you will have a plan of care arranged antenatally. You can be taken on a visit to the maternity unit before labour so you identify potential difficulties. There are facilities for your partner to stay.

  • Autism spectrum: you will have a plan of care arranged antenatally. You can be taken on a visit to the maternity unit before labour so you identify potential difficulties. There are facilities for your partner to stay.

Interpreting service

  • We book an interpreter to attend appointments

Specialist midwifery terms

  • Antenatal screening

  • Bereavement

  • Diabetes

  • Infant feeding

  • Perinatal mental health

  • Stop smoking

  • Teenage pregnancy

  • Multiple birth

  • Dedicated homebirth team