Home-from-home opened for expectant mothers

A NEW unit which claims to offer woman on the cusp of giving birth a “home away from home” has opened at a Suffolk hospital.

The �470,000 centre, which is a called midwifery-led birthing unit (MLBU), opened at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds on Monday and welcomed its first baby at 10.08am.

The MLBU has been designed to provide mothers with a comfortable and “homely” environment in which to give birth.

Colour, soft furnishings, music, pictures and soft lighting have been used in the four individual rooms, while visible medical equipment has been kept to a minimum.

Various items to aid normal delivery, such as birthing balls and floor mattresses, are available in the unit, along with aromatherapy and massage.

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Emergency medical equipment is also on hand in case of any complications and the hospital’s wider medical team can also give extra support if necessary.

Patricia Davis, head of midwifery at the hospital, said: “We want every woman who gives birth at West Suffolk to be offered a choice of where they deliver their baby while ensuring they continue to receive the best possible care from our dedicated team of midwives.

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“We are absolutely delighted with the new MLBU. Its four individual rooms, complete with en suite wet rooms, give women the chance to enjoy comfortable, homely surroundings during labour, delivery and immediately following the birth of their child.

“The unit has been specially designed to be as relaxing and calming as possible, providing a safe, sensitive and supportive environment in which to give birth. We hope that the number of women who need medical interventions will be reduced as a result, in turn ensuring as many as possible can enjoy a normal labour and birth.”

The MLBU has been co-located with the central delivery suite, so that any women who develop complications can be quickly transferred into the care of a consultant.

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