Antenatal, delivery and postnatal care at Rigshospitalet

Information about antenatal, delivery and postnatal care at Rigshospitalet.

In this pamphlet you and your partner can read about the services Rigshospitalet provides during your pregnancy, delivery and after you have given birth. We are pleased that you have chosen to have your baby at Rigshospitalet, and we hope that you are happy with the services we provide. 
 

Midwife consultations

You can choose to come alone or with your partner when you come in for regular check-ups with your midwife.

Your midwife will monitor your baby’s development, and you can ask her about the physical and psychological changes you are experiencing due to your pregnancy.

You can also talk to her about how to best prepare for the actual birth, as well as ask about breastfeeding, dietary issues, smoking, work-related issues, exercise, etc. During your pregnancy, you will have 4-6 midwife consultations depending on whether this is your first pregnancy or whether you have given
birth before.

Your first midwife consultation lasts approx. 30 minutes. The following consultations last approx. 20 minutes.

We recommend that, if possible, you do not change the dates for your consultations, as these have been set in accordance with the official recommendations made by the National Board of Health.

Moreover, if you do have to change the date of a consultation, the new date your are given may be quite a bit later in your pregnancy than your original date. It may even mean that you won’t be able to see your regular midwife, but will be scheduled to see another midwife. The first letter you receive from the hospital tells you where to go for your midwife consultations.

Visits to your general practitioner

You can also schedule three visits to your general practitioner during your pregnancy. You are responsible for booking these visits yourself.

Ultrasounds

All pregnant women are offered two ultrasound assessments during their pregnancy:

  • The first ultrasound is performed when you are between 11 and 13 weeks pregnant. The purpose of this ultrasound is to evaluate the gestational age and may include a risk estimation for Down syndrome, if you wish so. It is done by the nuchal translucency screening test that measures the thickness or the folds of the neck, combined with a blood test - the so-called double test.
  • Between week 19-20 of your pregnancy, we offer a second foetal ultrasound where we check for abnormalities. At your first foetal ultrasound, you will receive information about the second ultrasound and you can book an appointment.
  • If you haven’t booked a foetal ultrasound for week 20 in your pregnancy, see contact information below.


You can read more about ultrasound at Rigshospitalet's webpage and you can book a nuchal translucency screening test online at www.nakkefold-hs.dk.

Consultations with an obstetrician

Some women also need to see an obstetrician during their pregnancy, e.g. if they have a condition that may affect mother or child. Consultations with your obstetrician take place in the Prenatal Outpatient Department (section 4002, on the ground floor, entrance 4).

When coming in for check-ups

Remember to bring your maternity card (this is called your ‘vandrejournal’ in Danish) for every visit, both to the midwife and the obstetrician. You are welcome to bring accompanying adult with you to all consultations with your midwife or obstetrician. As ultrasound examinations require that both the pregnant woman and medical staff are calm and focused, we recommend that children are not brought along to these examinations.

Diet and exercise

We recommend that you follow these 8 dietary recommendations:

  • Eat fruit and vegetables
  • Eat fish and fish products several times a week. For more information, see www.sst.dk
  • Eat potatoes, rice or pasta, and wholegrain bread every day
  • Cut back on your sugar intake, especially from soft drinks, sweets and cakes
  • Cut back on fatty foods, especially dairy products and meat
  • Eat a varied diet
  • Drink water when you’re thirsty
  • Exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes every day.

To exercise moderately means to exercise at a rate where you become slightly out of breath. You shouldn’t push yourself to a maximum. Moderate exercise could be to: Take a brisk walk, go for a bike ride, work in the garden, go swimming, practice strength training.

Vitamins and iron

We recommend that you take:

  • 400 micrograms folic acid daily for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy
  • 10 micrograms vitamin D daily throughout your pregnancy
  • 40-50 mg iron daily from week 10 of your pregnancy
  • 500 ml milk or similar daily or a calcium supplement.

