Your hospital stay for pregnancy and birth

Werribee Mercy Hospital is dedicated to providing the very best care for women and babies, while supporting families along their journey. Women and babies are at the heart of the care we provide. With dedication and support, we guide each family through pregnancy, labour and the birth experience, and during the postnatal period after birth.

Admission during pregnancy

Occasionally, women are admitted to hospital during pregnancy, before your baby is born. If a complication in your pregnancy occurs, our team of doctors and midwives may recommend admission for a hospital stay, so that you and your baby can be monitored closely.

The team at Werribee Mercy Hospital understands that a hospital admission during pregnancy can create added stress for you, your partner, and family. Our goal is to ensure the safety of you and your baby. We aim to keep you comfortable, up-to-date about your condition and informed of the ongoing care involved. We provide opportunities for you to ask all of your questions.

In addition to the medical and midwifery care you will receive, you are welcome to speak to one of our pastoral carers if you are feeling overwhelmed. Alternatively, one of our social workers may be able to discuss support services, to ease any burden while you are in hospital.

Labour and childbirth

Our birth suite rooms provide a private and comfortable environment for your labour and birth. Each birthing room has an ensuite, television, landline telephone (you can receive calls to your room) a labouring bed, and a two-seater sofa which can fold out into a bed for your partner or support person to stay with you overnight. We aim to keep all medical equipment required for a birthing room out of sight until it is needed.

Each room has:

  • comfortable mats
  • exercise balls
  • access to peanut shaped exercise ball
  • fans to keep you cool
  • some essential oils that may create a calming atmosphere.

There is access to one large bath in the ward for warm water immersion, however we do not offer water births.

Your partner or support person is welcome to accompany you into the birthing room during the labour and birth of your baby. We recommend that you keep the number of support people present to two people, due to limited space in the rooms if there is an emergency, and out of respect to other women in labour. The Birth Suite ward has a ‘No Visitors’ policy, which allows all women to feel safe and private during labour.

During labour, you will be assigned a midwife to provide you with medical care and supportive guidance through your experience. Our midwives and obstetricians work closely together and our team also includes anaesthetists and paediatricians, to ensure you and your baby receive the very best care based on the choices you make for your labour.

Caesarean birth

Some women will birth their baby in the operating room, having either a planned or an emergency caesarean birth. If you have a spinal or epidural anaesthetic, where you remain awake for the birth of your baby, your partner or one support person is welcome to accompany you into the operating theatre. Children are not permitted in the operating suite.

Any other family members will be required to wait until you are transferred to your postnatal room before visiting. If you and your baby are both well following the caesarean birth, we encourage skin-to-skin contact with your baby as early as possible. Your midwife will be able to assist you with this.

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 care

After your baby is born, you will be transferred to the postnatal ward. We encourage family centred care at Werribee Mercy Hospital and partners are welcome to stay with you until you are discharged to go home.

All of our postnatal rooms are single rooms, with either a double bed or a single bed for you, and a sofa that can be pulled out into a bed if your partner wants to stay overnight. For safety reasons, children are not permitted to stay overnight. However, your new baby’s siblings can visit between 8am–8pm to help with family bonding.

Each of our postnatal rooms is a private room which shares a bathroom with the next room. For this reason, the ensuites are for ‘patient use only’. There are several public toilets in the Postnatal Ward and Maternity main corridor, for your partner and visitors to use.

Each room has a fridge for storing food and drinks, a landline telephone; you can receive phone calls and make outgoing calls to landlines only. Along with regular programming, the television in your room is programmed to show a range of parenting and newborn education channels.

Television hire is available for a daily fee through Hills TV rental by phoning 1800 063 829 or online at

Our midwives on the postnatal ward will assist and support you to become confident in all aspects of your baby’s care. If your baby is well, they will remain with you during your admission. Our staff are committed to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, and will guide you through this experience. Our staff are also supportive if you choose to formula feed your baby and will educate you on formula preparation, safe sterilisation of bottles and feeding your newborn baby. The postnatal ward has a designated ‘Milk Room’ for you to wash your bottles and a fridge to store pre-made formula milk between feeds.

The postnatal ward has a small kitchenette with tea and coffee provisions and a microwave for heating food. You will also find vases in the kitchenette to keep your flowers on display in your room. There is a lounge area you are welcome to spend time in.

Visiting hours: Please be aware that visiting hours are between 2-8pm. Outside of these hours, access to the ward is limited to you and your partner, and grandparents and siblings of your new baby may visit between 8am-8pm.

Other Services

A free and confidential interpreter service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are committed to ensuring that you understand the health information and education we provide to you before you go home. If you feel you need an interpreter, please ask the staff to arrange this for you.

Lactation consultant:
Our lactation consultants are board-certified specialists who help with any breastfeeding challenges that may arise. Our lactation consultants are available Monday to Saturday during business hours, and see women on the postnatal ward, in the Special Care Nursery when a baby is requiring extra care, and also through outpatient appointments.

Our trained women’s health physiotherapists are available on the postnatal ward, Monday to Friday from 10am to 11am in the Patient Lounge, where they run a postnatal physiotherapy class. The class discusses physical recovery after a pregnancy and birth, care of perineal or abdominal tears, exercises to aid recovery and strength, and baby physiotherapy, such as the importance of tummy time. You are welcome to contact our Physiotherapy Department for an assessment up to six weeks after the birth of your baby.

Other Hospital Facilities

Car parking:
Onsite parking is available for a daily fee. Entry to the hospital car park can be accessed from Hoppers Lane.

Patient meals:
Your meals will be brought to your room from our kitchen. Please notify staff if you have a food allergy, if you are vegetarian, or if you require a halal meal.

Zouki Cafe is located in the hospital’s main corridor. You can purchase hot foods, sandwiches, cold drinks, coffee, confectionary, essential toiletry items, magazines and newspapers. The cafe is open Monday to Friday 7am-8pm, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 7am-7pm

Automated Teller Machine (ATM):
An ATM is located in the hospital’s main corridor, near main reception.

Pay Phone:
A pay phone is located in the Maternity Lounge. Coins are required to use the pay phone.

The chapel is located in the hospital’s main corridor, at the Maternity Unit end of the corridor. The chapel is a quiet place for reflection and prayer and all religious denominations are welcome.

Last reviewed September 28, 2017.

Online maternity tour

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

Antenatal clinics

Every pregnancy and birth is different, and every person has a different expectation and understanding of the care involved in their experience. At Werribee Mercy Hospital, we offer a range of pregnancy care options to suit your personal preferences and individual health circumstances.

Antenatal clinics

Your labour and birth

At Werribee Mercy Hospital, women and babies are at the heart of the care we provide. Whether you are having your first baby or adding to your family, we understand that this is a special time in your life. Our dedicated team will guide and support you through your labour and birth journey.

Your labour and birth