Labour, Delivery, and Postnatal Care

Labour, Delivery, and Postnatal Care

We appreciate that coming to the hospital can be a worrying time and it can be helpful and reassuring to know what to expect.

It is the hospital’s philosophy to facilitate a positive birth experience in a friendly environment resulting in a happy healthy mother and baby. You will find the Delivery Suite a busy but relaxed friendly place. The labour ward is managed by a team of experienced midwives who provide midwifery care in partnership with the woman and in collaboration with doctors and other healthcare professionals. This section of the Website is designed to help inform you and answer some questions.

Virtual Tour:

Below you can take a virtual tour of Cork University Maternity Hospital and what to expect when you come to the hospital when you are in labour.

About the Delivery Suite 

You will find the Delivery Suite a busy but relaxed friendly place. There are 12 rooms in the delivery suite, 9 individual rooms, 1 Twin room, a Home from Home room and pool Room. There is also a 5-bedded induction room and 3 bedded high-dependency unit. As a prospective parent, you will have your own single en-suite room in which to labour and give birth. Each room is designed and equipped to provide everything for you to ensure a safe birth for you and your baby. Whether you wish to avail of any Natural or Pharmacological Methods of pain relief, our experienced midwives are there to guide and support you, viewing pregnancy and childbirth as a normal life event. However, they recognise and foresee problems and refer to the doctor as necessary. 

Birthing Partners 

Think about who you would like with you when you give birth - this needn't be your partner. Some women prefer a relative or a friend, or even a professional doula. This is your choice and will be respected. 

Tips For Early Spontaneous Labour

The best place for you to be when you are in early labour is at home, with familiar surroundings, family and friends. Firstly, you need to think positive thoughts. Labour pain is normal. Think of it as an experience that you must go through to meet your baby. Work with the contractions, go with your body. The onset of labour differs between many women. Some women experience mild, short, regular contractions that have a long interval between contractions, e.g. 20 minutes. Some women start labour with contractions that are of long duration, feel painful and occur frequently, e.g. every five minutes. Where possible, we encourage you to walk about or sit out during labour, as you are more in control. Pain relief is given only at your request. Your baby’s heart is monitored during labour. The monitoring is intermittent unless it is necessary to do continuous monitoring. A student midwife, under the supervision of a midwife, will be present to provide care and support during labour and birth.

You are encouraged and welcome to have a designated Birthing Partner with you for support. Please note that during COVID-19 restrictions are in place and your birthing partner can only join you when you are in established labour or called for caesarean section. Your birth wishes will be discussed and accommodated where possible and all procedures are explained to you in advance.

It is important to note that all labours and births are different, so this is a guide.  The stages of labour, induction of labour, and pain relief during labour are explained further using the links on your left.