If things do not go to plan

Baby not moving much

If at any time you feel your baby is moving less frequently or slowing down contact the hospital on 0151 702 4269 / 4626 the midwife can monitor your baby and check all is well.



Everyone worries at some time that there maybe something wrong with their baby. During your first booking appointment the midwife will ask you about you and your partners family history. If you require specialist screening as you are at an increased risk of having an abnormal baby you will be referred to the fetal centre where specialist midwives can advise and support you. It may reassure you to know that 97% of babies born in the UK are normal, although some may have birthmarks or some other small variation. A further 1% of babies will be born with abnormalities that can be partly or completely corrected. About 2% however, will suffer from severe disability. Regular antenatal care and close observation during labour help so that action can be taken as necessary.


Induced labour

Sometimes labour has to be started artificially. This is called induction. This is done when there is a risk to your health or that of your baby. Induction is planned in advance giving plenty of time for questions. Your labour will be started using prostaglandin vaginal tablets, followed by breaking your waters and using an intravenous drip to start contractions. Induction can take a couple of days in some cases.


Forceps Delivery or Vacuum Extraction

If your baby needs to be helped out of the vagina perhaps because your contractions are not strong enough, your baby is in an awkward position and becoming distressed or you are tired- then forceps or vacuum (ventouse) will be used. A local anaesthetic (unless you already have and epidural or spinal anaesthetic) will be given to numb the birth canal. A small cut will be done in your perineum (area of skin between your vagina and back passage) to prevent it from tearing(episiotomy). This will be repaired following your delivery. An obstetrician will place the forceps around your baby’s head and will gentle firm pulling your baby will be born. With vacuum delivery a shallow rubber or metal cap is fitted on your baby’s head by suction. You will find red marks or swelling on your baby’s head where the forceps or vacuum have been, these will fade away.


Breech birth

This is when your baby is born bottom first. Your midwife will discuss with you the best plan of action in this case. You will be offered the opportunity to have your baby turned (ECU). The majority of babies will be born by caesarean section as this is the safest way for a baby in the breech position to be delivered. (This is not the case for twin pregnancies).


If your baby has died

In the UK around 4000 babies every year are stillborn. About the same number die soon after they are born. Often the causes are unknown. At the LWH every effort is made to support you, your partner and your family through this very distressing time. You will be given time to hold your baby give your baby a name and if you wish arrange religious blessings. There are a team of specialists to help you and your partner come to terms with your loss. Help and advice will be given around your baby’s funeral.


There is sometimes no answer at to why your baby has died. A post-mortem will be offered which may give more information. An appointment with the consultant obstetrician to explain to you what is known can also be arranged.


If Your Baby is Ill

In some cases you baby will require special care following birth. This is done in the neonatal intensive care unit here at the LWH. In some cases your baby will need to stay in hospital after you have been discharged home. Every effort is made to accommodate you so that you can spend as much time as possible with your baby. Overnight accommodation is offered for the first 10 days. If you need accommodation after that, please discuss with the Matron.

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