Having a baby is one of the most important and life-changing events that will happen to you and we are here to make sure that you have the very best care throughout your pregnancy, during your delivery and after your baby is born. Around 3,500 mothers choose to have their baby in our maternity unit every year and are supported by our team of experienced midwives and doctors.

Maternity is part of the Obstetrics department.

Finding out that your are pregnant can be both an exciting and anxious time for families. We want to make sure that you have as much information as possible about what you can expect whilst you are under the care of our community and hospital based midwifery teams.

Every GP surgery in Sunderland has an allocated community midwife. During your pregnancy you will have a named midwife who will care for you throughout before and after your baby is born.

You will be referred to see your named midwife by completing a referral form at your GP surgery. You will also receive and information pack and will be invited back to meet with your midwife and discuss the maternity services available to you.

What happens at my first appointment?

Your medical and family history will be taken to establish the best way to care for you and your baby and you will be asked to think about which hospital you would like to have your baby in. You will be offered routine pregnancy health screening and have your blood taken, your blood pressure checked and urine samples taken with your consent. Your midwife will need your current height and weight so please take these measurements with you if you have them.

Most women will see their named midwife at their GP surgery or during home visits throughout their pregnancy. Where a pregnancy is more complex or high risk, you will be asked to attend extra appointments with our team of experienced consultants. These appointments, along with ultrasound scan appointments will be held at your hospital of choice. For Sunderland Royal this will be in the antenal clinic.

Key dates

The schedule for standard ultrasound scans and community midwife reviews are as follows (please note these dates are approximate):

12 weeks - dating ultrasound scan

16 weeks - listening visit

20 weeks - anomaly scan

25 weeks

28 weeks (blood screening performed)

31 weeks

34 weeks

38 weeks

39 weeks (depening on personal circumstances)

40 weeks onwards - you will agree a plan with your midwife if your pregnancy continues beyond 40 weeks

Once you have chosen where you would like to have your baby it is important to make sure that you know where the delivery suite is located and where you can park. At Sunderland Royal the entrance to our maternity unit is opposite our Chester Road car park. If you are in labour and thinking of coming into the hospital, please contact the delivery suite on 0191 5699777 and speak with one of our midwives so we can give you advice and support about when is best to come in.

If you have a birth plan please bring this with you and give it to your midwife so we can make sure that we follow your wishes as much as possible.

You may wish to pack a bag in advance. If you do these are a few essentials that you might want to include:

  • A loose nighty or tshirt for you to wear during your labour, slippers and a dressing gown
  • Toiletries, flannel and towel
  • Newborn nappies and clothing for your baby
  • Maternity pads and changes of underwear
  • Drinks and snacks for you and your birthing partner(s)
  • Music, books or magazines

Delivery suite

Having a baby is an exciting time for families and naturally family members and friends want to be involved. We do ask that you have no more that 2 birthing partners of your choice with you during labour and delivery. Please be advised that there is no other visiting for relatives and friends, other than your chosen birthing partners.

This is for the security and safety of all of our mothers and babies and we appreciate your co-operation with this.

Antenatal/postnatal ward

It just as important for partners to be able to bond with their babies and so we welcome visiting between 10am and 8pm.

All other visitors are welcome between 2pm-5pm and 6pm-8pm. We do ask that there are only 3 visitors per room at any one time, but please speak to any one of our midwives if you have any issues or questions.

Please do not come into the unit if you have diahorrea or vomiting. You should wait until you are free from symptoms for 48 hours before visiting.

Our maternity unit is located at Sunderland Royal Hospital on D floor in the Chester Wing. It is most easily accessed from Chester Road and is a short distance from Outpatients Entrance 5.

Maternity services at Sunderland Royal

Antenatal Day Unit - 0191 5699181

Delivery Suite - 0191 5699777

Antenatal Clinic - 0191 5699036

If you have any concerns about your baby, or think you are going into labour please contact the delivery suite on the number above and our team of midwives will be happy to offer you advice and support.

