Each month around 370 babies are born at Basildon Hospital.
Our 320 maternity staff care for women in pregnancy, labour and beyond, and the maternity department was the first in the country to receive an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
We recently spent a day in the maternity unit at Basildon University Hospital to find out more about the service and the staff who work there.
To see the whole day on social media, search #BasildonHospmaternity on Twitter.
What does it mean to be a midwife?
It takes three years to train to be a midwife and includes time at university, in hospital and in the community.
Pictured: Lesley Overy, maternity matron: “Being a midwife is a vocation, a way of life, not just a job.”
Laura Hardy, student midwife: “The best thing is supporting couples through transition to becoming a family.”
We have two obstetric theatres on our delivery suite specially equipped for caesarean sections. Each year at Basildon Hospital around 11% of births are planned caesareans and 15% are emergency caesareans.
Pictured: Ms Bagtharia, consultant obstetrician, and the theatre team.
Recovery after a caesarean can take several days but most women are ready to go home within 48 hours.
Willow Suite, midwife-led birthing unit
Our Willow Suite midwife-led birthing unit supports around 100 women each month to give birth. Most are ready to go home with their new baby within 6-8 hours.
Pictured: Willow ward has a lounge area and five delivery rooms, two with birthing pools
Women with low risk pregnancy receive antenatal care from a community midwife. Women with more a complex pregnancy will have antenatal care led by a consultant.
Two routine ultrasound scans are offered, screening scan at 12-14wks, detailed scan at 18-21wks to assess baby's wellbeing
There are many benefits from contacting a midwife early in pregnancy. If you have a positive pregnancy test you can contact a midwife by email maternity direct email@example.com
Pictured: Jane Carter, antenatal clinic manager speaks with a mum-to-be about choices for delivery.
Mulberry Assessment Unit
The team on our Mulberry Assessment Unit care for women from 20 weeks of pregnancy who need close monitoring.
Pictured: The team of seven midwives in the Mulberry Assessment Unit see around 35 women each day.
Support after birth
Women who have any questions following the birth of their baby can contact our
birth afterthoughts midwife by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: We have two specialist midwives for infant feeding, Lisette Harris and Geraldine Purver, who offer support to pregnant women and new mums on breastfeeding to get feeding off to a good start. Lisette and Geraldine run @feedingtogether see website and download app at feedingtogether.com
We are proud that our maternity services are fully accredited Unicef Baby Friendly. For details of what this means see www.unicef.org.uk
Each year our 39 community midwives support more than 100 women in Basildon and Thurrock to give birth at home. Homebirth can be a great option for women with low-risk pregnancy.
Pictured: Alan Jenkins is our only male midwife.
Neonatal intensive care unit, NICU
There are around 50 experienced staff in our NICU team caring for babies born prematurely and babies needing extra support. More than 450 babies each year receive care in NICU.
Pictured: NICU has 21 costs offering intensive, high dependency and special care.