• Planning your pregnancy?

    Don't hesitate to ask our experienced team members for guidance on planning your pregnancy.

    Visit Planning your pregnancy

    Planning your pregnancy?

    Don't hesitate to ask our experienced team members for guidance on planning your pregnancy.

  • A dark-skinned pregnant woman laying in bed reading a book

    Found out you're pregnant?

    Make sure you book into the maternity service as soon as possible. 

    Your pregnancy

    Found out you're pregnant?

    Make sure you book into the maternity service as soon as possible. 

  • Your birth

    Embrace the miracle of birth with our expert guidance and compassionate care.

    Your birth

    Your birth

    Embrace the miracle of birth with our expert guidance and compassionate care.

  • Navigating the postpartum period

    Welcome your new baby into the world with confidence and knowledge, thanks to our expert postpartum care resources.

    After your birth

Maternity services

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Embark on this special journey with us, where our maternity teams will support you every step of the way. Explore our comprehensive maternity website pages for valuable insights and resources throughout your pregnancy, labour, and beyond.

Notification: Maternity care locations and hospital options

Dear patient,

Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust maternity service. We are extremely proud of our maternity service, which operates as a single service across three hospital sites, the William Julien Courtauld birthing unit site, and numerous other community sites, covering a very large part of Essex.

Location of birth

We understand and appreciate that you may wish to give birth at a particular location. As a Trust, we will endeavour to provide you with your preferred birth location; however, this may depend on several varying factors such as how you choose to have your baby, and the demand on our maternity units and staffing at the time. We will only ever ask you to move away from your planned location of birth to keep you and your baby safe.

Your birth preferences will be discussed with your midwife or obstetrician during your antenatal care. Most of our patients receive their maternity care from their community midwifery team and their local hospital site (Basildon, Broomfield, or Southend hospitals).

Discussion of birth location

We understand that many factors may influence your decision, including work schedules, childcare for other children, transportation, and financial considerations. We aim to accommodate your needs and preferences as much as possible, but we recognise that our first responsibility is to keep all of our patients and their babies safe.

Your midwife will discuss your preferred birth location with you early in your pregnancy journey.

Specialist care and apointment timeliness

There are times when you may receive some of your maternity care at a site that is not your preferred location or local hospital. This may be necessary to ensure you receive specialist care or to ensure you get an appointment within the correct timeframe.

Occasionally, for medical reasons or due to high demand at your local site, you may be asked at short notice to have your baby at a different hospital. This is particularly true for patients having an elective caesarean section or induction of labour, where hospital stays can be expected to be longer. In this circumstance, you will be contacted by a senior midwife, maternity manager, or obstetrician to discuss available options.

Healthcare travel cost scheme (HTCS)

If you have a low income, you may be eligible to get help with NHS costs and travel expenses. You can apply:

online at: www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-low-income-scheme.

By phone: 0300 330 1343

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to discuss this with your community midwife.

Once again, congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

Self-referral form

You can self-refer to our maternity services by completing our online form - 

https://connect-maternitydirect.mse.nhs.uk

Maternity Direct

Visit https://maternitydirect.mse.nhs.uk to chat with a midwife for non-urgent pregnancy advice.

Additional support

Maternity Neonatal Voices Partnership

The Mid and South Essex Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MNVP) is a team of women, birthing people and their families, commissioners and providers (midwives and doctors) working together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity care. The MNVP welcomes your feedback on your maternity service experience; it is used to make direct improvements to the local services offered.  

If you would like to give feedback via the MNVP about your maternity care, you can email MSESSEXMNVP@gmail.com.

Neonatal units

If your baby needs special care after birth, learn more about our neonatal teams on our Premature and sick babies (Neonatal) page.

Bereavement support

If you have experienced the loss of a baby, our bereavement team is here to support you.

Learn more about the support we offer on our Bereavement support page.

Maternity smoking cessation service

If you are a current smoker or have quit since finding out you are pregnant a referral is automatically made to our specialist maternity smoking cessation team, following your booking appointment. The team will contact you to discuss the right way in which we can support you, and your household to become smoke free.

Alternatively you can self-refer via the email address at any gestation. Please include your name, date of birth, contact details, address and booking site: Mse.maternitysmokingcessation@nhs.net.

For some further information regarding smoking in pregnancy please visit the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: https://www.rcog.org.uk/media/rvljrnjz/pi-smoking-in-pregnancy.pdf

Maternity research

We are committed to improve the care we provide to the women/birthing people and their families, which is why we offer our service users the chance to get involved in clinical research studies. Below is a list of some of the research studies we offer. 

If you are interested on participation or getting more information from any of the studies, contact your health care professional. 

Basildon Hospital

1. Imperial College London- Early versus late monitoring among women and birthing people with a history of gestational diabetes – Observational multicentre cohort study. 

Profound biochemical and physiological changes are observed throughout the pregnancy, and some of the hormonal changes can cause the body not to be able to produce enough insulin or their body is more resistant to insulin causing blood levels to remain high and in pregnancy this is called gestational diabetes. 

Although, NICE guidance suggests that we should offer the pregnant person/women with a history of GDM with early monitoring of blood glucose testing with a full oral glucose tolerance test at 16-28 weeks, the reality is that the practice across the UK vary, and it is not clear which approach is more effective at reducing the short- and long-term risks of GDM in pregnancy.  

The aim of the study is to study two groups of women/birthing people: early blood glucose monitoring and later glucose monitoring and determine, if there is a difference in short- and long-term outcomes.  

