The Royal Derby Hospital where I did my Midwifery training in England, is leading the way in Midwifery led care after receiving a £224,000 make-over in order to create a ‘home from home’ environment within the birthing unit. The maternity ward now homes an in-hospital birthing center where low risk moms can choose to give birth with minimal intervention, in a homely environment. It is well document that the environment in which women give birth, has a huge impact on the progression of labor and a woman’s overall childbirth experience. Staff within the unit wanted to create an environment where families could receive one-to-one care from a midwife in a “private and friendly” setting, without emphasis on medical intervention.
Last year, the Government announced it was awarding the Derby hospital a grant of £224,000 to make improvements to its maternity department. The money has been used to install a second birthing tub. The second birth pool will be used by women considered ‘high risk’ in the hope that this will bring a sense of normality back to their pregnancies. A separate entrance to the birthing center has also been created, along with the addition of a kitchenette for families to use during labor. Improvements have also been made to the overall decor, adding mood lighting and murals to the rooms. Floor mats, colourful lights, birthing chairs, birth balls, music and aromatherapy treatments will also be available to help create an “atmosphere of tranquillity”.
Lets hope hospitals across the pond can follow in the same footsteps in the near future to help support moms to give birth naturally. Not everyone is suited to an out of hospital birth, and therefore may need or want to give birth in the hospital. These women should still be able to receive care in an environment which is welcoming, relaxing, and conducive to natural birth. As Midwife Sue explains, ‘ultimately, this is about giving women more choice when it comes to how they want to give birth. The birth rate is going up and we think it is really positive that we can offer this atmosphere of normality – with the option of medical support if mums need it.”