Maternity Services - FAQs - Top Image

How do I self-refer?

Please either complete the online self referral form, phone our midwifery team on 020 7288 3672, or ask your GP for a referral.

How can I find medical information and advice about my pregnancy?

The NHS Choices website has comprehensive information relating to pregnancy. It includes information of the food and drink you can eat during pregnancy, symptoms during pregnancy and medications you can take. You can also click here for pregnancy information and leaflets from the Whittington.

Who do I phone if I am pregnant and have a concern?

If you are up to 17 weeks and 6 days pregnant, please call the Early Pregnancy Service at 0207 288 2786. If you have an emergency, you can also attend our walk-in service in the Women's Diagnostic Unit, Level 3, Kenwood Wing, The Whittington Hospital. The walk-in service is available from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Outside of these hours, please go to the hospital A&E.

If you are 18 weeks pregnant and above, please call the maternity triage direct line at 0207 288 5880. You can also walk into our 24/7 maternity triage at the Betty Mansell Ward, Level 3, Kenwood Wing, The Whittington Hospital.

If you have concerns about your baby after birth, please call 999 or go to the A&E.


What should I do if I think I am in labour?

Please call your midwife or, if it is after working hours, contact maternity triage on 020 7288 5880.
If you plan to give birth in the Birth Centre, please call us at 020 7288 3990/020 7288 3991 before you arrive so we can prepare.

How do I arrange for a home birth?

Please contact your named midwife from our team who coordinates and tailors your  maternity care. They will be able to arrange an appointment to discuss home birth with you.

What antenatal workshops are there and when are they held?

Our antenatal classes include:
• Early bird classes
• Care of your body in pregnancy classes
• Parentcraft classes
• Active Birth classes
• Breastfeeding

Classes are held in The Whittington Hospital and various venues across Haringey and Islington. Please discuss your options with your midwife who will then book you into a class.

How can I receive complementary therapy such as acupuncture?

We offer acupuncture as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medicine. It is a form of therapy where very fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body and left for 20 to 30 minutes.
Acupuncture can be beneficial during pregnancy for:
• Birth preparation
• Serious musculoskeletal pain e.g. back pain, sciatic nerve pain and pelvic pain
• Turning babies from breech to head down presentation
• Severe vomiting (hyperemesis)

To book an appointment, please use our online self-referral form or call 07824 864 455 and leave a message.


What pain management is available in the birth centre and labour ward?

In the Birth Centre, pain relief therapies include:
• Birthing pool (please bring your own sieve and mirror if you would like to use the birthing pool)
• Gas and air (Entonox - a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas)
• Massage
• Complementary therapies such as hypnobirthing and acupuncture
• Diamorphone injection (into the muscle of your thigh or buttock)

You can also bring a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine from home for pain relief.

On the Labour Ward, pain relief therapies include all of the above, plus epidural.

Is there a birth ball in every room in the birth centre and on the labour ward or should I bring my own?

There are birth balls all rooms, but bring your own (with a pump) if you prefer.

How many birthing pools are there on the labour ward?

There are four birthing pools in the birth centre and two on the labour ward.

Do we have to have a car seat with when taking baby home?

Yes, if you have your baby in hospital or a birth centre, you will need a car seat to drive your newborn home. It's a good idea to practise fitting the seat before your baby is born. This NHS website provides some tips for buying a baby car seat.

Can partners stay overnight - or another family member instead of a partner?

Partners or another nominated adult can stay overnight on the Murray (antenatal) and Cellier (postnatal) wards. A recliner seat is provided. Please bring your own food and comfortable clothing. On the labour ward, one partner can accompany each woman or birthing person during labour and recovery.

What about visitors?

Visiting times on Murray (antenatal) ward and Cellier (postnatal) ward are 3 - 6pm. However, birthing partners can visit at any time, including overnight. We can only accept a maximum of 2 visitors at any time, including partners.
For children under 16, only children of the women and birthing people staying on the ward can visit during visiting hours.
For the safety of all those on the ward, please do not open doors for other visitors during your stay – we are available to do this. Partners who are staying overnight are requested not to leave the ward between 10pm and 6am.

Is there car parking available?

There is no parking at the hospital during the day but we do have a limited number of disabled (blue badge) parking spaces, which may be used by blue disabled badge holders only between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm free of charge. Please note that normal charges will apply to blue disabled badge holders after 5:00pm on weekdays and all day at weekends (see below).
Parking is allowed between 5pm and 8am Mondays to Fridays and all day at the weekends. The first 20 minutes is free and after that is charged at £3.00 per hour.
There is a limited amount of pay and display parking on the roads around the hospital.

What can we do if we are not comfortable with our midwife (in labour or antenatally)?

Please ask to speak to the lead midwife on the ward, or the Labour Ward Coordinator to discuss.

How do I discuss an issue with my care or my birth experience?

Please contact your midwife who will give you the various options. You can also submit feedback via PALS

Which entrance do I use out of hours at night?

There is 24 hour access via the Labour Ward entrance. The best way to get there is via Gordon Close or Dartmouth Park Hill.

Do I get to keep my notes when I go home?

As your notes are a legal document, the hospital will store them for 25 years. We will provide you with an electronic summary of your pregnancy journey.

Last updated10 Nov 2023
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