Our maternity services
This page has details of all the different maternity services we offer at Airedale including:
Community Care | Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit | Antenatal Clinic | Maternity Assessment Centre | Labour Ward | Ward 21 | Neonatal Unit
Community midwives at Airedale NHS Foundation trust work in small teams providing care during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby.
You will be allocated a named midwife early in your pregnancy and may meet other midwives in the team. All women are encouraged to make contact with a midwife as early in pregnancy as possible so that we can discuss your choices, plan your birth and ensure the best outcomes for you and your baby.
Community midwives provide care in a variety of settings including:
Your own home
Local health centres
Birth at home
We are still able to offer a home birth service most of the time. Please speak to your midwife if you are considering a homebirth.
The care we offer is based on NICE antenatal guidelines and is tailored to meet your needs. Information can be obtained by following this link https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG62
Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit
The early pregnancy assessment unit (EPAU) provides care for women who are between 6 and 16 weeks pregnant.
Referrals are received to the unit from health professionals such as your GP, midwife or via the emergency department. You are not able to refer yourself directly to the unit but staff are available to provide advice if you experience any pain, bleeding or other problem with your pregnancy in the early stages.
Our antenatal clinic is situated within the maternity unit and can be accessed via a separate entrance for children’s outpatients and the antenatal clinic. We also run two satellite clinics in the community if this is more convenient for you. Our experienced staff have the expertise to look after women with complex pregnancies or medical conditions which may impact their pregnancy.
We hold specialist clinics here for women who:
Already have a medical condition (such as diabetes)
Have had a problem in a previous pregnancy
Develop problems during their pregnancy
Are expecting more than one baby
Any other type of pregnancy related conditions
If problems develop during pregnancy, you community midwife may refer you to our antenatal clinic to be seen by one of our consultant obstetricians.
Maternity Assessment Centre
The maternity assessment centre (MAC) is a telephone advice and assessment service for women who are more than 16 weeks pregnant and have serious concerns about their pregnancy. We see women in the unit:
who have abdominal pain or bleeding (minimal) at any stage during their pregnancy;
who think their baby may be moving less;
who think their ‘waters’ may have broken;
who feel that they may be in labour; and
for any other reason where there is a concern about their pregnancy.
MAC can be contacted on 01535 292120/292410 during opening hours: 8.30am to 7.30pm, Monday to Friday. The unit can be found in zone B location B8 (opposite ward 19, location B7).
For any of the above concerns out of hours (or if the telephone in MAC is not answered) please contact the labour ward on 01535 292402 and a midwife will be happy to help you.
For all non-urgent pregnancy advice, please contact your community midwife or GP.
Our midwives aim to provide you with a positive and safe birth experience which reflects each individual woman’s needs and wishes. If you think you may be in labour, always phone us first on 01535 292402 so we can prepare a room and allocate a midwife to your care.
On admission to the labour ward, we will review your pregnancy and assess your labour before making a plan of care with you. Our obstetric team are available 24 hours a day to support our midwives and your care.
Our labour ward offers:
Single delivery rooms with en-suite facilities
Two pool rooms for water births/active births
Four rooms with outside decking areas
Latest state of the art birthing equipment
Four bedded induction suite
Dedicated obstetric theatre
Dedicated bereavement suite
In addition, we also offer:
Televisions in some rooms
Radios/CD players in rooms
Your birth partner is able to accompany you in labour, please see our information leaflet for further details.
Ward 21 is a 15 bedded maternity ward, with a mixture of side rooms and bays, providing care for women during pregnancy and following birth. How long you remain in hospital will depend upon your individual needs, but on average the length of stay following birth is 24-48 hours.
On Ward 21, after the birth of your baby we welcome partners (male or female) to stay over. Please see our leaflet for the latest information on visiting and staying over. Women report finding their partner help and support following birth invaluable. Partners have told us that it helps assist them with the transition to family life and they feel more involved.
Some of the side rooms have beds available for partners to stay over. If your partner is staying we ask they bring their own bedding and a pillow. We can’t make food or offer your partner meals; however the hospital does have a restaurant to purchase food. There is also a designated shower/washroom for partners to use.
While on the ward, you will be cared for by midwives. You will also see our health care support workers who will help with day to day needs and our maternity support workers who can assist with infant feeding. Obstetric doctors and paediatricians will see you if needed, and the hearing screeners and physiotherapists all visit the ward daily.
The neonatal unit (special care baby unit) provides care for babies who need special observation, monitoring, investigations and treatments. Babies may stay on the unit for only a few hours or up to 16 weeks depending on their age and how much care they need.
Medical care is undertaken by a group of paediatricians, all of whom have a special interest in neonatology. Nursing care is provided by highly skilled staff, a number of whom are children’s nurses. All senior nurses are qualified to provide the specialist care that babies require. Nurses are supported by healthcare assistants, housekeeping and administrative staff as well as support from other local areas of the hospital including radiology, pharmacy, physiotherapy and social care.
At Airedale, we work with two other neonatal units: Leeds specialises in surgery and cardiology, and Bradford supports the care of the more preterm and sick newborns. We are also part of the Yorkshire Neonatal Network and babies can be transferred from other hospitals depending on the care they need.
All staff maintain a friendly atmosphere and work closely together to promote family integrated care with parents participating in the care of their baby as much as they feel able. The unit provides a sitting room/playroom and tea and coffee making facilities for parents. We also have two bedrooms and a shower for parents who wish to stay with their baby and meals are provided via the postnatal ward.