In most cases, women and babies get through birth with no major complications, but sometimes women and / or babies can become unwell during labour, or labour can stop progressing.
Although this is extremely scary for you both, try not to worry if an emergency situation arises. The room may fill with staff who are there to take care of your partner and the baby. They will stay until the problem has been dealt with. Try to reassure your partner and remain calm. The staff have lots of experience of dealing with complications and will be doing their best to help.
If labour isn’t progressing well, your partner becomes unwell or your baby needs help, the team may suggest either an assisted delivery or an emergency caesarean. It’s good to be prepared for these things by reading the relevant sections so you know what to expect.
The team will do their best to deliver the baby safely. In most cases, mum and baby are fine after receiving this help, but sometimes one or both will need extra care.
If your baby needs treatment, they will be taken to the Neonatal Unit at Poole or the Special Care Baby Unit at Dorchester. In most cases, you can accompany your baby to the NNU/SCBU and your partner can join you when she is well enough. You may not want to leave your partner, especially if they are also unwell, so speak to the midwife taking care of her about what to do.
In some cases, if your baby needs more intensive care or the unit is full, they may need to be transferred to another hospital, which will be done in a special ambulance. Staff will do their best to keep your partner and your baby together at the same hospital but this isn’t always possible.
Usually your partner will be taken to the postnatal ward, but if she needs more care, she may need to be moved to the High Dependency Unit, or on rare occasions she may need to be transferred to a more specialist hospital.
If your partner and/or the baby do need additional care, the staff will explain everything to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you understand what’s going on. It can help to write things down if you’re being given a lot of information.