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Formerly St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Your Pregnancy and Birth Header image showing new mums and hospital staff

Your Pregnancy and Birth

Our Maternity Team aim to provide the best possible experience for mothers, babies and families.

The majority of women experience very normal pregnancies and we have a full range of options for maternity care throughout your pregnancy and birth journey. Please watch our Maternity Services video below to find out more.

I’ve just found out I am pregnant; how do I choose Whiston Maternity Services for my care?

We are thrilled that you wish to have our baby under the care of our amazing team. We encourage you to refer for maternity care as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.

If you are resident in Halton, you can self-refer directly to our maternity service by contacting 0151 495 5079 or 0151 430 1492.

If your GP Practice is in St Helens or Knowsley, you can self-refer directly to our maternity service 0151 495 5079 or 0151 430 1492. Alternatively, you can refer via your community midwife based at your GP surgery.

Please refer to your GP Practice if it is not based in Halton, St Helens, or Knowsley.

Once I have chosen Whiston Maternity Services, where will my pregnancy care be?

Your pregnancy care (known as antenatal care) will consist of scheduled appointments with a midwife and/or specialised doctor (if needed).

You will normally receive your first appointment, which is called the ‘booking-in’ appointment by the time you are 8-12 weeks pregnant.

As your pregnancy progresses, you will have appointments at the hospital, in your GP surgery, in local health centres and occasionally at home.

After your baby is born, you will receive postnatal care from midwives in your own home.

If you are thinking of having a home birth, you will still need to book your pregnancy with the hospital so that our Community Midwives can provide you with care whilst you are in labour at your home.

Will I need screening tests and where will my scans take place?

During your pregnancy, you will offered several screening tests to try and find any health problems that could affect you or your baby. Your midwife will discuss these tests with you. Click here for more information about screening tests.

Ultrasound scans are another kind of test to confirm the health of our baby. The main scans you will be offered are the 12-week dating scan and the second 20-week scan (sometimes known as an anomaly scan). This 20 week scan looks in detail at your baby's organs and bones. It is important to remember that the scan cannot find everything that could be wrong with your baby. If you wish to know the sex of your baby, you can ask the sonographer if they are able to tell from the scan. 

Your scan will be offered at a site based on screening choices that you make in pregnancy. 

What options do I have when it comes to giving birth? 

You will discuss your place of birth with your midwife or doctor at around 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy, but you should consider your options before this time.

At home - Being at home can help you feel more in control and more able to relax. It is also known to reduce the need for pain relief. However, with this choice you should be informed that, where there is a problem during labour, you may need to be transferred to the hospital maternity unit. How far away you live from Whiston Hospital and the time it could take to be transferred here, all need to be considered.

With a planned home birth, a midwife will provide care during labour and following birth in your own home. Midwives are trained to help you give birth at home safely and will advise you if transferring to the hospital would be best for you and your baby.

The Sapphire Suite (midwife-led unit) - You may feel that you would prefer to give birth in our Midwife Led Unit at Whiston Hospital. Some women feel reassured in a hospital environment, and following the birth, arrangements can be made for you to go home the same day.

The Sapphire Suite is designed for healthy women at low risk of complications. Here, we specialise in providing care which helps women to have a birth without medical interventions.

Delivery Suite - Delivery Suite provides neonatal, medical, and anaesthetic care. Care is provided by a team including obstetricians (doctors who specialise in birth) and midwives.

If you are at high risk of complications during labour and birth, then you will have your baby on Delivery Suite with an obstetrician leading your care.

If your pregnancy has been straightforward but you require an epidural for pain relief, you will give birth on Delivery Suite with a midwife leading your care.

More information about your birth options can be found in our Maternity leaflets section - click here.

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