Day Assessment Unit
The Day Assessment Unit (DAU) is a 7 day service 7:30am - 7:00pm provided by midwives and doctors, for women more than 20 weeks of pregnancy needing closer monitoring or observation but don’t require hospital admission. The average length of stay is 3 - 4 hours. You may be asked to attend DAU by your midwife or Westmead doctor, your GP or, you may be asked to return for a repeat visit.
The care you can expect to receive at DAU includes an assessment of you and your pregnancy.
- if your baby’s movements are less than usual
- you require monitoring of your blood pressure
- your waters have broken after 37 weeks gestation.
- any condition that requires regular monitoring of your baby’s wellbeing e.g. Diabetes, high blood pressure, baby’s growth is slowing down
- turning a breech baby
- to insert a Foley’s catheter to start off your induction of labour
- you may be asked by staff to attend for other reasons
What happens at my DAU visit?
You will attend the DAU to check the welfare of yourself or your baby. We monitor your baby’s heart pattern with a machine called a Cardiotocograph (CTG). On average this can take 20-60 minutes. We assess your wellbeing by measuring your
blood pressure, temperature and pulse or checking your urine. Sometime we need to collect a blood sample. The DAU staff will discuss all findings with your main carer and together we will
form a plan of pregnancy care.
Induction of labour
You may be sent to DAU in preparation for an induction of labour. If the cervix is not open enough for the waters to be broken artificially you will need ‘cervical ripening’. Cervical ripening helps your body get ready for labour, the cervix (neck of the womb) is ‘ripened’ (made softer, ready to commence opening). There are two methods that are routinely used. These methods are called Foley’s Catheter insertion and Prostin Gel. Both methods help prepare your body ready for an induction of labour. A midwife or Doctor will insert the gel or catheter. For more information read our factsheet on induction of labour. Most women are discharged home after insertion of Foley’s catheter or Prostin Gel to return to the Birth Unit the next day for induction. A small number of women will be admitted to hospital overnight to await the induction of labour.
To seek help urgently for any pregnancy matters, please call the Birth Unit on 8890-7395 which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
The Birth Unit may refer you to the Day Assessment Unit following your phone call for further pregnancy care.