Maternity Services

The Western Trust has two maternity departments based at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry and the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen:

  • Altnagelvin maternity department is a located in a modern-designed purpose-built unit in the South Wing of Altnagelvin Hospital, opened in February 2009.
  • The maternity department is located on the second floor of the state-of-the-art single room South West Acute Hospital outside Enniskillen.

The Trust also has community midwifery teams who provide services for women in the Limavady, Londonderry, Strabane, Omagh and Fermanagh localities. Click on the links below to find out more about our Maternity Services.

 

 


professional team will care for you during your pregnancy and labour and following the birth of your baby.

  • Obstetricians are doctors who specialise in maternity care
  • Midwives provide complete care during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Community Midwives are midwives who work in your local community
  • Paediatricians are doctors who specialise in the care of babies and children
  • Anaesthetists are doctors who specialise in meical pain relief and are responsible for administering epidurals
  • Physiotherapist provide antenatal and postnatal exercise and relaxation advice
  • Social Workers provide advice and support in many circumstances
  • Dieticians specialise in dietary advice
  • Breastfeeding advisor provides advice and support for mothers with feeding difficulties
  • Parentcraft coordinator provides antenatal education
  • Antenatal screening coordinator is responsible for the screening of all bloods taken and acting on the results, if necessary
  • Supervisor of midwives – is a practising midwives who has been appointed to ensure that the care women receive from midwives is safe and of high quality. She does this by making sure that midwives have up-to-date information and training, and by providing them with guidance and support. You can contact the supervisor of midwives by calling 028 7134 5171 (Altnagelvin) or 028 6638 2000 (South West Acute Hospital) if you have any concerns regarding your care.


Parentcraft classes

We provide parentcraft classes at Altnagelvin and the South West Acute Hospitals as well as supporting classes at local Health Centres. These are sessions for all mothers and their partners, providing information on pregnancy, labour, parenting, exercise and relaxation.

 

To book parentcraft classes talk to your community midwife or contact the parentcraft midwives on

 028 7134 5171 (Altnagelvin) or 028 6638 2000 (South West Acute Hospital). Women usually attend classes when they are around 30-32 weeks pregnant.

        


Foetal Assessment Units

The Trust has three foetal assessment units based in Altnagelvin Hospital, the Women’s Centre in Tyrone County Hospital and the South West Acute Hospital. Expectant mother may attend the units if they have any concerns or worries about their pregnancy. Screening tests are also carried out in the units and outpatient care is give to mothers who have antenatal problems such as raised blood pressure, that do not require admission to hospital.

       

They are run by a team of experience midwives who provide support and advice to mothers. Medical advice is sought as necessary. You may be referred to the unit by your GP, your community midwife, antenatal clinic, your consultant obstetrician or the accident and emergency department.

     


Birth Plan

A birth plan is your opportunity to tell us your preferences for labour and delivery. By writing a birth plan, you will let the midwife know what you would like, which will help her to make it a positive experience for you both. It is important, however, that you keep your options open and flexible as every birth is different. Please discuss your birth plan with your midwife at 32-36 weeks of pregnancy.

        


Going into labour

When you go into labour, contact your community midwife it is it between 9am and 5pm. Outside these hours please contact the main Hospitals for any advice required on 028 71345171 (Altnagelvin) or 028 6638 2000 (South West Acute Hospital).

    

In early labour you may remain at home. Your partner may stay with you as a birth partner in the delivery suite where a midwife will provide all your care and assist with delivering your baby. If there are any problems, a doctor will be consulted.

Most women will go into labour spontaneously by 42 weeks. However if your baby is overdue, your doctor or midwife will discuss the options with you and recommend how to proceed. Induction of labour, or ‘being induced’, is a process that starts labour artificially.


Water births

The benefits of using water for labour are now widely recognised. There are pools available in the South West Acute Hospital Delivery Suite or the Midwifery Led Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital for use by women in labour whose pregnancy as been problem-free. To use the pool there are guidelines that you should be aware of, to ensure the safety of you and your baby. Please ask the Parentcraft midwife for more details.

    


Breastfeeding support

Altnagelvin Hospital and the South West Acute Hospital and Community have been awarded with the UNICEF Baby Friendly status which means our health professionals ensure parents are supported to make fully informed choices about how they feed their babies. It is our aim within the Western Trust to ensure that all mothers have appropriate information and knowledge regarding breastfeeding to make informed decisions about feeding their baby.

    

For more information about breastfeeding support groups in the Western Trust area, click here. 

       


Midwifery Liaison Groups

The Western Trust works alongside two Maternity Liaison groups, Mums the Word and Mothers Voice. Maternity liaison groups are formed to gather opinions, feedback and advice from local mums on how they find the maternity services available to them in the Western Area. It is a way for the health trust to communicate with and listen to patients, helping improve the maternity services available for other mums.

Mums The Word is a group of local mothers and health staff working together to improve local maternity services in the Fermanagh & Tyrone Areas of the Western Trust. They are a group made up of parents and supporters to talk about different patient experiences of the maternity service in South Tyrone & Fermanagh.

If you have something to say about our maternity services and you want your voice heard then come along to our next meeting. You can share your experiences with other mums, help improve your local maternity services and there is no commitment come as often or as little suits you.

For further information: download the poster, visit Mum’s the Word Facebook page, tweet @mumsthewordmslc, call 028 8167 9208 or email.

All the comments on the Facebook page are for/by 'health service users' only; but they will be useful to meetings of Maternity Services Liaison Committee in Fermanagh. These comments will remain anonymous in the MSLC's (Maternity Services Liaison Committee) meetings which take place with health professionals.

 

Mothers Voice is the Northern Maternity Services Liaison Committee consisting is a group of local women and health professionals working together to develop woman centred maternity services and improve maternity services for women living in Derry, Limavady and Strabane.

Mothers’ Voice work together with the health trust to make birth a more positive experience. In the past the group has encouraged use of birthing pools, set up a breastfeeding network and commissioned a research report on local women’s views of maternity care in the North West.

Mothers’ Voice members are mothers, volunteering their time to celebrate the best of what the maternity service has to offer and to campaign for change in the areas that need improvement. Mothers’ Voice gives a voice to the hundreds of women that use the service in the North West each year. Through quarterly informal meetings, women come along to talk about their experiences and any issues raised at these meetings can then be highlighted to the relevant bodies at the quarterly Full Committee Meetings. New members are always welcome to come along and share their experiences or alternatively feel free to give feedback, negative or positive so we can help improve these services in the community.

Mothers' Voice
Beibhinn House,
5 Guildhall Street
Derry
  T: 028 7126 7672
E: mothersvoice@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.mothersvoice-mslc.com/

Useful information
    
If you're about to become a mum, again or maybe for the first time, this is a time of great change, on the outside and inside. Getting to know your baby (PDF) will help you understand what your baby needs to feel safe and secure and will help you get off to a good start with feeding and caring for your baby. It will also explain where to get help if you need it.
 
Alcohol and Pregnancy (PDF) - This guide is for you if you think you might be pregnant now or hope to be in the future. It is aimed at answering some of the questions you may have about alcohol and pregnancy. It will guide you to make healthier choices.

Virtual Tour of Maternity Services at Altnagelvin Hospital

The Trust has developed a virtual tour of the maternity units at Altnagelvin Hospital. The tour can be viewed below. If you have difficulty viewing the tour please arrange to borrow a DVD from your community midwife. The new virtual tour have taken over from the traditional guided tour of the hosptial's maternity services.