Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

Alongside Birth Centre

Last updated: 22 Jun 2017

The Birthing Unit

Contact & visitor information

A birth centre is a more homely environment, where the focus is on birth without medical intervention.

a large unit

772

births from Apr 2017 to Apr 2018

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3

Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Local Neonatal Unit (LNU)

Pain-relief options

  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Diamorphine
  • Meptid
  • Morphine sulphate (Oramorph)
  • Pethidine
  • Remifentanil
  • Sterile water injections
  • Epidural
  • Birth pool
  • Other: Opioids may be obtained from the labour ward if required.
Find out more about pain relief during labour

Having a baby here

During labour and birth

  • If you arrive in the early stages of labour
    • You'll be seen by a midwife who will check the progress of your labour
    • You'll be encouraged to go home
    • There's a dedicated area where women can keep active
    • You can have a bath or use a birth pool if available
    • You can be admitted to the antenatal ward
  • Birthing rooms
    • 3 Birthing room(s)
    • 3 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 3 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • The limit on number of birth supporters is strict
    • You can have the following number of birth partners with you during labour: 2

Birth facilities

  • Aromatherapy service
  • Bean bags
  • Birth balls
  • Birth mats
  • Birthing couch
  • Dimmable lighting
  • iPod dock
  • Reclining chair
  • Supporting rope or sling
  • TENS machine
  • Hypnobirthing / Natal hypnotherapy
  • Birthing stools
  • TV
  • Rocking chair

After you've given birth

  • Private postnatal rooms
    • Amenity rooms are available.
    • £180 ensuite
  • Provision for partners staying overnight
    • Partners can stay on the postnatal ward on a chair
  • Your stay after you've given birth
    • After you have given birth you'll be transferred to a bed in the postnatal area
    • Women who've had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 6-24 hours after the birth
    • If you're transferred to the labour ward during the birth you can come back to the birth centre postnatally
  • Contact & visitor information

How many midwives will I meet?

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born, but different midwives when you're in labour.

You will be looked after by a small team of midwives for antenatal care, during labour and for postnatal care.

Find out about the benefits of knowing your midwife

Statistics

* We’ve adjusted the data where it’s based on a small number of women to ensure confidentiality
Compared to the national average, women were:
    What is your situation?

    Is this your first birth?

    Have you had a caesarean for a previous birth?

    Are you at a higher risk of complications?

    Clear answers

    Is this the best unit for you?

    Find out more about your local options and where you want to give birth

    Use our tool to find out

    Who can give birth here?

    • This birth centre/midwife-led unit is the default option for low risk women at this hospital
    • Eligibility
      • Baby must be head down
      • You can discuss having your baby here, even if you don't fit the following criteria.
      • Can be Group B Strep positive
      • Straightforward pregnancy
      • Straightforward previous pregnancies
      • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
      • BMI between 18 and 35.0
      • Aged between 17 and 40 years old
      • Between 37 and 41+4 weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 3 previous babies
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area: West Essex and East Hertfordshire.
      • You can give birth here even if you don't live in the catchment area

    Support services

    • Accessibility
      • Wheelchair access to the wards and delivery suite
      • Limited mobility: services will be commissioned as required, dependent on individual assessment.
      • Hearing problems: A full individual assessment of your needs will be made and interpretation services will be commissioned. Leaflets are availble for all aspects of care
      • Sight problems: Information is available in special format for disabled patients by contacting 01279 827211. The patient will receive a full assessment of their individual needs and an appropriate care plan made.
      • Learning disabilities: patients' individual needs will be assessed and learning disabilities nurses employed by the trust are available for advice.
      • Autism spectrum: a specialist team within Princess Alexandra Hospital are available to provide support and assess individual needs.
    • Interpreting service
      • All team midwives will be able to organise interpretation through services that are contracted by the trust
      • There are some patient leaflets which are available in languages other than English. We also have the use of interpreting services.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Teenage pregnancy
      • Vulnerable women
      • Smoking cessation

    Women's experiences

    Reviews of this hospital

    Source: Care Opinion
    • First baby

      Received awful care from start to finish. I went in to be induced took 4 days for them to break my waters as there was a lack of beds, once my waters had been broken was moved into a delivery room...

      by Tag18, 24 Oct 2018

      Read on Care Opinion
    • Antenatal Classes

      We are having our first child and my wife is now 26 weeks pregnant. Our experience from the beginning has been great and the midwife team are very supportive, not only at the hospital but also at...

      by Anonymous, 29 Aug 2018

      Read on Care Opinion
    Source: CQC

    Care Quality Commission (CQC) Maternity Services Survey 2015

    Scores are for the NHS Trust that this hospital is part of.

    • Labour and birth

    • Staff

    • Care in hospital after birth

    • Labour and birth

      9.3/10

      Better compared with other trusts

    • Staff

      8.9/10

      About the same compared with other trusts

    • Care in hospital after birth

      7.5/10

      About the same compared with other trusts

    General information

    • Tours
    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Breastfeeding accreditation
    • Neonatal care
      • Local neonatal unit (LNU) provides special care for newborn babies in the local area, except for those who are critically ill and need intensive care.
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • Cafe and shops
      • Vending machine
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    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      Via your GP
      • Booking phone number: 01279 827286
      • If in labour call: 01279 441607
    • Outside space
      • Outside space is available for women in labour
      • Hospital grounds
    • Visiting information
      • Policies are the same for all visiting.
      • Open visiting. Only four visitors at any one time and no children other than your own.
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • Drop off outside entrance maximum 20 minutes stay
    • Parking
      • Up to 3 hours: £3. Up to 6 hours: £4. 6-24 hours: £6.
    • Temporary closures
      • Number of times this unit was closed between Apr 2015 - Apr 2016: 1
      • Reason for closure: 36 hours due to a large number of women giving birth at the time.
      • If this unit is closed when you go into labour you'll be asked to go to an alternative unit: The Labour Ward
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