Once your baby has arrived, our staff will continue to support you to understand and care for your baby whilst in hospital and at home.
Your parent journey: Postnatal discussion [doc] 104KB contains information that you may find useful at this stage.
Caring for your newborn
Skin to skin contact between you and your baby as soon as possible after birth is a lovely way to welcome your baby. It helps to keep them warm and calm them after they have been born. It also tends to tempt them into breastfeeding. Continuing to have skin to skin contact in the days and weeks after birth is a really good way to reassure and comfort your baby.
Keeping baby close at night is also very important. It can be very helpful to breastfeed your baby in bed; however, it is safer to put them down to sleep in a cot near to the bed after the feed has finished. Please see Caring for your baby at night - A guide for parents [pdf] 1MB for more information.
Some of the most common concerns we hear from new mothers is about their baby's sleeping and we recommend the Baby Sleep Information Source (BASIS) (opens in a new window) for more information on sleep. The Your Baby website (opens in a new window) can help you to understand your baby's behaviour and how you can help them to grow and learn.
The following videos, from the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative, provide a useful introduction:
- Importance of relationship building (opens in a new window)
- Meeting baby for the first time (opens in a new window)
Postnatal care of the perineum
Caring for your baby at night
Vaccinations for your baby - BCG
It's good to start considering if you would like your baby to be immunised against Tuberculousis after your baby has been born. We can offer the vaccine on the ward, before you go home, or you can choose to come to one of our outpatient clinics on either site. Please read this leaflet for more information: BCG for newborns - PHE information leaflet[pdf] 184KB.
Feeding your baby
If you are breast or formula feeding it is important that you know possible feeding cues such as mouth movements, restlessness, sucking their hands and turning in towards your breasts. Most babies will show you their feeding cues before they start to cry. It is often easier to feed your baby when they show these early feeding cues.
- Building a happy baby - A guide for parents [pdf] 412KB
- Infant formula and responsive bottle feeding - A guide for parents[docx] 15KB
Read more helpful advice about feeding your baby.
Your stay with us
Your length of stay in the hospital will depend on the type of labour and birth you have had, and how you and your baby are. Some mothers choose to go home six hours after giving birth, and others may stay in for longer. It is very much your choice: you will not be discharged home until you feel ready.
The postnatal wards at Epsom and St Helier hospitals are mostly set out as bays with four to six beds in each, however there are some single rooms.
Once you are home, the community midwife for your area will take over your postnatal care to around 10 days after the birth. Care is provided either at your home or at a local children's centre. This period of care can be extended for those who need it, before being handed over to the health visitor who will be responsible for your child’s development checks and wellbeing thereafter.
There are walk-in clinics for families at many GP surgeries where health visitors can weigh and measure your baby and offer advice on any issues you may have.
There are a limited number of amenity rooms available at both Epsom and St Helier hospitals.
Amenity rooms at St Helier Hospital
At St Helier Hospital, an amenity room is £130 (with en-suite facilities: basin, shower and toilet) or £100 (without en-suite facilities) per night.
Amenity rooms at Epsom Hospital
At Epsom Hospital, a large amenity room is £260 per night, and a small amenity room is £170. All rooms have en-suite facilities with basin, shower and toilet.
How to book
Amenity rooms cannot be booked in advance, and are subject to availability. Please discuss your request with a member of the midwifery team or the postnatal ward.