Mothers campaigning for birth centre

A GROUP of mothers is campaigning for a birth centre for the east Suffolk area as an alternative to hospital and home births.The mothers have formed BABIES – of Babies And Birthing In East Suffolk – and are distributing questionnaires to mothers and mothers-to-be in the area asking whether they would consider using a birth centre, and what services they would like it to offer.

A GROUP of mothers is campaigning for a birth centre for the east Suffolk area as an alternative to hospital and home births.

The mothers have formed BABIES – of Babies And Birthing In East Suffolk – and are distributing questionnaires to mothers and mothers-to-be in the area asking whether they would consider using a birth centre, and what services they would like it to offer.

Apart from the Gilchrist maternity unit at Eye, there are no other birth centres outside of hospitals in the area.

Group member Stella Robbins said: "What we are aiming for is a centre which offers a broad range of services to expectant mothers and mothers of very young children, including things like all the anti-natal sessions, parent craft, all the things like that."


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It could also offer baby massage, and breast feeding facilities and clinics, she explained.

"This would offer a drop-in centre and you could go along, there would be midwives there," she said. "It's a place to meet other parents in a similar position to yourself."

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Mothers she had spoken to seemed genuinely quite keen on the idea, she said.

BABIES member Marisa Formicola felt birth centres were much more effective at encouraging normal birth.

They needed to prove there was demand in the area, then they hoped to convince the health authority it was a good idea, she said.

Ms Formicola, whose first baby was born in hospital, said her subsequent home birth was "much more enjoyable". She now runs a natural births group in Woodbridge.

"Giving birth has become something we just don't have much choice in any more," she said. "We have lost confidence in giving birth naturally."

If you are interested in joining BABIES, or would like to fill in a questionnaire, email info@suffolkbabies.org or phone 01728 663380.

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