Birth Units promoted for special deliveries


Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is focusing on its three birth units next month, with the aim of allowing more women in the county to benefit from the intimate settings at Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud.

All the units have been designed to provide an intimate, comfortable sanctuary where women can labour privately with the support of their birth partner and a midwife.

Since the early 90’s, government maternity care policy has moved away from Consultant-led care for women with straightforward pregnancies towards policies designed to give women a choice of settings for birth.

“Too many babies are born in the traditional hospital setting.  We need to drive this care back into the community with appropriate provision of facilities and professionals with the appropriate skills.  This will mean more Midwife Led births and care provided solely by midwives.”  

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2011

Dawn Morrall, Assistant Director of Midwifery & Nursing said: “As a trust we are proud to offer the full range of choice to women in the county.  While some may not choose this particular option, we want to give as many women as possible the chance to experience the kind of birth we hear about in testimonials from mums who have had their babies in our birth units.

“From now on, with the aim of promoting normality and increasing satisfaction in the birth experience, we are asking our Community Midwives to risk assess every woman for suitability for giving birth in a Midwife-led birth unit at 36 weeks.”

Once they have been assessed, women are being given the opportunity to look around the Birth Units before they make a final decision on where to have their baby.

Midwife-led units are very safe for healthy women with low risk pregnancies. Medical interventions are reduced, birth outcomes improved and outstanding testimonials demonstrate high levels of satisfaction for mothers and their partners.

Mothers say: “This experience has surpassed all our expectations and the team have been most proficient in their care, support and expertise.

“During my labour I was made to feel so special and I am so thankful for that experience.”