Maternity services

We provide maternity care to around 8,200 women each year, making it one of the largest maternity services in the country. We recognise that pregnancy and birth are really important times for women and their families and we will support your individual birth choices with up-to-date facilities, information, and highly trained staff treating you with compassion and respect.

Book your care

If you book your care with us you will have your baby at Queen's Hospital in Romford.

You can self-refer yourself as soon as you know you are pregnant (even when you see that first pink/blue line!) to our maternity services by completing our self-referral form.

Tell us about your pregnancy and refer yourself to us

Tours

Mothers-to-be and birth partners, book your tour of our Maternity unit at Queen’s Hospital - Tuesdays at 1pm and Fridays at 10am by calling 01708 435 088.

Birth centre tours occur Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 12noon at Queen’s Hospital birth centre. There is no need to book.

Please note that King George Hospital is now closed to deliveries, and you will not be able to give birth there. Only clinics and antenatal care is provided now from King George.

Watch our tours

Queen's Birth Centre

Maternity services

Day assessment unit

Also known as the Obstetric Assessment unit

We have a day assessment unit, accepting women who are more than 20 weeks into their pregnancy. The units offer fetal monitoring, blood pressure checks, Anti D injections, glucose tolerance tests and pregnancy related advice.

The Day Assessment unit at Queen’s Hospital is open 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Sunday and can be contacted on 01708 503 826.

There is also a maternity triage department at Queen's Hospital located on labour ward. This is open 24/7. The telephone number is 01708 503 742.

Our Birth Centre

The new Queen's Birth Centre opened in January 2013, providing a home-from-home environment for childbirth, led by experienced midwives. If you are expected to have a normal birth and there are no other concerns such as high blood pressure, you can choose to have your baby here. Talk to your midwife for more information.

We aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for pregnancy and birth for you, your baby and your family. Whether your pregnancy is straightforward or more complicated, whether you choose to give birth at home, in the Queen's Birth Centre or on the Labour ward, at all times we strive to provide excellent maternity care that meets your individual needs.

We have recently made major investments in our maternity facilities, training and staffing levels, and we offer one-to-one care in labour, and one of the best levels of midwifery and obstetric staffing in the country. One of our specialist teams has recently been nominated for a Royal College of Midwives award and we have increasing levels of positive feedback from local mothers and organisations that check the quality of care.

Antenatal and postnatal care is available on both sites and in the community setting outside hospital - please speak to your midwife for more information.

Birth centre tours occur Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 12noon at Queen’s Hospital birth centre. There is no need to book. 

Booking your birth

As soon as you find out you are pregnant, it’s a good idea to book your antenatal care and birth with us here at Queen's Hospital, using our booking form in the pink box above.

Alternatively, you may call us on 020 8970 5757 (8.30am to 4.30pm). We will contact you within 72 hours with a booking appointment date. Your first appointment is likely to be with a community midwife. We will then make an appointment for various tests and scans. You can find out more information through the links on this site. 

We advise women to book in as early on in pregnancy as possible, so that we can give you all the care, advice, options and support that you need for a healthy pregnancy. 

We provide care to women living in Havering and most parts of Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham, Brentwood and parts of Essex. Our catchment area covers most of these boroughs, and we give priority to local women who book with us. 

We are unlikely to be able to provide care to other women who live outside our catchment area, as we have had an increase in referrals and we need to work within our capacity in order to ensure that we do not compromise the quality of care that we offer. Please feel free to make an enquiry. If we do not have enough capacity, we will refer you on to another local hospital. This might be:

  • Whipps Cross for women living in some parts of Redbridge
  • Newham for women living in some parts of Barking and Dagenham
  • or an Essex hospital such as Broomfield or Basildon for women living in Essex.

Antenatal classes

We’re here to help you plan for the arrival of your new baby and help you to make healthy choices for you and your family. We offer lots of different classes that will help you prepare for your labour and adjust to life as a new parent.

You’ll even get to meet other mums and dads that are expecting too, share your experiences and maybe make some new friends.

Take a look at our courses or drop us a line for more information:

  • Call: 01708 504 305 and leave a voicemail, we aim to respond within seven working days.
  • Email: antenatal.classes@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk with your hospital number, expected date of delivery, and sessions that you wish to attend.

Classes available:

  • Preparation for birth: all-inclusive session designed for first time parents to provide you with useful information and equip you with tools to support you throughout labour and birth.
     
  • Refresher session: this session is designed for second and subsequent babies and is a more informal environment to meet other mums and dads, provide you with information and update you with some useful techniques to support you during labour and birth.
     
  • Breastfeeding and care of the newborn: provides information and advice on breastfeeding and caring for your new baby, including signs baby is well attached at the breast, winding, changing baby and latest evidence based recommendations.
     
  • Relaxation: this is a practical session and you will be able to participate in an hour of relaxation designed to make you feel refreshed and revived.
     
  • Waterbirth: we invite you to see our pool set up (where possible) and come and find the benefits of using water during labour and birth.
     
  • Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC): this is a refresher session for those who have previously had a caesarean section and designed to provide you with useful information and equip you with useful tools to assist you throughout labour and birth.

During labour

We have a philosophy to support and empower you throughout your birthing experience with excellent facilities and access to a wide range of pain relief. Most women choose to have their baby at Queen's Hospital in Romford, in either the co-located Birth Centre or on the Labour ward. Home birth care is also available and recommended for low-risk women.

If you think you are in labour, please call our Maternity Triage helpline on 01708 503 742 for advice from an experienced midwife. You will probably be most comfortable staying at home in early labour, and our midwives will discuss with you when you should come into hospital and answer any questions you may have. 

