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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Maternity additional services

Amenity rooms

The maternity hospital have two amenity rooms available for those who wish for a private room. There are two single rooms one of which has ensuite facilities.

Rooms cannot be booked in advance but you can express your interest during your pregnancy.  Alternatively you can ask about availability of our amenity rooms following the birth of your baby. 

The charges for these rooms are:

  • Amenity room without ensuite facilities - £75 per 24 hour period*
  • Chamomile amenity room with ensuite facilities - £175 per 24 hour period*

* Please note should you decide to go home early, you will still be charged for the full period.

Emotional Well Being

Poole Hospital Maternity Counselling Service accepts referrals for Bournemouth and Poole antenatal or postnatal ladies who have experienced baby loss, birth trauma or pregnancy related anxiety and/or depression.   Counselling provides a safe non-judgemental environment and our team of counsellors have in-depth knowledge and experience of working with Psychological trauma, loss, adjustment as well as common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.

Referrals can be made by professionals or patients can self-refer.  Please ring Karen Stevens, Lead Counsellor on 0300 019 8752 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like further information about our service, to discuss an individual referral or to request our referral forms.

All of our counsellors are registered with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and abide by their Ethical Framework.


Birth Afterthoughts Service

Information for mothers

Childbirth is a unique and challenging experience during which you are likely to have experienced intense mental and physical sensations. Your life will change and so will your hormones. Some of your hormones will go from very high levels just before you give birth, to very low soon afterwards. This happens no matter which way you give birth. Oestrogen and progesterone levels drop dramatically, which can contribute to the "baby blues" (mood swings, anxiety, sadness or irritability), which usually resolve within a week or so of birth. Postnatal depression brings similar symptoms that are more intense, last longer and interfere with your daily life.

Meanwhile, oxytocin, which is called the 'bonding hormone,' floods your body immediately after your baby's birth. Bonding includes feelings of protection over your baby and can increase anxiety as you look out for danger in your child's surroundings. Your energy and mood can also be affected by the complex mix of hormones in your body. Fathers also experience changes in hormone levels.

During the first few weeks it can be helpful to accept that your hormones are having lots of effects on you and try not to beat yourself up with thoughts of 'why can't I get it together?' It's totally OK to feel all over the place with your mood for several months, as your hormones eventually level out. If you feel that despite understanding this, that you are struggling, be sure to talk to your midwife or doctor, or a counsellor to discuss ways to deal with these feelings.

It is not always easy to remember all the details of your birth and 'sort out' all of your feelings and understandings about the experience afterwards and this can, in some women, lead to psychological symptoms which interfere with your wellbeing and your family life. On the other hand many women are quite happy with their recollections even with 'gaps' in their memory of the details.

You will have opportunities to talk through your birth experiences with a community midwife during contacts following the birth, especially at the final community discharge visit between 21 and 28 days after the birth of your baby/babies.

She has a deep knowledge of labour and the positions babies adopt in the pelvis around the time of birth. She will be able to explain conditions which affect pregnancy and labour and have a good idea of how decisions are generally made during labour care. If, after this final community midwife appointment you feel that you need more, we should like you to get in touch with our 'birth afterthoughts' service.

We care about your partner and his/her reactions to sharing the whole childbirth experience. There is support available on a self-referral basis via Steps2Wellbeing. Please check for local contact details on the internet and help is available.

To refer yourself please go to: https://maternitymattersdorset.nhs.uk/support/trauma/ and follow the instructions. If you need help with IT and are still seeing a Health Visitor they will be able to help, as will your local library.

One of the midwives (who are experienced practitioners), will arrange to meet with you (currently using an online platform) for a single appointment, which is likely to last for approximately an hour. Your medical records will be available to refer to if you gave birth in Poole and the hope is that you will gain some understanding.

This service is not counselling. We have a counsellor linked to maternity to whom you can self-refer if you feel that this may be a next useful step. You may prefer to attend counselling before Birth Afterthoughts. You can choose one, or both in any order, as required. If you are receiving care from the Perinatal Mental Health Team please discuss this with them so you can plan the most appropriate timing in partnership.

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