Antenatal and Postnatal Ward
AWH, Wodonga Hospital's maternity ward provides inpatient pregnancy care and post natal care. During your stay, midwives will provide information and support on how to look after yourself and your baby. AWH provides extended postnatal care where midwives can visit you at home following your discharge from hospital. Facilities include two-bed and single bed rooms. (Single beds are generally for mothers with private health cover, specific needs or women who experience complex complications).
Rooming In-To enhance breast feeding and mothering skills, your baby will stay with you throughout your hospital stay. Education and assistance will be offered to you on all aspects of parenting. Other services women can be linked with are:
- Social work
- Early parenting breast feeding service
- Continence service
- Outpatient follow up appointments
- Referral to other medical teams such as paediatrics.
General Visiting hours are from 11.00am - 1.00pm and 3.30pm - 8.00pm.
Your partner and other children may visit between 8am - 12:00 pm and 3:30pm – 8.00 pm. Other visitors are welcome between 11.00am - 1.00pm and 3.30pm - 8.00pm. The Maternity Services philosophy of care is to promote rest, and encourage a quiet rest time between 1pm and 2.30 pm. Access to the hospital for visitors is restricted after 8.00pm as entry doors are locked.
If you feel you need to have some extra rest time with no visitors, please let your midwife know. In the interests of the health of mothers and babies, please discourage anyone who is unwell from visiting you and your baby in hospital. There are visiting restrictions to the special care Nursery and visitors are subject to special requirements. Information on visiting the Special Care Nursery will be provided to parents should their baby be admitted to the Special Care Nursery.
Rest Period: The postnatal ward is kept a quiet as possible between 12.30pm and 2.30pm daily to encourage mothers to rest. All visiting and phone calls are restricted during this time.
Caesarean Section: For women booked for a caesarean section you will be admitted on the morning of your scheduled surgery. You may be required to attend the Maternity Unit for an anaesthetic consultation in the week prior to your planned caesarean section. A letter or phone call will inform you if you are required to attend.
Discharge Planning: Hospital Midwives will plan and discuss your discharge with you from the time you book until you are discharged home from hospital care. Follow-up care will be provided by a midwife at home. Discharge is expected at approximately 48 hours for uncomplicated births. You will be encouraged and supported to plan for your discharge home with your new baby.
Women who have had a caesarean section are planned for discharge 72 hours following birth. Discharge time is by 11.00 am on the day of discharge. If you foresee any problems with discharge please let the Midwife know.
Domiciliary Home Based Postnatal Care: When preparing to go home with your baby the Midwife will discuss with you your options for discharge from hospital. A Midwife is available to visit mothers at home after discharge. If you live out of town the Midwife will be from your local area, referred to as an outreach Midwife, and if you live within Albury - Wodonga the Midwife will be from the Maternity Unit.
All mothers are encouraged to go home soon after 2 days (48 hours) following a vaginal birth and approximately 4 days following a caesarean section birth. At times a longer stay is required. The need for a longer stay will be discussed with you and your partner.
The Midwives encourage you to settle in at home with your baby as soon as possible after the birth. In your home environment you can focus on your needs and the needs of your baby in a relaxed and familiar atmosphere. You will be well supported and your care individualised. The hours of the Domiciliary Midwife service are: 8.00 am to 4.30 pm each day (Except Christmas day and Good Friday). Phone (02) 60 517 254.
Maternity Unit Social Work Service: Pregnancy and giving birth are major events for women and their families. While this can be a happy and exciting time for some, for others it may be a challenging time. Social Workers in the Maternity Unit are part of the team of skilled health professionals that includes Doctors, Midwives and other Allied Health staff. While you are in hospital, Maternity Social Workers are able to assist with a variety of issues. If you would like to see a Social Worker you may ask other hospital staff (Doctors or Midwives) to organise this for you. For further information or to arrange an appointment with the Social Worker please contact the Antenatal Receptionist at Wodonga Hospital on Phone: (02) 6051 7240.
Parking: AWH Wodonga Hospital is located five minutes from the Hume Highway. The MaternityUnit entrance is located off Wilson Street. Limited parking is available in the Maternity Unit car park off Wilson Street. Street parking near the Maternity Unit is available but is time restricted and policed.