When you come into Queen's Hospital to have your baby, please use the dedicated maternity entrance at the side of the hospital, and use the maternity car park as a drop-off location. However we advise that you park your car in our multi-storey car park for the duration of your labour and delivery. 

If you are planning to give birth in the Queen’s Birth Centre, please go directly to the Birth Centre on the third floor for your initial assessment. You will be examined in a first-stage room to see how far along your labour is. If it is time for you to give birth, you will be shown to a dedicated room in the Birth Centre. We recognise that not all birthing experiences go to plan and we are equipped with state of the art facilities and specialist staff to cover all eventualities for both you and your baby. 

If you are planning, or have been advised, to give birth on the Labour ward, please report to maternity reception to be seen. Here you will be referred to Maternity Triage, where you will be examined to see how far along your labour is. If it is time for you to give birth, you will be shown to a dedicated room on the Labour ward. 

The Labour ward at Queen's Hospital can be contacted on 01708 435 213 or 435 371.

Community midwife

Community midwives provide antenatal care for expectant mothers, care in labour for homebirths and postnatal care.

There are three groups of community midwives working in the following areas:

• Barking and Dagenham
• Havering and Brentwood
• Redbridge

The community midwife will usually be the first person you meet along your pregnancy journey. She will complete your booking appointment taking all your history and planning your individualised care pathway. The remainder of your antenatal care will be with either the community midwife, GP or shared with the obstetrician at the hospital according to your needs. Community Midwife Antenatal Clinics are held in children’s centres, GP surgeries or health centres.

After your baby is born, the midwife will visit you within 24 hours of you leaving hospital to check both you and your baby. The amount and frequency of visits will be planned with you at the first visit but please be aware that the midwife does not visit every day. She will leave contact numbers for advice 24 hours a day. There are also postnatal clinics that are held throughout the boroughs to help you during your transition into parenthood.

Screening and ultrasound scans

As part of your antenatal care, you will be offered various tests to check on the health of your developing baby and for conditions that may affect you or your baby. It is important you book for antenatal care as early as possible in your pregnancy. This will help you get these tests at the appropriate time, and benefit from other care for you and your baby.

Screening tests are used to find people at higher chance of a health problem. This means they can get earlier, potentially more effective treatment, or make informed decisions about their health. It can be helpful to imagine screening like putting people through a sieve. Most people pass straight through but a small number get caught in the sieve. The people caught in the sieve are those considered to have a higher chance of having the health problem being screened for.

Screening tests are not perfect. Some people will be told that they or their baby have a high chance of having a health problem when in fact they do not have the problem. Also, a few people will be told that they or their baby have a low chance of having a health problem when in fact they do have the problem.

FIRST TRIMESTER

During the first appointment with the midwife, you will be offered several tests. The tests are to check for different conditions that may affect you or your baby. The results of these tests are given at a future appointment; however you may well be contacted earlier if a result requires some action. These tests include hepatitis and HIV. Read more

You can choose to have a screening test for chromosomal abnormalities when you attend for your screening and ultrasound scan visit (between 11½ and just under 14 weeks of pregnancy).

The blood test measures the amount of two proteins PAPPA and FREE BETA HCG. These proteins appear naturally in your blood during pregnancy. A change in the level of these proteins can indicate an increased chance of abnormality, but doesn't give you a certain diagnosis.

The ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of your baby on a screen. It can show the age and position of your baby, and also if there is more than one baby. During the scan, the ultrasonographer will also measure the amount of fluid behind the neck of the baby - this test is called the nuchal translucency. This measurement, along with the baby’s age, your age, and the results of the biochemical tests will allow us to calculate the individual risk of the baby having a chromosomal abnormality such as Down’s syndrome. If the risk is increased, you will be offered the opportunity to discuss further with the doctor or midwife.

If it is considered appropriate for further follow up tests, the appropriate diagnostic tests will either be chorionic villus sampling (CVS) where a small amount of afterbirth is tested under ultrasound, or amniocentesis where a small amount of fluid from around the baby is tested.

Sickle cell and thalassaemia (SCD): screening in pregnancy for SCD and thalassaemia involves having a blood test. It is best to have the test ideally by eight weeks, to allow for your results to appear on your electronic medical records by 10 weeks. This test is offered to all women cared for through our Trust. Read more

The screening will find out if you are a carrier of the sickle cell or thalassaemia gene and therefore likely to pass it on to the baby.

SECOND TRIMESTER

If you book after 13 weeks and 6 days, you can still have a blood test. This test is called the Quad test and includes four markers: Free-beta HCG, AFP, Unconjugated Estriol and Inhibin-A. It will detect around 80% of Down’s syndrome cases. Read more

An anomaly scan is undertaken between 18 and 20 weeks and checks the development of the baby.

Birth reflections service

Do you have any questions about your care in our labour wards or your birthing experience? We’d love to talk. If you gave birth in our hospitals, you can meet with one of our experienced midwives, and we’ll go through your care records together to answer any questions you might have.

You might feel that a part of your care was unexpected, unplanned, or confusing. You might feel your expectations were not met, or your birth plans may have changed due to medical concerns. During our conversation we can look back your birth story to fill in the gaps.

When you’re ready, you can call us on 020 8970 5757 to book an appointment. Sessions last an hour and you’re welcome to attend on your own, with your partner, your family or a friend.

Our booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm.

We can’t wait to meet you.

Maternity patient information leaflets

There are a number of patient information leaflets produced by external organisations that may be beneficial for you to read. These are: