Comforts of home at new birthing unit

A NEW birthing unit offering expectant mothers the comforts of home has been officially unveiled at a Suffolk hospital.

David Ruffley, the MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, opened the new �470,000 midwifery-led birthing unit (MLBU) at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.

The new facility, which boasts four individual rooms all complete with en-suite wet rooms and one with a birthing pool, is designed for mothers who want a natural birth.

Offering a home-from-home environment, the suite offers expectant mothers birthing balls and floor mattresses to aid normal delivery, as well as aromatherapy and massage.

Emergency medical equipment is also on hand while mothers can also get specialist care from the hospital’s obstetric team if necessary.

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The new suite welcomed its first baby in November and has since proved popular with women who want midwifery care only.

Patricia Davis, head of midwifery at the hospital, said: “The MLBU has proved extremely popular since it welcomed its first mothers at the start of November.

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“As well as giving them extra choice, it has allowed these women to experience a natural birth with the help of a dedicated midwife.

“The feedback we have received has been excellent and shows that women really appreciate being in comfortable, homely surroundings during labour, delivery and immediately following the birth of their baby.”

Mr Ruffley joined Stephen Graves, chief executive of the hospital, to unveil a special plaque at the unit before taking a tour on Friday.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day the MP met up with business leaders in and around the town at a special lunchtime gathering organised by the Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He was at the Farmers Club, in Northgate Street, to meet up to 30 members of the chamber and told them they were the first group of people he had addressed since being voted on to the powerful Treasury Select Committee.

He said: “It is so important for me to meet up with these people and to know what’s on their minds and to be able to help and support the many small and medium-sized businesses in my constituency.”

And he said that the future economic growth of the country was down to the long term success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“SME’s are the backbone of the economy,” he told his audience.

He also issued a 10-point plan to help those businesses which the coalition Government is striving to support.

It included radical adjustments to National Insurance contributions, business rate relief, increasing investment in the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, promising to cut a raft of red tape restrictions and increasing business mentoring schemes.

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