No Smoking Policy: AWH (AWH) Wodonga Hospital promotes a smoke free environment.
Interpreters: Interpreters are available on request.
Allied Health Services:
A range of allied health services are available to meet the individual needs of women who birth at AWH, Wodonga Hospital. These services can be accessed during pregnancy or during your stay in hospital. For further information ask your Doctor or Midwife. A referral will be arranged as required by your Doctor or Midwife.
Allied Health Services include:
- Diabetic Educator
- Continence Nurse
- Social Worker
Victorian Infancy Hearing Screening Program
The Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) screens the hearing of newborn babies in their first weeks of life. A small number of babies are born every year with a hearing loss which can affect their developing speech and language skills, so early identification and assistance is important. The newborn hearing screen identifies babies who need to go on to have a full hearing test at audiology. Parents/guardians of babies, identified as requiring audiology, are fully supported through the process of diagnosis and intervention by the VIHSP Early Support Services.
The hearing screen:
- is performed by trained hearing screeners
- uses standard technology (Automated Auditory Brainstem Response AABR)
- is usually completed at the mothers bedside while the baby is asleep (in hospital) or at an outpatient appointment
What to bring to hospital:
For Yourself: Clothing and night wear to suit your stay in the Maternity Ward.
- Nursing bras and nursing pads
For Your Baby: Baby clothes (e.eg. singlets, body suits, mittens, beanie) for use in hospital.
- Bunny rugs
- Disposable nappies (newborn size)
- Baby wipes
- Baby soap or bath solution
Birthing Suite staff provides care for women in labour and also for women with some pregnancy complications. There are a total of six birth rooms, each with an ensuite. There is provision for water immersion in labour for pain relief where appropriate. Meals are not provided for support people; however tea and coffee making facilities are available.
Birth Plan Information : AWH Wodonga Hospital Maternity Unit provides quality care for pregnant women. We recognise that birth plans and preferences are preferred by some women during labour and birth. If you choose to complete a birth plan it is important that it is discussed with your Maternity Care Provider and with the Midwives and Doctors caring for you during labour. Please ask at time of booking in if you require a Birth Plan Form.
Support in labour: You may like to choose support people to stay with you during labour and birth. We suggest you plan to have no more than three people present. It is important that they have been prepared for this role. Children are welcome, but an adult is required to accompany them.
Fit for Birth Classes
AWH offers fit “For Birth Classes” for pregnant women. The weekly class is provided by Physiotherapists with experience in antenatal care and exercise. Classes involve 45 minutes of varied exercise they are held in the Community Rehabilitation Centre (on Vermont Street) at Wodonga Hospital between 5.15pm and 6.30pm
How to register for the class: You will be asked to provide your contact details and will be sent an indemnity form. There is a small cost for each class.
Antenatal Education Classes
Antenatal classes prepare parents for the arrival of your baby and provide an understanding of the birth process and what to expect in the first weeks after birth. Classes provide information relating to pregnancy, labour and early parenting and an opportunity for discussion. All women having their first baby are encouraged to attend antenatal classes.
There is a range of classes to choose from including the five week series (one evening per week) or all day classes. Classes are held at Wodonga Hospital in the Antenatal Education Room (entry via the Maternity Unit). There is a charge for classes.
To book classes please contact the Antenatal Receptionist on Phone: (02) 6051 7240.
Antenatal Education Classes for Young Mums - Sessions are held for young mothers. The sessions feature small groups, a relaxed and fun atmosphere with a light lunch. It is led by Midwives keen to help young Mums through labour and birth. You can bring along your partner, support person, friend or Mum.
There is a small charge for classes. To book classes please contact the Antenatal Receptionist on Phone: (02) 6051 7240.
These are conducted on weekends between 2-3 pm and start from the Reception Desk at the Maternity Unit Entrance. Alternatively if you are attending Antenatal Classes a tour will be conducted as part of the class. To arrange a tour for the weekend phone (02) 60517240.
AWH Wodonga Hospital is committed to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, however, AWH Wodonga Hospital recognises that not all women choose or are able to breastfeed. AWH Maternity Services is committed to the 'Baby Friendly' Health initiative and actively supports mothers who choose to breastfeed their baby.
