New birthing centre promises mums and babies ‘home away from home’

A NEW birthing centre at Salisbury District Hospital aims to give mums a ‘home away from home’.
The hospital’s Maternity Unit is now home to the New Beatrice Birth Centre, run by experienced midwives, providing a middle ground alternative to the traditional labour ward or home birth.
The centre, which received its first mothers on Monday (October 31), is intended to offer a safe, friendly environment suitable for women who have had a healthy pregnancy and are expecting to have a straightforward birth.
Women can choose to give birth in the centre even if for first babies.
The centre provides a relaxed environment for labour and birth with two spacious rooms, with plenty of amenities, including a birthing pool, comfortable birthing aids such as balls and mats, and aromatherapy.
There are also state-of-the-art facilities such as screens to connect to devices via Bluetooth or USBs and adjustable lighting, while the entrance has been improved and a garden provided for mothers and visitors.
Joanne Hayward, director of maternity and neonatal services, said: “Our new Beatrice Birth Centre really has been a labour of love.
“This midwife-led centre improves our offer to pregnant women in our community as they contemplate their birth plans.
“The superb facilities provide a wonderful, caring and safe place for women to choose to have their baby.
“The community midwife will discuss with mothers-to-be where they would like to birth their baby and if the Beatrice Birth Centre is the right place for them.”
The Beatrice Birth Centre, along with a new entrance and reception, and courtyard garden have been made possible thanks to funding from the Local Maternity and Neonatal System and £260,000 of funding from the Stars Appeal, the hospital’s charity.
Three local people – Margaret Smith, Joan Joyce and Jean Finniss – who left gifts to the Stars Appeal in their wills, helped to pay for the new facilities and have been recognised on a plaque within the Centre alongside other Stars Appeal donors.
Mrs Finniss’ husband helped cut the ribbon at the official opening.
Dave Cates, of the Stars Appeal, thanked everyone involved in making the project
a success.
“We are incredibly proud of this wonderful Birthing Centre that, along with the new entrance and garden, will help thousands of local families welcome babies over the years to come,” he said. “None of this would be possible without our supporters and we are so grateful to Miss Smith, Mrs Joyce, Mrs Finniss for their exceptional generosity and to everyone who has contributed towards this project.”

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