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4 December 2014, 08:21
The Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) has officially opened its new Birth Centre.
The midwofe-led unit has two spacious birthing suites with en-suite bathrooms, 'quick-fill' birthing pools and an additional overnight room. It cost £860,000 to construct.
The purpose built facility boasts hidden technology, sound proofing, air conditioning and variable lighting to create a welcoming atmosphere. The more homely surroundings support RBH's natural birth ethos, where midwives assist low risk mothers in using alternative birthing techniques to avoid unnecessary drugs during labour.
A healthy baby boy has already been born at the centre - Oliver Newbery arrived at 8.36pm on Saturday 29 November weighing 7lbs and the birth suite he 'christened' is to be named the 'Oliver Room' in his honour.
The unit, which took 20 weeks to build, has dedicated car parking bays for parents and visitors and pull-out beds so dads and birthing partners can stay overnight.
Its location next to the hospital's road also allows for fast patient transfers by ambulance if mums need emergency obstetric support at Poole Hospital.
Head of Midwifery, Pauline Hawkes, said:
"The new Birth Centre is so much nicer than our previous one. The rooms are much bigger with en suite bathrooms and the pull-down beds for birthing partners who want to stay overnight will enable the new family to bond together in those first few hours.
"We started having dads and partners to stay overnight in in our previous unit and it proved so popular we have installed professional pull-down beds in the new unit. Providing the best possible care and comfort for new parents is what the new unit is all about."
Newly qualified midwife and most recent addition to the RBH midwifery team, Katie Winwood, added:
"I feel very honoured to work in the new suite because it's completely centred round the women giving birth. We have an amazing team of midwives here so it's really exciting to be part of this new venture."