Benefits for your baby: Breast milk provides the right nutrition for your baby’s needs for growth and development for the first 6 months of life. It protects your baby against gastroenteritis and diarrhoea, chest and ear infections and may also protect against allergies and diabetes.
Benefits to mother: It promotes closeness to mother and bonding with baby and reduces risk of bleeding after the birth of your baby. It also helps you return to pre-pregnancy weight and protects against breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis later in life. It is convenient, safe and free.
Nipple Preparation for Breastfeeding: Ask the midwife/doctor to check your nipples. If they are appear inverted or very flat you can discuss steps to assist in correcting this
- Unless the skin is dry nipple creams are not necessary.
- Pulling and rolling the nipples between your thumb and finger can be helpful.
- Gently pat nipples dry after showering or bathing.
The Importance of Skin to Skin Contact after Birth: Placing baby straight onto the mother’s skin enables the baby to feel calm and warm. It also produces a strong hormonal response in the mother. This initial skin to skin contact, for at least one hour, before injections and other procedures are attended is shown to promote to higher breastfeeding success and longer breastfeeding duration. It is also possible after a caesarean birth.
Getting Position and Attachment Right: The first few days allow a chance for mother and baby to learn breastfeeding skills. It is important that the mother learns how to hold and correctly attach her baby to the breast to help avoid pain and ensure your baby receives sufficient milk. Breastfeeding is a learned skill that takes time, patience and practice.
Demand Feeding: Your baby will feed a minimum of 7 to 8 times and up to 12 times in 24 hours while breastfeeding is being established - this is very normal and will settle with time as milk supply establishes.
Rooming In: The Maternity Unit has a 24 hour rooming in policy, ie: the baby stays with the mother. Keeping your baby with you helps you to recognise when your baby is hungry, tired or needs a cuddle.
Using Teats, Dummies and Complementary Feeds: Your new baby is learning to breastfeed and can become confused if offered a teat or dummy before they have learnt to breastfeed well. Offering fluids other than breast milk will decrease the time your baby breastfeeds, which will reduce your breast milk supply. Frequent, unrestricted suckling at the breast will satisfy the baby.
At booking the Midwife will provide you with the following information brochures:
- “Breast or Bottle. What will you choose?” Brochure.
- “7 reasons why mother’s milk is better for you and your baby.” Brochure Australian Breastfeeding Association.
- Breastfeeding Education Classes Leaflet.
- AWH Breastfeeding Support Service.
Australian Breastfeeding Association Breastfeeding Education Classes at AWH, Wodonga Hospital
Breast Feeding, while natural, is still a learned skill for both mother and baby, it helps to learn as much as you can before the birth. Confidence, support and knowledge all help. We encourage expectant parents to come and join our breastfeeding education classes. These comprehensive workshop style sessions aim to expand upon the knowledge gained at antenatal classes.
Come along with your partner or support person and ensure that you have up to date information, knowledge and support on breastfeeding your baby. Classes are held at AWH, Wodonga Hospital, in the Antenatal Education room. For dates and to book into breast feeding classes contact: Sharon on (02) 6041 2351 or email email@example.com Places are limited for each class.
AWH, Wodonga Hospital Lactation Support Service: The Breast Feeding Support Service provides breast feeding support and education to mothers and their babies who are experiencing breast feeding difficulties. This service can offer breast feeding support and education during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby, and after discharge from hospital up to six months of age. Partners or a support person is welcome to attend with their baby and the mother.
Appointments are available between 8am to 3.30pm. The service operates 4 days per week Monday to Wednesday & Fridays in the Maternity Unit (access via the Wilson Street, Maternity Unit Entrance. AWH - Wodonga Hospital Breast Feeding Support Service Maternity Unit (off Wilson Street). For an appointment or to speak with the Lactation Consultant. Phone (02) 60 517 240.
For more information or assistance with breast feeding: Australian Breastfeeding Association There are local groups in Albury, Wodonga, Corryong and Wangaratta. Phone 1800 686 268 National Helpline. Lactation Day Stay Unit. Northeast Health 34 Cusack Street, Wangaratta, Victoria. Phone (03) 5722 0111.
For information about Perinatal Emotional Health Program click here.