East Lancashire leads way with birthing units

More women are choosing to give birth at midwife-led birthing units

The birthing unit at Park Lee, Blackburn

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

MORE women should give birth with only midwives present, including at home, according to government health advisers.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has urged midwives to advise mothers-to-be who have already given birth to one child that if their pregnancy appears to be straightforward, they should decide to have their baby at home, or in a midwifery-led unit, such as the centres in Blackburn and Rossendale.

The news, which could lead to a huge shift in patterns of childbirth, has been welcomed by East Lancashire Hospital Trust which has, in some respects, been ahead of the curve in this issue after staffing pioneering birthing units in Blackburn and Burnley.

So far, more than 3,000 women have chosen to give birth at the midwife-led unit in Park Lee Road, Blackburn, which opened in November 2010.

It is thought to offer a more ‘personal’ alternative to a traditional maternity ward, boasting birthing pools, gardens, birth preparation classes, hypnotherapy advice and even baby yoga classes.

Vanessa Hollings, divisional general manager of family care at the trust, said: “We are pleased that the national news today is providing people with further reassurance and evidence that a birth centre is a safe place to deliver their baby and also the best place for women with a normal healthy pregnancy.

“We are extremely proud of the choice of maternity settings that we are able to provide for women in East Lancashire.”

Nicola Bellusci used one of the birthing pools to bear her third child Lewis at the Centre recently – having given birth to her first two babies in the trust’s consultant-led birth suite at Burnley General Hospital.

Nicola said: “It’s such a nice, calming atmosphere here.

“You can walk about outside and have your midwife with you.”

Nicola went on to say that she was so calm while giving birth that she was even singing along to songs on the radio.

Comments (2)

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7:44am Thu 15 May 14

kateash says...

Where are all the experienced midwives to staff these units? What made me laugh was" you can walk outside and have your midwife with you" these birthing units are staffed by a skeleton staff and it is more likely to be a Health Care Assistant who looks after you until the midwife has delivered others and can get to you ! Stand alone birthing centres such as at Blackburn were closed years ago because if a mother has a problem which can arise suddenly even if there have been no previous problems, an ambulance would be called and then at least a 20 minute transfer to the hospital in Burnley.. In some of these cases time is of the essence and with delay serious problems can occur!! Would you take the risk with your baby ? This is a cost cutting exercise by the government !!!
Where are all the experienced midwives to staff these units? What made me laugh was" you can walk outside and have your midwife with you" these birthing units are staffed by a skeleton staff and it is more likely to be a Health Care Assistant who looks after you until the midwife has delivered others and can get to you ! Stand alone birthing centres such as at Blackburn were closed years ago because if a mother has a problem which can arise suddenly even if there have been no previous problems, an ambulance would be called and then at least a 20 minute transfer to the hospital in Burnley.. In some of these cases time is of the essence and with delay serious problems can occur!! Would you take the risk with your baby ? This is a cost cutting exercise by the government !!! kateash
  • Score: 0

10:57am Thu 15 May 14

woolywords says...

As a man, I know I've no business commenting on women's things but..
Shouldn't the Blackburn birthing centre be in The Mall?
Opposite shoe, lingerie and dress shops, providing the relaxing atmosphere of retail therapy..

I hope that you and baby are well, wherever you have it.
As a man, I know I've no business commenting on women's things but.. Shouldn't the Blackburn birthing centre be in The Mall? Opposite shoe, lingerie and dress shops, providing the relaxing atmosphere of retail therapy.. I hope that you and baby are well, wherever you have it. woolywords
  • Score: 1

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