Your hospital stay for pregnancy and birth

Whether you are admitted to Mercy Hospital for Women during your pregnancy, which is not common, or for your labour, birth and the period after your baby is born, our staff are here to make sure you have all the care and information you need.

Our team of doctors and midwives will be there to discuss your care and keep you informed. We welcome any questions and feedback you have, to make sure we are partners in your care.

We offer a range of services to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. The goal is for you to feel at home and welcome to ask for whatever you need to feel cared for, well informed, and safe.

What to expect

Admission during pregnancy

There are a number of reasons why some women may be admitted to stay in hospital before birth.

Fortunately, for most women, admission is very unlikely.

Reasons for an early admission can include:

  • high blood pressure
  • premature ruptured membranes
  • threatened premature labour
  • bleeding.

We understand that being admitted to hospital before birth can be disruptive to you and your family, as well as being a worrying experience. It important to ask for as much information or support as you need to feel comfortable during this time.

Labour and vaginal birth

For your individual care in labour—depending on the pregnancy model of care you choose—you will be cared for by a midwife well known to you, or one of our birth suite midwives who will quickly get to know you.

Our birth-suite team of midwives and doctors work together to provide the best care for you, taking all of your personal health and individual needs into account. Our birth suites are staffed by a team including midwives, doctors, anaesthetists and paediatricians who care for you and your baby.

Caesarean birth

Some women will birth in the operating theatre, having either a planned or an emergency caesarean section. Where possible you will meet the doctors, nurses and midwives who will care for you throughout your experience.

Enhanced recovery after surgery

Mercy Health aims to get women and their babies home sooner after caesarean section surgery.

Our ‘enhanced recovery after caesarean section’ care pathway will help you return to normal activities faster, by setting target times for eating, drinking and moving after your baby’s birth.

We will work with you to develop a care plan focused on eating, drinking, moving and keeping your pain under control.

What you can expect on the day of your caesarean section

  • You will be provided with food and fluid fasting instructions before your surgery.
  • After your surgery, you will have a drink or an icy pole in recovery. Once you are on the ward, you will have a light meal first and then a normal meal later.
  • After surgery, a midwife will make sure your legs are working well. They will help you get out of bed, usually about six hours after your surgery.
  • Once you can walk around, we will remove your catheter (the tube in your bladder) – usually about six to eight hours after your surgery. Once the tube is removed, you will need to measure the amount of urine you pass.

By the end of your first 24 hours in the hospital, you should be eating, drinking and walking around in your room or in the ward. You will be given regular tablets (paracetamol and ibuprofen) for pain relief. We can provide more pain relief tablets if you need them.

After this, you and your baby will have routine checks to make sure you are both recovering well. The midwives will continue to help you with feeding your baby.

By the end of the second day, you should be eating and drinking as usual, walking around the ward comfortably and able to care for your baby. We will talk to you about how to manage pain relief at home.

By the third day of your hospital stay, you will be ready to go home. Make sure you have tablets for pain relief available before you go home (paracetamol and ibuprofen). We will plan your discharge to make sure you return home at a sensible time.

A midwife will call you to check on you and your baby within two days of your discharge from hospital. Please keep your phone on between 8am–3pm.

If you have any concerns at home, please contact us through the phone number provided to you on discharge.

Postnatal stay in hospital

After your baby is born, your stay with us may vary from 6-8 hours after the birth to one to two days after birth. Sometimes your stay with us may extend beyond a few days, if medically required.

On the postnatal ward, we appreciate being cared for by midwives you know is important to you and minimises the potential for any conflicting information.

If you have been cared for by one of the team midwives during your pregnancy, our priority is to maximise the likelihood a midwife you know is there for you after your baby is born.

Apart from the Maternity Group Practice midwives, our midwives work three shifts over each 24-hour period with our rostering designed to provide as much continuity as possible over your stay.


A free and confidential interpreter service is available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ask the staff to arrange an interpreter for you.

Our general services

Television and phone

Your bedside phone will receive incoming calls. To make outgoing calls you will need to purchase a phone card from the cashier’s desk on the first floor. To connect your bedside television, please go the cashier’s desk on the first floor. The cost of this is $5.50 per day.

Patient areas

Level 5 has two lounge areas where you are welcome to spend time. There is a television and books to read. There are two ‘beverage bays’ (kitchenettes) available (for you and your partner only) to make tea, coffee or utilise the microwave for heating. We have a ‘flower room’ with vases to borrow for your convenience. Patient room toilets are for ‘patient use only’. There are public toilets available for your visitors. Please ask staff for their location.


We have a laundry that is available to do your washing. Please ask your midwife. Washing machine, dryer and detergent are available.

Car parking

If your stay in hospital extends past 14 days, you will be eligible for a daily car parking voucher. This will be explained to you once you are eligible to receive it.

Last reviewed September 28, 2017.

Online maternity tour – Mercy Hospital for Women

The online tour is helpful in preparing women for their pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond. The online format means women can enjoy the tour from home and have many frequently asked questions answered.

Online maternity tour – Mercy Hospital for Women

Your pregnancy care

At Mercy Hospital for Women, we offer a range of pregnancy care options to suit your personal preferences and individual health circumstances.

Your pregnancy care

During your pregnancy

There are a range of services you may need to access during your pregnancy.

During your pregnancy