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New birthing pool gives Berwick women more choice

Tuesday, 08 July, 2014
New birthing pool gives Berwick women more choice

Expectant mums in the Berwick area now have greater choice when giving birth in the town, thanks to the arrival of a state-of-the-art birthing pool.

The new £25,000 pool at Berwick Maternity Unit gives women the option of having a water birth or just using the facility during labour.

The pool has been made possible thanks to a successful bid by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to secure national funding for its five maternity units across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Janice McNichol, head of midwifery at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’ve got an excellent maternity unit in Berwick and it’s fantastic news that our new birthing pool has been installed, giving low-risk women greater choice when having their baby.

“A birthing pool not only enables women to choose to have a water birth but it can also be used during labour to encourage relaxation and help alleviate pain. In some cases the use of a birthing pool can help speed up labour and enable women to remain more mobile.”

Since new arrangements were put in place in July to enable low-risk women to, once again, give birth in the town, seven babies have been born. Now the unit’s delivery suite has been fully refurbished to house the new state-of-the-art birthing pool offering local women the very best care and support from Berwick’s highly-skilled midwives.

The midwifery-led unit is open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 2.30pm at weekends, with a 24/7 on-call service for low-risk women who wish to deliver at the unit or at home.

All regular antenatal and postnatal clinics for both low and high-risk women continue to be run from the unit.

Janice added: “Our new arrangements are working really well and I am delighted that women are choosing to have their babies in Berwick and benefit from the personal, one-to-one care we provide at the unit.

“We hope the birthing pool will be another reason for women to choose to have their babies at the unit and would encourage any pregnant woman to get in touch with the team to find out more about giving birth in Berwick.”

To speak to the team, contact the unit on 01289 356622.

As part of the new model of care, Berwick midwives continue to work at Wansbeck General Hospital on a rotational basis to ensure they are able to regularly practise their full range of skills and get experience of different types of deliveries.