Poole’s Labour Ward is the centre for high-risk maternity care in East Dorset. We aim to give mums as much choice as possible in their maternity care. If you or your baby have complications, we are fully equipped to meet your needs, but we also welcome mums with low-risk pregnancies and births.

  • Eight en-suite birth rooms

  • One birthing pool

  • One birth room without en-suite

Who can give birth here?

This Labour Ward is the recommended option for women who are advised they are higher-risk:

  • Mums who have had a high-risk pregnancy in the past

  • Mums who have an existing medical condition

  • Mums who have developed a complication in this pregnancy

  • Mums who are having an elected C-section

  • Mums who wish to use epidural as a method of pain relief are strongly advised to give birth in the Labour Ward.

Pain Relief Options

Birth Facilities

We have facilities for continuous monitoring of your baby, including telemetry, a wireless monitoring system that allows you to move around while your baby is being monitored.

We also have two theatres – these are used for caesareans, as well as some assisted deliveries.

We have a separate small ward for women who have come in for an elective caesarean and we aim to make this process as relaxed and smooth as possible. Women who need an emergency caesarean will usually wait in the labour ward until they are ready for theatre.

More about the Labour Ward

The Labour Ward is a consultant-led unit, which means that there are doctors on site to oversee the care of mums with additional medical needs. If you don’t have any complications, you will be taken care of by midwives, and you’ll only see the doctors if you need them. Because there are doctors working in the unit, we can offer enhanced care to mums who need it, such as those with complex pregnancies, medical conditions, or twins or more. Some mums will be advised to have their baby in a consultant-led unit during their pregnancy, if their team feel this would be safest for mum and baby.

After the birth

Private postnatal rooms

  • Private rooms are available

  • £175 subject to availability on the day

Your stay after you’ve given birth

  • After you have given birth you’ll be transferred to a bed in the postnatal area

  • Women who’ve had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for at least 2 hours after the birth

If you need additional monitoring or medical treatment, you will be transferred to the Postnatal ward. If your baby needs to be monitored or to receive medical treatment, they may be taken to the Neonatal Unit, or you may both be sent to the Transitional Care Unit.

Contact and visitor information

Contact information

  • Main telephone number: 01202 665511

  • Booking telephone number: 0300 0192327

  • If in labour telephone: 0300 369 0388

Visitor information


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

Your own children

  • 10:00 – 21:00

Friends and family

  • 14:00 – 16:00 and 19:00 – 20:00

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

  • £1.80 per hour

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

Other useful information


  • Wheelchair access to the wards and delivery suite

  • Limited mobility: lifts available and disabled toilets/shower rooms

  • Hearing problems: reception staff and some midwives can use British Sign Language

  • Sight problems: guide dogs allowed in the building

  • Learning disabilities: case loaded by the vulnerable women’s midwifery team (Family Partnership)

  • Autism spectrum: case loaded by the vulnerable women’s midwifery team (Family Partnership)

Neonatal care

  • Local neonatal unit (LNU) provides special care for newborn babies in the local area, except for those who are critically ill and need intensive care

Interpreting service

  • Face to face interpreting service can be booked and telephone interpreting service available out of hours. Contact the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 0300 0198499 or pals@poole.nhs.uk.

  • Prompt cards for different languages

Specialist midwifery terms

  • Antenatal screening

  • Bereavement

  • Diabetes

  • Infant feeding

  • Vulnerable women

  • Dedicated homebirth team