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Maternity (Obstetrics)

Maternity (Obstetrics)


Contact us: 

Main hospital number 01582 491166 (ask for Maternity) 

Urgent advice: If you need urgent advice and are pregnant and currently receiving care at the L&D, have just given birth here, or have had a home birth with us:

Urgent advice:

  • If you need urgent advice and are pregnant and currently receiving care at the L&D please contact us on 01582 502285. 
  • If you need urgent advice and have just given birth at the L&D, or had a home birth with us, please contact the Community Midwife on the number provided on discharge, or the Postnatal ward (ward 33) on 01582 497558.
  • If you think you may be in labour please contact our team so that they can prepare for your arrival. If you wish to have a water birth or use one of our birth pools for labour, let the team know when you call so they can ensure availability. Telephone number 01582 502285.



Having a baby at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

We understand that having a baby is one of the most important experiences of your life.

You will have particular expectations of your baby’s birth that are important to you- where you want your baby to be born, who will be with you and the type of care you get.

For some people, engaging with Maternity Services can be a little daunting and you will want access to appropriate information and safe guidance to help you make informed choices and decisions about your pregnancy.

The Maternity Team at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) will listen to your hopes and concerns and can offer you helpful and practical advice.

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Choosing to have your baby at the L&D

We are proud of our Maternity Services which offer the very best care for women and their babies. The Maternity Team at the L&D strives to deliver the highest standards of care to all women and their families. We care for more than 5,200 mothers and babies each year and provide all aspects of obstetric and midwifery care, from before birth (antenatal) to birth and after delivery (postnatal). We are able to provide full midwifery led care for low risk women as well as obstetric led care to women with complicated pregnancies. Our neonatal unit is one of only three units in the East of England which is able to provide care for very premature and sick newborns. We are proud to offer extensive antenatal screening services which meet the recommended National Screening Standards.

Our expert team of midwives and doctors works hard to give you the care and support you need to have a safe and satisfying birth. Every woman has her own ideas about how she would like her baby to be born – whether at home or in hospital – and we do our best to help you to achieve this. For information about the range of services we offer please see our Maternity Video, which take you on a virtual-tour of our maternity unit.

There are many reasons to have your baby at the L&D:

  • Our Delivery Suite is staffed by medical and midwifery teams at all times. Delivery suite’s offer consultant led labour care and we now also have a new pool room for women who are unable to use the birth centre.
  • Our Midwife Led Birthing Unit includes one birthing pool and home-from-home amenities.
  • A midwife emergency telephone helpline linked to our Triage (ward 31)- a midwife is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions.
  • A community midwifery service that provides antenatal, home birth and postnatal care for women within the local region.
  • A highly specialist neonatal intensive care service providing care for sick and extremely premature babies. Our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the only level 3 unit in our region (level 3 units provide specialist care for sickest and most premature babies).
  • Breast feeding care rounds have been introduced on the post-natal ward to allow women to receive breastfeeding support.
  • •A specialist Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU) that provide innovative systems of care for women with multiple births and complex fetal abnormalities.
  • The L&D has received Stage 2 accreditation in UNICEF’s prestigious Baby Friendly Award, recognising our work to ensure mothers and babies receive high quality support to enable breastfeeding.
  • A comprehensive postnatal (after-birth) service for women who require additional care.

The L&D recently gained a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC. The CQC’s report highlights examples of innovation and best practice across the hospital, particularly within our maternity services. Our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) gained an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the inspection.

Are you pregnant and want to have your baby at the L&D?

You do not have to wait to see your GP before contacting us and can simply complete our antenatal self-referral form. Alternatively, you can contact our midwives as soon as you know you are pregnant by phoning 01582 497020 Monday to Friday (9am to 4pm), or if you prefer, you can still go and see your GP.

Antenatal care (before the birth) 

This is provided by the midwifery team caring for women in your local area, alongside your GP or obstetrician. During your pregnancy they will see you regularly to make sure you and your baby are well. Your care includes routine health checks such as blood tests and other screenings. Your screening options are explained in a screening information leaflet, which is produced by Public Health England and available in several languages.

