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13 June 2013

Midwifery Led Birthing Unit Opens at St Michael's Hospital

A new midwifery-led birthing unit has been officially opened today (Thursday 13 June) at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol by everyone's favourite mum, the actress Lynda Bellingham.

The new unit will open to patients on Monday 17 June and will offer mums-to-be a safe alternative to giving birth in a traditional hospital setting or at home. The birthing unit will be suitable for women with uncomplicated pregnancies who wish to give birth in a home from home, non-medical environment.

There will be four birthing rooms including two large rooms with birthing pools and double beds and two smaller rooms with en suite showers. One-to-one midwifery support will be provided during labour in a relaxed and homely environment. All rooms have mats, birth balls and equipment to support women to achieve a safe and natural labour and birth.

The midwives will aim to support women to give birth with minimal intervention and pain relief. However, should the woman decide that she needs increased care once labour has begun she can be transferred to the Trust's Central Delivery Suite (CDS), which is conveniently located in the same building.

Sarah Windfeld, head of midwifery at UH Bristol, says:  "All the midwifery staff are absolutely delighted to now have the new midwifery led unit within St. Michael' s Hospital, especially as it will mean more choice for women giving birth in Bristol. Women giving birth in the midwifery led unit will benefit from a home like environment and have the opportunity to use a birthing pool for labour and birth."

 Lynda Bellingham, who officially opened the unit today, said: "I wish I was thirty years younger, so that I could have had my baby here."

Mums-to-be who want to find out more about the unit should speak to their midwife.