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The Maternity Service based at Dorset County Hospital provides the care for pregnant women in the west of the county. We have approximately 1,850 births a year with a thriving homebirth team. Approximately eight to 10% of our babies are born at home. We have six large birthing rooms, all en suite, plus a pool room.

Maternity Matters Dorset provides a guide to maternity options and services in Dorset. Read all the information you will need about pregnancy and giving birth here.

At Dorset County Hospital, we have many specialist services, some led by midwives and some by consultant obstetricians:

•         Smoking cessation team

•         Multi professional diabetic team

•         Perinatal mental health specialist team

•         Specialist multiple pregnancy team

•         The Cygnet homebirth team

•         Access to a midwife trained in psychotherapy for women experiencing anxiety over planning their 

•         Specialist team for teenage parents

•         Aromatherapy service

•         Breathing and relaxation classes

•         Better births and foundations for life classes​​

•         Bereavement team

•         Antenatal screening service with some onsite fetal medicine provision

We also have:

•         A Special Care Baby Unit that can have babies from 32 weeks gestation. The unit has four rooms for parents to be resident with their baby

•         24 hour access to an epidural service

•         A dedicated maternity theatre

•         Access to a birthing pool

We have eight consultant obstetricians who lead on complex and high risk pregnancies:         

•         Audrey Ryan

•         Alison Cooper

•         Mamdouh Shoukrey

•         Beena Dandawate

•         Mohamed Siddig

•         Francis Afadapa

•         Suguna Balasundram

•         ​Andrew Mukherjee

If your pregnancy is low-risk then a midwife will be the lead professional for your pregnancy. Ideally you will see the same midwife for the majority of your pregnancy care.

We are fully accredited to the UNICEF Baby Friendly standard for Infant Feeding and have a dedicated Infant Feeding Team whose focus is on supporting you to successfully feed your baby in whichever way you choose. Our initiation rates for breastfeeding are approximately 80%.

The majority of our postnatal accommodation are large single rooms, fully en suite and if you are in a single room, then your partner is welcome to stay overnight. We can provide a recliner for your partner but would recommend they bring in a pillow and a blanket, or cover of some kind. However, ​if all the single rooms are occupied then postnatal accommodation is in small multi-occupancy wards. In this case, unfortunately partners cannot stay overnight.

Visiting hours are from 2pm until 7pm. Partners and your own children can visit from 9am until 9pm.

The reception phone number for the maternity unit is 01305 254267.

The Head of Midwifery is Jo Hartley. Her email is​

Dorset Maternity Labour Line offers advice and support during your pregnancy.

Call them if:

•           You think you're in labour

•           You think your waters have broken

•           You don't think your baby is moving

•           You have unexplained pain or bleeding

Midwives are available 24/7 to answer your calls – 0300 369 0388.

You can keep up to date with the latest information and advice from our maternity unit via their Facebook or Twitter accounts.