Clinic and scan locations

Check your appointment letter to see where to go for your appointments, because these are held at a variety of locations. This includes GP surgeries (Leighton Buzzard) and at the L&D. 

Choice of place of birth 

We aim to provide the highest and safest standards of care for mothers and babies and encourage women to consider all the the options that are available to them so they can make an informed choices about where they would like to give birth. It is important that the decision of where to give birth is made with a good understanding of all the available options.

Women who have a straightforward pregnancy will be encouraged to have their baby at home in familiar surroundings or in the Midwife Led Birth Unit (MLBU). Our MLBU is our midwifery-led birthing unit which sits within the Women and Children’s Unit. We recommend our Delivery Suite as the preferred option for women who have a medical problem, complication of pregnancy or have experienced a complication in a previous pregnancy. You are welcome to bring up to two birthing partners to be with you in the MLBU and one birth partner if you plan to give birth on the Delivery Suite.

The options for place of birth will be discussed with you at your booking visit and throughout your pregnancy should the situation change. We recommend you make a birth plan with your wishes for labour and birth. Your named midwife can help you with this. For further support around the choices available to you for your place of birth we also offer a Consultant Midwife Led Birth Options Clinic.

Giving birth at the L&D - our facilities

Our newly developed Maternity Department is on the ground floor of the Maternity Building and includes a Triage (ward 31) for the initial assessment and care if you think you may be in labour, or have any other pregnancy related concerns; a delivery suite which includes 10 labour rooms, 1 birthing room with pool for waterbirths, two operating theatres, and recovery rooms; a co-located Midwife Led Birth Unit with four midwife-led birthing rooms (one with a birthing pool), where we have created a ‘home from home’ feel for mums. 

Home birth

We understand choice is very important for our women and we support a 24 hour home birth service. 

Home births are supported by our community-based midwives, who will remain with you once you are in established labour and two midwives will be present at the birth. We encourage waterbirths and can help you arrange the use of an inflatable pool.

A homebirth may not be recommended by your midwife or obstetrician. You may want to discuss your choice or options at the Consultant Midwife Led Birth options Clinic where we can provide support for you and the midwives in order to promote safety. 

Postnatal (after the birth)

If everything has gone well we encourage you to go home within a few hours. We will give you emergency contact numbers to call if you have any worries. If you or your baby needs to stay in hospital you will be transferred to our postnatal ward, ward 33. If your baby needs more specialist care they may be either transferred to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or some babies who need some special care are able to stay with you on ward 32 where we also offer ‘Transitional Care’ services.

Going home

Our care does not stop once you are at home. When you leave the L&D you should have a visit from your community midwife within 24 hours. They will plan visits with you after the birth; usually over the next 10 days. If you live outside the L&D’s catchment area your details will be passed to your local community midwives who will take over your care. If you would like support with breastfeeding, you can check with your midwife where our local cafes and drop-in sessions are held in your area. We also offer feeding support at our postnatal clinics in the community.

Get involved

If you'd like to help us improve our maternity care and facilities, you can join our Maternity Voices Forum and we would also welcome your participation in our maternity meetings (such as the labour ward forum) where we can consider the on-going service developments to improve care. If you are interested please contact Claire Zajac.

Meet the maternity team 

Our Maternity Services will provide care for you from the moment you find out that you are pregnant. While you're pregnant you will have a nominated professional lead which will be a midwife or an obstetrician. Our aim is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of you and your baby, and that you have a positive pregnancy and birth experience at the L&D.

Many pregnant women and their partners want to get to know the people who will provide care for them during their pregnancy. We are working hard towards implementing small midwifery teams who will provide continuity of care and support for all women who choose to have their babies at the L&D which is in line with the ‘Better Births’ 5 year vision for Maternity Services. This means that you will be supported by your midwife whom you will get to know and with whom you are able to build a relationship of trust.

Consultants

  • Abdulla FayyadSecond nameFayyadBiographyMD MRCOG Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Trained in the US and UK, sub-specialist in Urogynaecology and Minimal Access Surgery. Runs a Pelvic Floor Clinic for lower bowel dysfunction associated with urinary and faecal incontinence and vaginal prolapse following childbirth.
  • Adedamola OnifadeSecond nameOnifadeBiographyMBBS MSc MRCOG Substantive Consultant in Urogynaecology and Obstetrics. Has broad expertise in the management of all aspects of female pelvic floor dysfunction, benign gynaecology and minimal access surgery techniques.
  • Kathy WallerSecond nameWallerBiographyBM BCh DM MRCOG Trained in Oxford and London. Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the L&D since 2001. Specialist obstetric interests include perinatal psychiatry and vulnerable women.
  • Malcolm GriffithsSecond nameGriffithsBiographyMD MRCOG, MFFP Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Directorate Lead for clinical risk management. Specialising in high risk obstetrics, supporting women's choice in pregnancy and delivery. Responsible for the obstetric care of women with HIV.
  • Marlin MubarakSecond nameMubarakBiographyFRCOG Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Specialist in Minimal Access Surgery. Trained at the Oxford Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Areas of particular interest include pelvic pain, endometriosis. Has a degree in Psychosexual Counselling.
  • Pushpa MaharajanSecond nameMaharajanBiographyConsultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Trained in Oxford Deanery and specialises in Colposcopy, General Gynaecology, Minimal Access Surgery, Out-Patient Hysteroscopy and Gynaecology scanning. Areas of particular interest include menstrual disorders and benign gynaecological conditions.
  • Reynold MacRaeSecond nameMacRaeBiographyMBBS, MRCOG, MSc, Dip (Ultrasound Scanning) Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a special interest in perinatal mental health. The lead for Maternity CNST.
  • Samita DasSecond nameDasBiographyMD, MRCOG. Consultant Obstetrician. Specialist in management of high risk pregnancies, previous and current fetal abnormalities, previous pregnancy loss, medical complications in pregnancy and problems in early pregnancy.
  • Shahnaz AkbarSecond nameAkbarBiographyMBBS MRCOG/FRCOG MRCPI MSc (USS) Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Subspecialist Reproductive Medicine & Surgery. Directorate Lead for Fertility, specialising in reproductive health, subfertility, male and female infertility, assisted conception therapies, IVF. Masters in ultrasound.
  • Shyam DasSecond nameDasBiographyMBBS, MD, FRCOG Consultant Obstetrician. Specialist in the management of high risk pregnancies, previous and current fetal abnormalities, previous pregnancy loss, medical complications in pregnancy and problems in early pregnancy.
  • Stella RobertsSecond nameRobertsBiographyConsultant Midwife
  • Stephen BurrellSecond nameBurrellBiographyMB, BS, BSc, MRCP, MRCOG Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Trained at Queen Charlottes and UCH, at the L&D since 2000. Lead for Fetal Medicine Unit. Special interest in hysteroscopic and laparoscopic surgery (lead for hysteroscopy) and runs the endometriosis clinic.



Our values

Our Maternity Department is committed to:

Putting safety first- We are committed to reducing avoidable harm

Continual learning- We work towards making our organisation more resilient to risks, by acting on the feedback from patients and staff and by constantly measuring and monitoring how safe our services are

Being honest- We are transparent with people about our progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be honest with patients and their families if something goes wrong

Collaborating- We take a lead role in supporting local collaborative learning, so that improvements are made across all of the local maternity services available to patients

Being supportive- We help people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right, and also give staff the time and support to improve and celebrate progress.

This way of working ensures we are progressing towards the national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and intrapartum brain injuries by 2030.



Useful links and websites 

There is a lot of information available online - here are some useful resources:

NHS Choices

NHS Choices - Pregnancy Planner

Royal College of Midwives

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)

Association of Breast Feeding Mothers

TAMBA Twins and Multiple Births Association

Stillbirth and neonatal death charity (Sands)

La Leche League

Birthrights

The NHS Cord Blood Bank

National Childbirth Trust

Childbirth Connection

Health Talk

Miscarriage Association

Antenatal Results and Choices

The Association for Postnatal Illness

Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP)