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New home-style birth centre officially opens at Royal Derby Hospital

Published 11/03/2014

The relaxing comfort of a home birth has been carefully recreated at a new birthing centre at the Royal Derby Hospital.

The Derby Birth Centre has been designed to simulate the experience of delivering a baby at home, with colourful décor, sensory lighting, en-suite bathrooms, calming music and soft furnishings in each of its rooms.

The midwife-led centre consists of four rooms, including a water birthing room, which contains a large, contoured bath and fitted “starlight-style” ceiling lights.

The idea for the £224,000 state-of-the-art centre, funded by the Department of Health, is to offer a home-from-home experience for women who wish to have the comforts of a home birth with the added reassurance of being in a hospital.

The centre is operated by a team of 16 midwives and could accommodate around 100 low-risk births a month.

The Derby Birth Centre was officially opened today (March 11) by Professor Cathy Warwick CBE, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives.

Professor Warwick said: “It is a tremendous pleasure and privilege to attend the opening of this birth centre. For women who do not have complications associated with their pregnancy, planning to give birth at a midwife-led unit is as safe as planning to give birth in a consultant-led unit.

“Women planning to give birth here will experience less medical intervention in labour, such as caesarean section, forceps delivery, and blood transfusion. They are also more likely to use water for birth and avoid an episiotomy.

“Midwife-led units have been shown to deliver better outcomes for women who do not have complications in their pregnancies for lower costs and improve maternity care options for women. It is a win-win situation for local women”

Maggie Coombs, senior midwife at the Royal Derby Hospital’s Labour Ward, oversees the operation of the Derby Birth Centre.

She said: “A study carried out in 2011 suggested that it was more beneficial for mothers to give birth at home with a midwife and so we wanted to offer the best of both worlds: that comfortable, relaxing environment but with top level medical staff and equipment right next door for any emergency.

“The feedback has been so positive from mothers and also staff, who tell me they like coming in to work just to be part of this environment.”

Last Modified 11/03/2014