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Review: The New SAN Maternity Ward

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I went into early pre-term labour at 32 weeks. I arrived at the SAN on a Friday afternoon, the weekend before the Maternity Ward’s ‘big move’. In some ways, this worked out well, as it enabled me to see how much better the new SAN Maternity building is.

The old Delivery Suite received no light. I spent the weekend in a room with no windows and a shared bathroom which is not so wonderful when you really want privacy and hygiene. It was also rather noisy with deliveries taking place throughout the weekend.

The following weekend I stayed in the new Birthing Suite for a day. It takes up Level 11 of the new Clark building. It is spacious, light filled, well ventilated and has gorgeous city views on the one side and fresh, leafy views on the other side.

My room was huge compared to the previous room in the old Delivery Suite. It had all brand new equipment, a large bathroom with a shower, bath, toilet and sink, a modern feel with dark floors, green day beds and huge panoramic windows. The bed was larger than a standard hospital bed. All rooms are sound proof.

The birthing unit has nine birthing rooms, all with private en-suite bathrooms. Two of the birthing rooms are designed with birthing pools for those wanting a water birth.

At 34 weeks I was admitted as an antenatal patient as I had to remain on bed rest. I was now on Level 10, in the Maternity Unit. My room faced out over the gorgeous bushland. It was light filled, sunny and modern. There is a green day bed for fathers or family, which has been designed to bring the greenery from the outdoors in. Partners or family members are welcome to stay overnight.

Each room also has a designer breastfeeding chair which was sourced and imported from Italy. Each chair is wide enough to ensure that every mother is comfortable. The chairs also have grooves which assist the mother’s pain management if she has stitches or tears. It is rumoured that each chair cost $10,000. The chairs are very comfortable. They are either Mango or Lime in colour.

Italian Nursing Chair

Italian Nursing Chair

The room has been designed to feel like a hotel room. The carpets are modern, dark grey-black, the shelves  are made from laminate wood, each wardrobe has a built in safe and fridge. Baby baths are available in each room and consist of a large white, oval sink with a vanity cupboard underneath to store supplies. The bathrooms have a shower, shower chair, toilet and sink. White towels are replenished daily.

Each room has a choice of lighting from night lighting to reading lighting to bright day lights. Each window has blinds enclosed in the window so that children cannot hurt themselves. The blinds have modern knobs which ensure that you can create the perfect atmosphere and natural lighting. A large flat screen TV is positioned on each wall. All bedding and beds are brand new and beds are covered with a rubber cover to ensure that they are kept as clean as possible. There is also a handy, modern silver curtain which ensures complete privacy so that no one can see into the window mounted in the door.

Each room has a phone, plenty of plug points, shelving to hold those gorgeous flowers, cards or sibling’s artwork. There is also free guest Wi-fi for those needing to connect to the Internet.

There is also a lounge with beverages for visitors and families to relax in. Post natal classes are also held here.

In terms of care, the SAN Maternity is really outstanding. Mum’s and babies really do receive the best possible care. The midwives are compassionate, nurturing and incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.

Midwife Station

Midwife Station

The hospitality team ensures that your room sparkles daily. Hot drinks and beverages are served at 7:30 am followed by breakfast around 8:00 am. Morning tea is around 10:00 am, lunch service at 1:00 pm, afternoon tea around 3:00 pm and dinner around 6:00 pm. If you have any dietary requirements, the dietary team can make sure that you receive your special meals and menus.

There is also a Well Baby Nursery which provides care when needed by sleep deprived parents. It opens at 9:00 pm each night until the early hours of the morning. Midwives will bring your baby back to you for feeds. There is also a Special Care Nursery for babies born from 32 weeks upstairs in the Birthing Unit.

Well Baby Nursery

Well Baby Nursery

Your support team can provide anything that you require, be it a trip for fresh air if you are in a wheelchair, volunteers to assist with purchases at the gift shop, pharmacy or café or lactation support required.

 On Level 4, I had the privilege of going to The SAN Hairdresser. The lovely couple running it organised a wheelchair for me there and back to my room. They were professional, friendly, caring and reasonably priced. I was in and out of there in no time. There is also a café and canteen situated on this level. The Pharmacy, Florist and Gift Shop ensure that you or your visitors needs are taken care of.

My kids loved the charity wishing well adjacent to the admissions desk. They felt very comfortable here and definitely made themselves at home whether it be picking from the fridge, watching the flat screen TV, relaxing on the day bed or drawing at the table.

Well Baby Nursery and Bath

Well Baby Nursery and Bath

The only disappointment was that the walls in the antenatal/postnatal rooms are very thin. I could here muffled conversations, phones beeping and babies crying of course. If you a sensitive to noise, I recommend playing relaxing music or downloading a white noise app on your phone to block out noise.

Last but not least, I want to say a huge thank you to Dr Hanna. I know that all the Doctors, midwives and other medical staff are outstanding. Dr Hanna however is really passionate about what he does. He is really a rare gem who is not in it for the money and who is there to make his patients as comfortable as possible, and to ensure that their pregnancy and birth goes as well as possible. The amount of times Dr Hanna has tended to me during this pregnancy probably could create a world record. He is always happy, helpful and reassuring.

Candice with Abby

Candice with Abby

We are so blessed to have such an excellent, modern, luxurious and knowledgeable maternity unit on Sydney’s North Shore. I highly recommend the new Maternity unit at The Sydney Adventist Hospital.

Handy Hints:

  • You don’t pay for parking/your visitors don’t pay for parking from sunset to sunset on The Sabbath which is Friday night to Saturday.
  • You may ask to see a dietician or you may order a special or varied diet.
  • There are lactation consultants available to help with breastfeeding. Use them!
  • There is plenty of parking.
  • SAN volunteers wear yellow shirts and are there to help!
  • Best time to receive visitors: after 10:00 am as you will have seen your Dr’s, had your breakfast and your obs checked. Again after 3:00 pm is a good time.
  • If your Private Health Care lists The SAN as an option, go for it, you and your bub will have the best care in a luxurious setting.

For more information or to book a tour, contact The San on 9487 9111. For a virtual tour, click here. 

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