|Congratulations on your pregnancy. Did you know you can self-refer into the maternity service by clicking the following link:
If you can’t access the link, and live in Sandwell, please contact your local children’s centre (family hubs) by clicking the following link sandwell.gov.uk/kb5/sandwell or your GP. If you live in Birmingham, please contact your GP.
Having a baby can be an exciting and scary time. No matter what the circumstances of your pregnancy, you can be assured of the very best of care. Our maternity services help women reach informed decisions about their care throughout their pregnancy.
Maternity care is generally divided into two categories:
Low risk care is offered where any previous births and general health have been problem-free. Expecting mothers are managed throughout their pregnancies by midwives.
Combined care is provided where a medical condition exists that may need additional monitoring. Care is shared between a midwife and a consultant obstetrician (a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and childbirth).
All women and their families will be treated with kindness, respect and dignity. The views, beliefs and values of women, their partners and family in relation to their care and that of their babies will be sought and respected at all times.
We offer a wide range of services to meet individual needs. These include interpreters for women whose first language is not English.
Choosing where to have your baby
Having a baby is a natural event in life, and you should consider giving birth where you feel most comfortable and in control. You may find it helpful to talk to your midwife, or to other parents and support groups.
It’s important that you feel as relaxed as possible when you give birth, as the pain can feel worse if you are tense or anxious. When you have your baby in hospital you may use rooms with home-like surroundings or bring pillows or other items to make you feel more comfortable.
At City Hospital, the Serenity Midwifery Birth Centre is a purpose-built facility that looks and feels homely to make women feel comfortable and relaxed.
For more information about disabled access for this service, please click here.
Community midwives provide care before birth (antenatal), during birth (intrapartum) and after birth (postnatal) to all pregnant women in Sandwell and West Birmingham.
When you give birth in hospital, a midwife will be with you when you are in labour. Midwives provide antenatal care in many locations, including at Aston Pride Community Health Centre, GP surgeries and children’s centres (family hubs). Postnatal care can be provided at home, in a nearby clinic or over the phone.
Learning about being a parent and preparing for birth are important parts of pregnancy, so we provide a range of sessions to help you. Groups meet weekly either in hospital, health centres or children’s centres and discuss pregnancy, birth and childcare. Each meeting lasts about two hours, and covers topics like:
- Preparing for birth
- Pain relief during labour
- Infant feeding and baby care
- Financial benefits and child development.
Additional sessions are provided for women and their partners who are expecting multiple births, for teenage mums-to-be, for those with special needs, or women who need one-to-one support. Sessions are also available for women who do not speak English.
Following the birth of your baby, all parents who attended antenatal classes are invited back for a reunion.
If you attend antenatal classes at City Hospital you will be given the opportunity to take a tour of the Maternity Unit.
Screening & Blood Tests
During your pregnancy you will have blood tests at various stages to check on your health, and that of your baby. You will be given information leaflets beforehand that explain the tests, and you can also discuss them with your midwife before accepting them. See patient information tab for more details.
Day Assessment Unit
In the Day Assessment Unit we care for women who need extra care. This allows us to monitor patients closely but without having to admit them into hospital. The number of visits will differ for each person, according to their needs. The Day Assessment Unit is on the maternity unit, second floor at City Hospital. Opening hours are 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
The Delivery Suite
The Delivery Suite provides a comfortable environment for you to give birth in. A midwife will take care of you throughout your labour. You will find birthing balls, mats, birthing stools and other equipment that enables you to remain active during labour.
Here you will receive continuous combined care from a midwife and obstetrician (a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and childbirth) if needed.
On arrival to our maternity unit, you will go through to our triage, where you will be assessed by a midwife to see whether you are in labour. If you are, you will be admitted to the Delivery Suite. If not, a decision will be made by a doctor or midwife as to whether you should remain in hospital or return home. If you’re not in labour or if you are in early labour, you will probably be much more comfortable at home relaxing and sleeping when you can. You can always ring up for advice and assessment when to come back.
A room with a birthing pool is available.
Serenity Birth Centre
The Serenity Midwifery Birth Centre at City Hospital is run by experienced midwives and for low-risk births. They offer a comfortable environment and near to the delivery suite but is not part of it. The facility looks and feels homely – not like a hospital – helping you to relax.
Midwives offer support, encouragement and care for women who have a normal labour. This includes offering different ways to cope, such as trying different positions, relaxing, using water, or aromatherapy. You may eat and drink light food and move around as you feel comfortable. You should be able to go home within a few hours after giving birth.
Women who use Serenity find they need less pain relief and are more likely to have a normal birth.
The birth centre does not provide epidurals (powerful anaesthetics) or provide caesarean sections.
Following birth we try to make sure that all mothers have time with their newborn baby as soon as possible. This applies to all births including those born by caesarean section. Your midwife will discuss this with you during your labour.
After you have had some time to recover in the delivery suite, you will be prepared for going home. If all is well you can go home within as little as six hours, but certainly on the same day. If you had a complicated labour or a caesarean section we may ask you to stay longer. If this is the case you’ll be moved onto our postnatal ward. You will be checked over by a doctor or midwife before you go home.
Your baby will be offered a hearing test, although you can return to have this done later. Sometimes babies need immediate vaccinations (injections to protect against disease) or other tests, and these will all be arranged.
The Neonatal Unit looks after ill or premature babies. For more information go to www.swbh.nhs.uk/services/neonatal-unit/.
We are providing a single point of access for all maternity referrals in the in Sandwell and West Birmingham area. The aim is to make sure you have access to the right care from day one. We will triage your referral based on the information you provide and the hospital will contact you to start your antenatal care. In the meantime if you are worried about your pregnancy, please tell your GP straight away.
To contact a midwife for URGENT advice call:
Maternity Triage, City Hospital – 0121 507 4181 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
See below for all other enquiries:
- Community midwifery: 0121 507 3774
- Self-referrals: 0121 507 3675/4918
- City Hospital switchboard: 0121 554 3801
For general advice about your care, contact your named community midwife. You will be given their contact details early in your pregnancy.
Two birthing partners are allowed to accompany the mum-to-be whilst in labour.
Partners may visit between 9am and 9pm, with patients own children and an additional birth partner able to visit between 1-8pm (no more than two adults per bed space).
Please contact the ward for more information.
See more about visiting here: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/while-you-are-here/visiting/
Please note that should COVID-19 cases in the community rise, visiting guidance may change. If you plan to visit in the future, please make sure you check on our website nearer the time to find the most up to date guidance.
Please note, we will not tolerate any verbal or physical abuse towards our staff. Thank you for your patience.