What to bring if your baby is admitted to GOSH soon after birth

Bringing a young child into hospital can be daunting, but we hope some practical advice can help you to prepare for admission.

Your baby will be admitted to the neonatal unit (NNU) at the maternity hospital where you deliver. Your baby will be looked after by neonatal nurses and doctors who are used to managing and caring for babies with a cardiac condition until there is a bed at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

The neonatal doctors will scan your baby after birth and send the images to the cardiac doctors at GOSH. When a bed becomes available at GOSH, the baby will be transferred by ambulance and looked after by a specialist children’s transfer team, don’t worry if this is not for a few days, this is quite normal. There is not usually room for you in the ambulance, so you will need to plan how you are going to get to GOSH. It is better not to bring a car into central London, GOSH does not have a car park and the congestion charge and parking is very expensive.

The maternity hospital has to be happy to discharge you, as GOSH is a children’s hospital and does not have any maternity services – however community midwives hold a drop in clinic and check all the new mothers who are resident at GOSH. You will be provided with accommodation for two people to stay when your baby is admitted to the cardiac high dependency ward at GOSH (Bear or Alligator ward) and in the post-operative period when your baby will be looked after in the intensive care (CICU, Flamingo ward).

After the CICU stay, the baby will be transferred to a ward bed on Bear ward and one parent will be able to stay in the same room, when you will be caring for the baby and getting ready to go home (a nurse will still be looking after your baby too). All cardiac wards have a parent kitchen, where you will be able to make hot drinks and use the microwave and toaster. If you would like family, other children or friends to visit you or your baby, they are very welcome. During the CICU stay, only two people are permitted at the bedside at any one time, but there is a large waiting area where you and your visitors can swap in and out.

GOSH will provide:

  • Nappies.
  • Equipment needed for expressing breast milk on the ward (remember to bring all the milk expressed at the maternity hospital before transfer to GOSH).
  • Formula milk.
  • The bed your baby will be in will be heated; the baby will not wear clothes at the beginning of your stay here, so that we can see the baby easily and monitor his/her condition.
What to bring with you:

  • Mittens and socks (cardiac babies tend to have cold hands and feet).
  • The baby’s own blanket if you want to (don’t worry, we have blankets if you prefer).
  • Some clothes for when the baby is transferred back to the ward after the CICU stay. Clothes that open easily at the front are best, so that we can do scans or listen to the baby’s heart without disturbing him/her.
  • Some clothes for you that are cool and comfortable – the wards can be warm. There is a patient laundry where you can wash clothes.
  • Some small soft toys if you would like to. Books if you would like to read to your baby, or musical toys that aren’t too noisy.
  • You may like to bring your own breast pump for using in your accommodation, either hand held or electric. These are available to purchase in the hospital as well.

Coming to GOSH soon after birth (266.5 KB)

Have a look at our  leaflet.