Gestational diabetes

You will be offered a screening for gestational diabetes if:

  • You have sugar in your urine (tested when you visit your midwife)
  • You have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • Your BMI is over 27 (calculated on the basis of your weight before pregnancy)
  • Your children, siblings, parents or grandparents have type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • You have previously given birth to a large baby (more than 4500 g).

Gestational diabetes is typically tested for between week 28 and week 32. However, some pregnant women are offered to be tested for gestational diabetes before week 20. You will be given an appointment at the Prenatal Outpatient Department (section 4002). You are to come fasting to the hospital in the morning. You will be given a sweetened liquid to drink. After approx. 2 hours, a blood test will be taken to measure your blood sugar. You will get the results immediately.

Antenatal and parenting classes

You and your partner will be given the opportunity to attend our antenatal classes that deal with the delivery itself, the postnatal period, and what it means to become a family. You can see the dates and sign up for these classes at Rigshospitalet's webpaqge, and ask your midwife.

Breastfeeding consultations

Special breastfeeding consultations are offered to women:

  • Who have previously had a breast reduction, had breast implants or any other kind of breast surgery
  • Who have previously experienced complications when breastfeeding
  • Who are unsure of whether they want to breastfeed their child or have any other concerns about breastfeeding.

Pregnant women whose BMI is over 30

We offer group or individual consultations to women whose BMI is over 30. The objective of these group consultations is to help you limit your weight gain during pregnancy, and thereby reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational
diabetes and c-section delivery. Moreover, this gives you the chance to break with old habits and improve your chances of losing weight after you have given birth.

Blood type Rhesus negative

If you are Rh negative, your general practitioner will take a blood sample in approx. week 25 to check your baby’s blood type. Just over 50% of all Rh-negative women are carrying a Rh-positive baby. During your pregnancy there is a slight risk that your blood mixes with your baby’s blood, which in rare cases may lead to complications for your baby. To prevent this from happening, the
Danish National Board of Health recommends that you are given an anti-D injection both during your pregnancy (week 29) and immediately after you have given birth. Your midwife will ensure that you are given the injection.

If you experience any problems during your pregnancy

Before week 20:

If you experience any acute problems before you reach week 20, please call the emergency doctor services at tel. 1813, who will help you book an appointment for an acute check-up. Not all problems that occur before week 20 in your pregnancy need to be treated at the hospital where you are due to have your baby.

After week 20:

If you have gone into labour (are having contractions or your water has broken) and want to talk to someone from the maternity ward, please call the midwife, see contact information below. For acute situations during your pregnancy (e.g.
intense itching all over your body, bleeding, baby is less lively), please call the maternity ward, see contact information below. These lines are open day and night.

After week 24:

You should be able to feel your baby’s movements every day. If you sense that your baby is moving less than normal, please contact the maternity ward.
Remember to always bring your maternity card when you report to the maternity ward.

Giving birth

When it is time for you to give birth, this will take place in the maternity ward.
Admissions and the maternity ward are at entrance 4 on the 2nd floor (section 4023), see contact information below. Use the main entrance, if you arrive in the evening after 10 p.m. There is no free parking, however you can buy a parking ticket from a parking meter or in the hospital kiosk.

When you start having contractions, or if your water breaks, you should call the maternity ward. A midwife will talk to you to find out, if it’s time for you to come in. At the maternity ward, the midwife will examine you and talk to you and your partner about what will happen next and your needs and wishes.

Remember to bring the following to the hospital:

  • Your maternity card (vandrejournal)
  • Bathrobe or similar
  • Slippers
  • Clothes that are loose and easy to move in during labour and after you have given birth
  • Toiletries
  • Clothes for your newborn
  • A child safety seat, if necessary, for when you leave the hospital with your baby.

Below is a description of the postnatal care services provided by the hospital. The type of postnatal care provided, depends on whether your delivery was uncomplicated.

Outpatient birth

If you have given birth before, and if your delivery was uncomplicated and on time, you will be discharged from the hospital approx. 4 hours after having given birth. The midwife will observe you and your newborn in the first hours after the delivery, and you will be discharged if the midwife assesses that everything is normal.