Community Midwives

Central Team

Based at Pennywell Neighbourhood Centre - 0191 5341477

North Team

Based at Southwick Health Centre - 0191 5026662

East Team

Based at Riverview Health Centre - 0191 5027400

South Team

Based at Seaham Sure Start Centre - 0191 5816560

West Team

Based at Washington Galleries - 0191 5026892

Our Management Team

Divisional General Manager Jackie Butterworth

Directorate Manager Joanna Clark

Clinical Director Mr Craig Steele

Matron Jacqui Dyson

Head of Midwifery Sheila Ford

City Hospitals Sunderland pregnancy information and birth pla.pdf

Screening tests for you and your baby.pdf

Classes for parents

Speak to your midwife about classes available in your area, such as parent craft classes. If you need support with breastfeeding we have a regular class within the delivery suite on the 3rd Saturday of the month between 9-11am or 11am-1pm. The class is open to all women over 30 weeks pregnant and mums. Partners are also welcome!

Sunderland Bosom Buddy groups


Fulwell community library 10-11


Rainbow Family centre, Washington



Barnwell Primary, Penshaw


Thorney close



Miss Tina’s in southwick 10-11:30


Bunnyhill Children’s centre 10-12

Miss Tina’s Washington 9:30-11

If you would like to attend the breastfeeding clinic on Friday at Thorney close, please contact your breastfeeding support worker or message Sunderland Bosom Buddies on Facebook.

Parent and baby friendly businesses

Here are some of the places that you said were parent and baby friendly:

Gold star for being most welcoming to new parents

  • Debenhams
  • Miss Tina’s, Washington and Sunderland
  • Rainbow family centre
  • Costa coffee, Houghton le spring
  • Angelo’s restaurant
  • Fulwell Library
  • Cafe Nero in the Bridges

Best baby change for mums and dads

  • Sainsbury
  • Asda
  • Children's centres
  • Debenhams
  • The Bridges
  • The Galleries
  • Miss Tina's Sunderland and Washington
  • Costa
  • Sunderland museum and winter gardens
  • Little play café

Best baby care facilities

  • Washington Sainsbury
  • Washington Asda
  • Galleries feeding room
  • The scullery
  • Miss Tina's Sunderland
  • Debenhams
  • Matalan, Pallion
  • Mothercare
  • Little play café
  • Miss Tina's, Washington
  • Sunderland Museum
  • Hetton centre
  • Sunderland Royal Hospital
  • Children's centres
  • Bridges feeding room

Welcoming businesses

  • Miss Tina’s sunderland
  • Little play café
  • Costa Sunderland
  • Southwick health centre
  • Fulwell library
  • Thorney close children’s centre
  • Bunnyhill children’s centre
  • Rainbow family centre
  • Angelo’s restaurant
  • Tkmaxx
  • BB muffin, Dalton Park
  • Sunderland library/museum
  • Latimers vinyl café, Washington
  • Belinis
  • Café nero
  • Natwest galleries
  • The mad hatter, fulwell
  • Westbourne medical centre
  • Keiper medical centre

Student midwives and doctors

Sunderland Royal is a teaching hospital. We have student midwives and doctors who work on placement both our hospital and in the community. You may be asked for your consent for our students to observe / participate in your care. Our students need practical experience and so we are grateful for your help in supporting them in their placement. If you would prefer not to have a student involved in your care please let your midwife know.

Research and innovation

We support research so that we can continue to develop and improve how we care for you and other patients in the future. We have a team of dedicated research midwives who may come and talk to you about clinical trials if you meet the criteria and consent to be involved.

Antenatal Clinic

You will visit our antenatal clinic for your ultrasound scans and clinic appointments.

You can contact the clinic on 0191 5699036.

Antenatal Day Unit

The antenatal day unit is where we will care for you should you have any concerns about you or your baby. Within this unit you will be assessed and further investigation carried out to see if any other medical intervention is needed.

You can contact the unit on 0191 5699181.

Delivery Suite

Our Delivery Suite has 23 LDRP (labour, delivery, recovery and postnatal) en-suite rooms. This is where you will come when you are ready to have your baby and stay until you are ready to take your little one home. We also have a birthing pool room should you wish to have a water birth.

The suite also has a theatre and a dedicated bereavement suite.

Tours of the delivery suite are available on a Sunday afternoon. Please ask your midwife for more information.

If you think you are in labour or have any concerns about your baby please contact the delivery suite on 0191 5699036.

Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU)

Our Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit can be found in Chester Lodge at the back of the main Chester Road care park. This is where we care for women who have bleeding or signs of threatened miscarriage in early pregnancy.

Pages to visit next

Sunderland Royal Hospital

Kayll Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR4 7TP

Tel: 0191 565 6256

View on a map | Parking and directions

Sunderland Eye Infirmary

Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR2 9HP

Tel: 0191 565 6256

View on a map | Parking and direction