At Ashford Hospital, you and your family are our focus. Every birth is unique and each journey is personal. Our maternity team will work with you to understand your goals and provide the best possible care for you, your baby and your family.
We will support you every step of the way. Our highly skilled team of health professionals including midwives, obstetricians and paediatricians will work together to ensure that you have a safe and memorable experience.
Before you arrive
Baby’s Movement in Pregnancy
Most women feel their baby move between 16 - 20 weeks. These are felt as a kick, flutter, swish or roll. Movements may not be felt regularly until 26 weeks gestation. From 26 weeks, if you think your baby’s movements may be reduced, please contact your Obstetrician or you can contact us on 08 8375 5237.
Your Obstetrician may recommend that you attend Ashford Hospital for an assessment. During this visit you will be assessed by a Midwife, which may include fetal monitoring.
If you have been assessed and allowed to go home and reduced movements occur again, you must contact your Obstetrician or our Midwives again. Never hesitate to contact us, no matter how many times this happens during your pregnancy.
Signs of labour
The signs of labour are different for each mother and it can be difficult to tell when labour has started. Please call Ashford Hospital on 08 8375 5237 any time during the day and night to get guidance and reassurance from one of our experienced Midwives. This phone call is important as it helps us prepare for your arrival.
What to bring
For labour and delivery:
Bring anything you like to make yourself comfortable during labour your favourite pillow, music, oils, a TENS machine. You and your partner/support person will have access to complimentary refreshments, and are welcome to bring your own too.
- Antenatal pregnancy record
- All current medications
- Comfortable day and night wear – loose fitting and front opening tops are helpful when breastfeeding
- Nursing supplies – sanitary napkins, breast pads and maternity bras
- Toiletries – deodorant, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste and toothbrush
- Baby wet wipes
- Nappies for newborns and nappy cream
- Sleep suits in a range of sizes
- Baby clothes and blanket for going home
- Car restraint installed in car for travel home
When you arrive
When you arrive please enter the hospital via the main entrance on Marleston Avenue, Ashford. Head towards the reception desk to tell the staff who will organise your admission. You can park in the adjacent multi-story car park.
Labour and delivery
In consultation with your Obstetrician, Ashford Hospital will support you and your birthing journey. Our team of experienced Midwives provide you and your family with personalised care, advice and support. We encourage your partner and/or support person to participate.
You’re welcome to take still photography but we don’t allow video recording in the Labour Suite or Operating Theatre without approval of the hospital General Manager.
If you’d like to use a professional photographer we ask that you use our approved hospital photographer only. No other professional photographers are allowed without approval of the hospital General Manager.
We offer a variety of effective ways to relieve pain in labour. Many factors play a role in the degree of pain, including the intensity of uterine contractions and the position of the baby as it moves down the birth canal.
Pain relief options include Nitrous Oxide, Epidural or other analgesia. Please discuss pain relief options with your Midwife, Obstetrician (and Anaesthetist if required).
Some families choose to collect cord blood and tissue at birth for potential use in the future.
If you wish to collect cord blood please organise this before giving birth. Click for more information on cord blood.
Neonatal care at birth
While Paediatricians do not routinely attend vaginal births unless requested, they do attend elective and emergency caesarean section births. In some cases, they also attend delivery of multiple births, premature babies, breech deliveries or other previously identified issues.
Soon after your baby is born we’ll weigh and measure them and place two identification bands on their ankles. With your consent we also give Vitamin K to babies soon after birth.
Caring for you and baby in hospital
Newborn care in hospital
Unless there is a special reason, a newborn does not generally need to be admitted to our Nursery.
To help you establish a good relationship with your newborn, we encourage you to provide care in your room, with our support as needed. Our Midwives will assist you in all areas of care for your newborn, helping you learn techniques for swaddling and settling, bathing, feeding and changing baby’s nappies.
Generally on the third day of your hospital stay, we’ll undertake the following care and checks for your baby.
The Neonatal Screening Test or Guthrie, is carried out on all babies born in Australia to detect metabolic disorders after birth. This is a heel-prick blood test.
The Newborn Hearing Screening Test, is carried out by our Midwives before you leave hospital. The test is generally performed in your room, or in a quiet location. You are welcome to stay with your baby throughout the screen. With your consent, your baby will be vaccinated against Hepatitis B as part of the national immunisation program.
Your baby’s Blue Book is given to you after the birth and needs to stay with baby during your hospital stay so that we can complete medical records prior to discharge. Your baby’s growth, development, medical history and immunisations will be recorded in the Blue Book. You should take this with you to all of your baby’s future health appointments.
Forms to register the birth of your baby and to claim maternity allowance are issued to you during your stay. It is essential you take these home with you as they cannot be redistributed. You have 60 days to register your baby’s birth.
Personalised Care Board
We use a personalised care board in your room, as another way to keep you and your family involved in your care. This is updated regularly by our health professionals with information about your care.
Lactation and breastfeeding support
We understand that there are many things you need to learn about your new baby and the Midwives at Ashford Hospital are here to help you. Our Midwives advocate breastfeeding. If you choose to breastfeed we have dedicated Lactation Consultants to support the establishment of breastfeeding.
Like anything you do for the first time, establishing breastfeeding can be either smooth or challenging. Our Midwives are here to support you at this special time and provide consistent evidence-based education.
After delivering your baby, we’ll give you a copy of our Guide to Establishing Breastfeeding booklet. For more information on breastfeeding we recommend you visit Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Ashford Hospital has a team of highly experienced Women’s Health Physiotherapists who will visit you after delivery for a postnatal assessment.
The Physiotherapist will provide advice and education to help with your recovery, including:
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Caring for your bladder and bowels
- Appropriate abdominal exercises
- Assessing abdominal separation
- Caring for your back
- Guidance with returning to your pre-pregnancy activities and exercise
- Management of mastitis (in conjunction with your Obstetrician and Midwife)
Staff identification and infant safety
All hospital staff wear photo identification. We ask you to:
- Never leave your baby or child in your room alone
- Not hand your child to anyone you don’t know
- Request to see staff identification if you don’t know them
- Keep your baby’s bassinet/cot away from the door to your room
We take the safety and security of your baby seriously. Your baby will have two identification bands on after birth and they will be checked frequently. You and your support person will also need to wear identification bands. The bands include:
- Baby’s name
- Date of baby’s birth
- Baby’s hospital identifier number
Cot safety and safe infant sleeping
We recommend that you follow these guidelines for cot safety and safe infant sleeping:
- Always have the cot lying flat
- Place your baby on their back to sleep with feet to the end of the cot
- Place your baby in the cot when you and your baby are sleeping
- Leave your baby’s head uncovered
- Do not place toys, including soft toys in the cot
- Avoid the use of a bumper, quilt and pillows
- Keep baby in a smoke-free environment
- When walking around the ward, please place your baby in the cot.
For more information on safe sleeping and infant wrapping please visit
Current maternity visitor restrictions are outlined on the following page. Keeping you safe during COVID-19.