If you haven’t given birth before, and if your delivery was uncomplicated and on time, you can also choose to leave the hospital early. You can wait to decide this, until after you have given birth.

Care services after outpatient birth/follow up care

In the days following the birth, a midwife will call you to make sure that you, your partner and your newborn are thriving.

You will be offered a visit by a midwife in your own home 2-3 days after having given birth. During this visit, the midwife will offer to take a PKU blood sample (see overleaf) and a hearing screening test of your child. You and your partner will be given the opportunity to talk about your experiences during your delivery. The midwife will also assess how your newborn is thriving.

If you do not want the midwife to visit you in your home, you can instead come to our maternity outpatient department at the Maternity Hotel.

You can call a midwife at the Maternity Hotel during all hours, day or night, if you have questions or are experiencing problems.

If you want us to, we can let your health visitor know that you left the hospital immediately after the delivery. She will then contact you within a few days.

After a complicated pregnancy and delivery

If you have had complications, for example if you gave birth by caesarean section, you will be admitted to our postnatal wards.

You will be admitted together with your baby. Unfortunately, due to the lack of space, we are rarely able to admit your partner too. However, you are very welcome to spend as much time together as you want during the day and evening, and your partner can buy meals during your stay.

The maternity rooms are shared between 2-3 new mothers. If things progress as expected after the delivery, you will stay at the hospital for approx. 2 days,
also if you have had a caesarian section.

If your baby is born prematurely or requires special care, observation and treatment, he or she will be admitted to the Department of Neonatology (the children’s ward for ’sick’ infants). If you give birth at Rigshospitalet but are linked to another local hospital, in some cases, you and your child will be transferred to the neonatal department at your local hospital, when your baby is well enough to allow for this.

Examinations after birth

The midwife will examine your baby immediately after birth. Further to this, every child born in Denmark is offered a hearing screening test and a PKU blood sample prick test taken from the child’s heel.

The PKU is to test for several rare metabolic disorders, such as phenylketonuria and myxoedema.

Before you leave the hospital, we will schedule a time for the blood sample (between 48-72 hours after birth) and the hearing screening. The baby can also have the hearing screening performed before you leave the hospital or in connetion with the visit by a midwife efter an outpatient birth or homebirth.

Maternity outpatient department

The first week after having given birth you have the option to visit our maternity outpatient department in Aldersrogade. Here, you can receive guidance on breastfeeding, your baby’s wellbeing, and similar. After this period, contact your health visitor or your general practitioner. The maternity outpatient department in Aldersrogade is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Visits

It is important that new families experience as little disturbance as possible, to allow for time and calm to receive guidance and to be able to ask questions.
We recommend that you do not allow too many visitors while you are admitted.

There are no visiting hours, but we encourage to take into accout other hospitalized, so both your own and others need for rest are satisfied. It is
possible to sit in certain areas with visitors. Read more about this in the welcome booklet in your section.

Visitors can contact the information at the main entrance on the ground floor to
find out where you are.

After discharge

If you have questions about breastfeeding and your babys wellbeing after you have left the hospital, you are always welcome to contact the maternity outpatient department or the department you were admitted to. Even after a
long time, we can arrange for you to talk about your delivery with the midwife who helped you during the delivery. It will also be possible to book an appointment with a midwife specializing in post natal interview.

You can read specifically about pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal care and foetal ultrasounds on Rigshospitalet's webpage. If you have any questions, please contact us, see contact information below.

Health visitor

We automatically notifies the health visitor after the birth, who then will contact you within a few days.

The contact addresses and phone numbers of health visitors in the City of Copenhagen can be found here: www.kk.dk/sundhedsplejen. If you live in another municipality you can find your health visitor at your municipality’s website.

Visits to your general practitioner

Five weeks after birth, your general practitioner will examine your baby. Six to eight weeks after birth, you will also need to be examined by your general practitioner.

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