Expectant mums booking into the Lagan Valley Hospital can look forward to a homely reception when the new Midwifery led unit opens on February 2.
The upgraded unit will be modelled on the Home from Home unit at the Ulster Maternity,currently featured on the television programme 'Special Deliveries'. It will be a four bedded facility and each of the four single rooms will have its own en suite facilities while three will have a birthing pool.
The transfer from a consultant led impatient service to the midwifery led service has been planned for some time. Many of the 1200 women who give birth each year at Lagan Valley Hospital will be suitable to give birth in the Midwifery led unit. However those women who require or choose to give birth in a consultant led unit have the option of going to the Ulster, the Royal Jubilee or Craigavon Hospital to have their babies.
Consultants from the South Eastern Trust and the Belfast Trust along with midwives will provide a full range of antenatal services in Lagan Valley Hospital assuring local access to a range of services for woman.
Assistant Director of Women and Acute Child Health Eileen McEneaney said: “We are confident that, like other Midwifery Led Units in the region, this unit will provide a positive and pleasant experience, promoting normality in childbirth.”
Letters have been sent to all women who have booked to give birth in Lagan Valley on or after January 18, 2011, outlining their options and offering an opportunity to access advice and discuss their future care.
“We are delighted that women who choose and are suitable to deliver in Lagan Valley can continue to do so,” she added.
The Midwifery Led Unit is designed for women who have no problems with their pregnancy, and are assessed as low risk.
The team of midwives will offer a continuity of care throughout the ante-natal period. They will be admitted into a fully equipped room where they will stay throughout labour, delivery and their post natal recovery.
The decor is relaxed and pleasant and women may consider bringing music and comfort articles to create their own ambience. Emergency equipment is built into the rooms but discreetly hidden behind panelled doors, therefore providing a safe but also a homely environment.