AN ENHANCED birthing experience is now available for Oswestry mums-to-be following the opening of a new £24,000 birthing pool.
Promoted as a pain and stress-reducing way to give birth, the pool is based at the Oswestry Midwife-Led Unit (MLU) within the Orthopaedic Hospital at Gobowen, and also includes labour aids such as a giant bean bag, large birthing mat, bouncy ball and a birthing stool, plus a new chair bed.
It was funded by the Department of Health, which delivered £74,000 for a scheme aimed at improving birthing environments across the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
At last Tuesday’s official opening, staff from the maternity team said they were delighted that the installation is now completed, meaning that birthing pools are now available in three of the county’s MLUs, with the others in Shrewsbury and Telford.
Oswestry midwife, Tracey Jones, said the new facility should increase the number of women who have their babies at the unit.
She said: “It’s a home-from-home environment. It’s more relaxing and more comfortable for the women, and it gives them more options.
“It’s also a more natural way of giving birth; the women are more aware of their bodies in the water and it enhances our skills as midwives.”
Tracey continued: “Some women were choosing to go to Shrewsbury or Wrexham, but now we are hoping a lot more women will choose to deliver here.”
The previous Oswestry unit had included a birthing pool, however, when the new MLU opened six years ago it wasn’t possible to include one.
Improvements made in other units include additional equipment, labour and birth aids, mood lighting, and relaxing music.
It is hoped further improvements will be coming to the Trust after Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter last week announced that additional funding will again be made available for maternity units in the coming year, which the Trust will be bidding for.