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.

Our midwives and doctors work closely as a team to tailor support to your individual needs. We are dedicated to ensuring you receive the most appropriate care, taking into account any medical conditions or considerations, as well as your own personal expectations and preferences.

If you think you are in labour please phone the midwives on 03 8754 3400.

Your birth options

Vaginal birth: for most women, a vaginal birth is the safest way to birth their baby. Our experienced midwives will support and guide you through your labour to achieve a vaginal birth.

Induction of labour: for some women, labour does not start naturally, or complications arise, and you may require an induction. During an induction, we will give you medicines that put your body into labour.

Vaginal birth after caesarean: most women that have previously had a baby by caesarean section are well enough to try for a vaginal birth with their next baby. We will discuss the risks and benefits of a vaginal birth after caesarean with you, and will monitor you and your baby closely during labour so that we can pick up any early signs that your body or your baby are not coping with labour. If this is the case, we will recommend a caesarean birth as the safest option for your birth.

Caring for you:

Our birth suites are staffed by a team including midwives, doctors, anaesthetists and paediatricians who care for you and your baby. Our team is always available to answer your questions, offer support and pain relief through your labour and birth, and provide assistance during birth if required.

Your care team


During your labour and birth, you will be primarily cared for by one of our experienced midwives. A midwife is present at every single birth in the hospital, so whether you have a vaginal birth in the birth suite, or a caesarean section in the operating theatre, a midwife will be with you to support you and your partner through the birth of your baby.


Our obstetric team is available at all times and consists of consultant obstetricians, obstetric registrars and medical residents. Some women may not require a doctor during their labour or birth, however, for some women with pregnancy complications, our midwifery and medical team will work together to ensure you receive the very best medical and supportive care during your labour and birth.


Our anaesthetists are available to provide epidural pain relief during your labour. They will also be present for any caesarean section to provide either an epidural, spinal, or general anaesthetic as required.


Our paediatricians are available for any medical assessment or treatment your newborn may require. In some circumstances we may request a paediatrician be present in the labour room for the birth of your baby, and a paediatrician is present for all caesarean section births.

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 during your admission. Please talk to our staff to arrange an interpreter.

What to do before you arrive

It is important to talk to your midwife and doctor during your pregnancy about your birth options, especially if you have previously had a caesarean birth, or complications arise during pregnancy that may affect how you give birth. 

For your booked induction of labour: please follow the appointment letter details. We suggest phoning two hours prior to your booked induction time to ensure there is no delay in your admission when you arrive.

For your booked caesarean section please ensure that you have had your pre-surgery blood test 1-2 days before your caesarean section. You will also need to follow the instructions of what time to fast from (avoid food and drink) on the day of your caesarean section.

What to bring to hospital

For you:

  • Medicare Card, health care or concession cards
  • Victorian Maternity Record (VMR)
  • regular medications
  • comfortable clothes and shoes for labour
  • three packs of maternity sanitary pads
  • essential toiletries

For baby (guide only):

  • a packet of newborn baby nappies and baby wipes
  • five newborn baby jumpsuits or outfits
  • five newborn singlets
  • one or two baby beanies or hats
  • three or four sets of newborn socks and mittens
  • four wraps and one thicker baby blanket

For labour:

  • snacks and cold drinks for you, your partner and/or support person
  • music, massage oil, lip balm for dry lips
  • camera
  • anything you think might help you feel calm, relaxed, or may help you through your labour.

If you are planning to formula feed your baby, you will be required to bring in the following:

  • six pre-sterilised bottles, teats and lids
  • formula of your choice
  • steriliser—a microwave steam steriliser or microwave steriliser bags are recommended

For a more detailed list, please ask our staff for a copy of our ‘what to bring to hospital’ information handout.

What to expect on the day

Please note the Birth Suite has a ‘no visitors’ rule. We ask that you inform your friends and family they can visit you and your new baby on the postnatal ward, during visiting hours. Grandparents and siblings of your new baby may visit between 8am-8pm.

General visiting hours: strictly 2:00pm-8:00pm, postnatal ward only.

If you are booked for a planned caesarean section, we welcome your partner, or one support person, to come in to the operating theatre with you. Your family and friends will be able to visit you on the postnatal ward when you are transferred after birth. We ask that if you have other children, that you arrange care for your children on the day of your caesarean section as children cannot come in to theatre at any time.

Your length of stay

After the birth of your baby, you will be transferred to a postnatal maternity room until discharge. The midwives will continue to provide you with medical care, as well as help you and your partner to gain confidence in feeding and taking care of your baby.

The expected length of stay after a vaginal birth is two nights (day of birth, day of rest, day of discharge at 10am).

The expected length of stay after a caesarean section is three nights (day of birth, 2 days of rest, day of discharge at 10am).

If you have an uncomplicated vaginal birth and you and your baby are well after birth, you may go home as early as four hours after birth if you request.


Last reviewed October 19, 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 hospital stay for pregnancy and birth

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.

Your hospital stay for pregnancy and birth