The Birth

The big day is approaching! By now you would have seen your baby in scans but probably not been able to see your toes for a while. The experienced obstetric staff will help advise you about whether/when to come to hospital. They will assess you when you arrive and notify Dr Blair of your admission. Dr Blair is continually in contact with the hospital staff and will come and assess the progress of labour and delivery of your baby as required.

Provided your labour is uncomplicated, you may adopt any position you find comfortable for the birth. Your partner or other family members are welcome in the birthing suite. Pain relief is at your request. The type of pain relief is based on the progress of labour. Gas, pethidine, epidural, massage and TENS machines all have their place. Electronic fetal monitoring is used in special circumstances during labour and will be discussed with you if indicated. An intravenous drip may also be indicated in certain situations.

Once you are well established in labour, it is often advantageous to have your waters broken, if it has not already happened naturally. Breaking the waters lets us know whether the waters are clear of meconium which lets us know whether your baby has been under any stress. It also generally helps progress the labour allowing you to be in a better condition when the time comes to deliver your baby. Special intervention like forceps delivery, vacuum extraction or caesarean section is sometimes necessary but will always be discussed with you and will only be done to protect you and/or your baby from risk.

An episiotomy is performed only if absolutely necessary. Unfortunately it can only be decided during delivery. Dissolving stitches are used by the Obstetrician for the repair of any tear or episiotomy. Perineal massage (from 32 weeks in your pregnancy) for 10 mins per day may help to minimize perineal injury. There is also a device called Epi-No which you may wish to purchase online.

The Obstetrics Unit at St John of God Murdoch Hospital does support the Nursing Training Unit at a number of universities here in Perth. It also supports Notre Dame & Curtin University medical students. The unit also has its own in-house trainee midwives who are all experienced registered nurses prior to commencing the programme. You will always be asked whether you consent to having them present during the birth of your child.

If any of the following occurs, please phone St John of God Murdoch Hospital on 9438 9700 and speak to one of the highly trained midwives:

  • If you have any vaginal bleeding
  • If your waters break (you feel liquid that is not urine)
  • If you think you are in labour and/or have abdominal or stomach pain
  • If your baby does not move by 6pm on any day, or if you are concerned your baby’s movements have reduced