Birthing centre set up to create a ‘home from home’
Mar 8 2008 by Anne-Marie Bradley, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
HUDDERSFIELD’S new family birth centre is ready and open for business from Monday.
From Monday, midwives will be welcoming mums-to-be into the new ‘home-from-home’ unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for what is hoped will be a relaxed and natural birthing experience.
The new-look centre – formerly known as ward 14 – will be midwife-led and is aimed at women showing no complications during their pregnancy or labour.
It will run alongside HRI’s existing maternity service for the first six months before all consultant care is eventually transferred to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax later in the year.
The new wood-floored unit is made up of six en-suite birthing rooms featuring adjustable-height beds that can be made into doubles for partners staying the night.
Two of the rooms include birthing pools and five have been fitted with fabric slings from Germany which are suspended from the ceiling for squatting during labour.
All are equipped with birthing balls, soft mats, music systems and soft lighting. The rooms also include a living area, televisions, telephones, baby changing tables and are furnished in soothing colours to create a calm environment.
They have all been named after different aromatherapy oils, which will also be on offer during labour by an aromatherapist midwife. Staff have also been trained in reflexology and homeopathy to help ease pain, along with the more conventional gas and air.
Birth centre manager and midwife Gina Augarde is delighted with the finished result. “We have tried so hard not to make it feel like a hospital,” she said.
“It is going to be amazing for the women of Huddersfield.
“We want to give women the chance to birth as naturally as they can.
“We want them to be able to walk around, just like they can in their own homes, make toast and chat to us.
“All the midwives will be working to the same philosophy and are so excited about giving women the facilities to feel relaxed and in control during labour, which is so important.
“We really hope they enjoy it here and feel supported and safe.”
A separate quiet room has also been created for prayer or private reflection.
Mums-to-be interested in birthing at the new unit can take advantage of tours every Sunday from March 16 at 2pm. They do not need to book in advance.