Taking part in the study we do not expect you to change what you do during the pregnancy. If you decide to participate, we will continue to observe and after birth we collect the data of your pregnancy, birth and baby and contact 6weeks postnatally. All the information will be pseudonymised.  

For further information please contact the diabetic midwife. 

 

Broomfield Hospital

1. OBS UK

Every year 50,000 women and birthing people in the UK lose 1 litre of blood or more during childbirth with 28% requiring a blood transfusion. Bleeding is the leading cause of maternal death and there have been no improvements in maternal morbidity due to postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) in the last 15 years. PPH can have long term psychological consequences for women/birthing people and their birth partners. 

Following on from a promising pilot study across 12 sites in Wales, OBS UK aims to implement an obstetric bleeding strategy (OBS) PPH care bundle to evaluate a new way of managing heavy bleeding during childbirth.

Women and birthing people may be approached by the research team to discuss taking part in the psychology and cost effectiveness sub studies. Further information can be found here: (www.obsuk.org).  

 

Southend Hospital

1. LOCI Trial – Women/people diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)   

Infertility affects one in six couples, with 25% of infertility being due to anovulation (not releasing eggs from the ovaries). Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is also very common; (approximately 10% of women of reproductive age in the UK have this condition) and it is responsible for 85% of anovulation. Invasive treatments, such as an operation called ovarian diathermy or In-vitro fertilisation (IVF), may overcome anovulation from PCOS, but are associated with significant risks and costs.  

This trial is investigating the effectiveness of two different drugs (letrozole and clomifene) with metformin or placebo on fertility, in woman/people with anovulatory PCOS and infertility on live birth rate ≥34 weeks of gestation. 

Recruitment eligibility: 

  • Women/people diagnosed with PCOS (according to Rotterdam criteria) and evidence of anovulation (irregular cycles lasting <21 or more than 35 days or less than 8 periods per year OR absence of raised serum progesterone greater than 20nmol/L 7 days prior to a period) 
  • Presentation with infertility or wishing to conceive. 
  • Male partner with normal sperm count (≥ 15 million) and progressive motility (≥32% in the last 3 years).  

For more information about the trial, please visit the LOCI trial website: LOCI trial - University of Birmingham.

 

2. CaPE Trial   

Calcium supplementation for prevention of pre-eclampsia in high-risk women/birhting people. 

Pre-eclampsia complicates around 1 in 30 pregnancies every year in UK. The underlying cause of preeclampsia remains still unclear. It is thought to occur secondary to poor placentation and endothelial cell damage, resulting in widespread vasoconstriction, abnormal coagulation, and poor organ perfusion.   

The aim of the CaPE trial is to find out whether taking calcium tablets, alongside usual antenatal care, reduces the risk of women developing pre-eclampsia.  

Trial participants will be randomised to receive either an oral calcium supplement for 2gm per day plus usual care (including aspirin) or a placebo plus usual care (including aspirin), to be commenced anytime from 12- 22 weeks of gestation until delivery. 

For any further information of the study please visit: The CaPE trial - University of Birmingham 

 

3. ASPRE-T                        

Preeclampsia (PE) which results in premature birth is a serious complication of pregnancy and a major cause of short and long-term maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.  This is a trial which is involving MCDA and DCDA twins, and the findings show that rate of PE is about 9% which is 3 times higher than in singleton pregnancies.  

The aim of the study is to examine if the prophylactic use of low-dose aspirin from the first trimester of pregnancy in women/birthing people with twin pregnancy can reduce the incidence of PE.  

This is a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial. The participant who meets the eligibility criteria will be offered the trial at the first hospital visit 11-13 weeks gestation in pregnancy.  

For further information of the study please visit:  aspre-t.org

 

4. Imperial College London- Early versus late monitoring among women and birthing people with a history of gestational diabetes – Observational multicentre cohort study. 

Profound biochemical and physiological changes are observed throughout the pregnancy, and some of the hormonal changes can cause the body not to be able to produce enough insulin or their body is more resistant to insulin causing blood levels to remain high and in pregnancy this is called gestational diabetes. 

Although, NICE guidance suggests that we should offer the pregnant person/women with a history of GDM with early monitoring of blood glucose testing with a full oral glucose tolerance test at 16-28 weeks, the reality is that the practice across the UK vary, and it is not clear which approach is more effective at reducing the short- and long-term risks of GDM in pregnancy.  

The aim of the study is to study two groups of women/birthing people: early blood glucose monitoring and later glucose monitoring and determine, if there is a difference in short- and long-term outcomes.  

Taking part in the study we do not expect you to change what you do during the pregnancy. If you decide to participate, we will continue to observe and after birth we collect the data of your pregnancy, birth and baby and contact 6weeks postnatally. All the information will be pseudonymised.  

For further information please contact the diabetic midwife. 

 

Perinatal pelvic health service

We have a perinatal pelvic health service consisting of specialist midwives and physiotherapists working at each of the Trust's three sites, which women/birthing people can access up to one year postpartum.They work in close collaboration with consultants and urogynae nurses to help provide a multidisciplinary approach to improving women/birthing people's pelvic health.

The specialist midwives' role is to provide perinatal care with the promotion of education regarding how to reduce the negative effects of childbirth through pelvic floor exercises, perineal massage, positions in labour. The team can also help provide ongoing support with bladder and bowel dysfunction in both the antenatal and postnatal periods, when the pelvic floor is at its most vulnerable.

Please speak to your midwife at your antenatal appointment, your health visitor postnatally, or your GP for a referral to these services.

Resources: 

Follow us on social media!

Stay up-to-date on the latest news and information by following us on social media, at 

social media   Mid and South Essex Gynaecology, Maternity and Paediatrics services.