Birth at QE Maternity Unit, Gateshead

Queen Elizabeth Maternity Unit, Queen Elizabeth Ave, Gateshead NE9 6SX

This maternity unit has…

  • A  pregnancy assessment centre
  • 6 labour rooms  – which are en-suite
  • 2 Induction rooms and a family suite
  • 1 birthing pool
  • Gas & air
  • Diamorphine
  • Epidural
  • Birth balls and birth equipment
  • A Febromed birth system
  • This maternity unit provides care for women who are classified as low risk, for women whose pregnancy/birth options are more complicated as well as for women who need a caesarean or to be induced
  • 16 postnatal beds, which includes en-suite single rooms where birthing partners can stay overnight
  • Jungle Room – space for toddlers and other children to play while visiting in the postnatal ward
  • Postnatal day room

My thoughts on the QE Maternity Unit…

I used to teach antenatal classes at The QE and I have also attended births here as a birth doula – so it has been very familiar to me.

I have always been impressed by the midwives as well as the layout of the unit. It has a birthing pool, as well as a Febromed system and birth aids such as birth balls and floor mats so it supports and encourages normal birth, movement and gravity.

As a obstetric maternity unit, women can also access epidurals, inductions and caesareans. The induction suites are a unique facility – personal space for women and their partner to relax and rest together while being induced.

This unit also has a family room which is a private space for parents to use for labour & birth, as well as postnatally if their baby is stillborn or if their baby is unwell.

On the whole, feedback from parents is positive.

Comments from parents about the QE Maternity Unit…

“I had a great experience with my first baby – I am pregnant again and I have booked to birth at he QE again.”

“Overall experience can be summed up as highs and lows. The QE maternity unit much like most of the QE is a bit bedraggled but what it lacks in creature comforts/ newness and home comforts the midwives and team (in the most part) make up for in love and care and go above and beyond.

If you don’t feel you are getting what you need from your midwife speak up. Don’t count the clock till the shift change. You have a right to have an open discussion.

If the shit hits the fan and there’s an emergency give yourself over to the experts. They are exceptional. It’s makes their job easier if you trust them. The team went above and beyond. Consultants and Anaesthetist and midwives who helped us who were then off shift called to check on us, came to visit, stayed well beyond their shifts. Visited us on the ward. They were just lovely. We were reassured throughout. I was lucky enough to stay in the delivery unit for 2 days after Bobby was born and we were amazingly looked after. They were awesome.”

Tip: take comfy pillow and duvet. Especially if being induced. It made such a difference to my comfort level having my own comfy stuff around me. Make your room your own. We were a bit shy at first but as we were there so long we eventually had a great set up.

Tip: If your partner can cook get them to bring in food for you. Again having good, nutritional food you love does a huge amount for your mindset and well being. The food choices are not great.

You can read more about The QE Maternity Unit here and here’s a guide to what to pack in your birth bag.

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