Labour and postnatal care

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Description of service

The birth of your baby

Where to give birth: The options

We are able to offer a range of options for the birth of your baby.  It is recommended that you explore your different options and discuss with your caregivers to decide what is right for you and your family.

Home birth: You may feel you would like to have your baby in the comfort of your own home in familiar surroundings.  This can be arranged provided you are healthy and your pregnancy is free of complications.  When you are in labour community midwives will come to your home with all the necessary equipment allowing you to remain at home for the birth of your baby.

Birth Centre: Our Birth Centre at Northwick Park Hospital provides a clean, homely and comfortable environment for mothers who have been low risk and healthy throughout pregnancy and who are aiming for a natural birth.  The Birth Centre consists of 4-6 birthing rooms, two of which have birthing pools.  Birth Centre midwives will encourage you to stay upright and move around in labour using modern equipment such as: birth balls / mats / beanbags and our modern birthing chairs.  If you wanted to have a water birth this can often be facilitated.  After you have had your baby you will usually stay on the Birth Centre where all rooms have en-suite bathrooms.  If you would like to have your baby at the Birth Centre we recommend you attend a 'Talk & Triage' appointment which is held at weekends.  This can be attended when you are 36 weeks pregnant and should be booked in advance.  Please phone 020 8869 2930 and ask for the Birth Centre.

Delivery suite: The delivery suite is staffed by midwives and an obstetric team which enables us to provide all levels of care (high and low risk) during labour and birth. We have 11 spacious birthing rooms with en-suite bathroom, modern facilities and equipment. The unit is supported by two maternity theatres and eight specialist beds.

Caring for you and your baby after birth

Regardless of where baby is born you will be encouraged to hold the baby in ‘skin to skin’ contact after birth.  Skin to skin contact should last for a minimum of 1 hour and is important for keeping baby warm and calm while regulating the babies heartrate and breathing.  It is particularly important for bonding and breastfeeding.  Skin to skin can be enjoyed many times in the first days and weeks of your babies life.

If you have given birth on labour ward you will be transferred to the postnatal ward (Florence ward) a few hours after the birth of your baby where your baby will stay with you at your bedside.

We are proud to be working towards UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation which supports best practice in infant feeding.  Breastfeeding support is provided by our trained midwives and midwifery assistants. If you have decided not to breastfeed and plan to artificially feed your baby you will need to bring pre-mixed formula in with you.  If your baby requires formula as part of his or her treatment because of illness or pre-maturity we will provide formula for you.

Please see the breastfeeding page for further information on breastfeeding / infant feeding.

The Flower rooms - amenity rooms

The Flower rooms are single rooms with en-suite facilities on Florence (postnatal) ward.  Named Heather, Poppy and Sunflower the rooms have en-suite facilities and allow you the comfort of your own room during your postnatal stay. The care you will recieve during your stay is of the same high standard you can expect from the caring team of Florence ward staff.  There is a charge for these rooms per night - price to be arranged.  Rooms cannot be booked in advance but you can express your interest during your pregnancy.  Alternatively you can ask about availability of our amenity rooms following the birth of your baby.  Please note we cannot accept cash or cheque and only debit or credit cards payments can be taken.

Neonatal unit

Sometimes it is necessary for a baby to spend time in the neonatal unit for observations and treatment. We have the facilities and trained staff on Neonatal Unit to look after your baby should it need extra care.  We also offer ‘transitional care’ which is for babies who are not sick but need more attention on the postnatal ward.

Going home

If you and your baby are both well and you feel confident to care for your baby you may wish to go home a few hours after birth. The midwives will discuss this option with you.  If you have had a caesarean section your stay in hospital will be longer. After you go home the community midwifery teams will visit you at home to continue your care.  If you have not recieved a visit from your community midwives the day after you get home from hospital please call the numbers below.

Harrow Community Midwives: 020 8869 2871

Brent Community Midwives: 020 8235 4252



Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals

Level 4 Maternity   Delivery suite

                                Antenatal Clinic


Level 5 Maternity    Neonatal Unit

Level 6 Maternity   Birth Centre

                                Day Assessment Unit

                                Florence Ward (postnatal ward)

                                Edith Ward (antenatal ward)


  • Community Midwives - Brent
    020 8235 4252
  • Community Midwives - Harrow
    020 8869 2871

Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals

  • Florence Ward (postnatal)
    020 8869 2910
  • Birth Centre
    020 8869 2930 / 2931
  • Delivery suite
    020 8869 2890
  • Neonatal ward
    020 8869 2900

Consultants and other key staff

View Labour and postnatal care consultants »