Friday, 1 May 2009

Ulster Hospital Maternity Unit

This maternity unit has a home from home area with seven rooms. This is a new unit within the Ulster Hospital. It is a midwife-led unit consisting of seven spacious rooms, all with en suite facilities and birthing pool. Opened in Summer 2007.

As you can see they have many innovative aspects to the rooms, I love the way the wall between the pool and the bedroom can be pulled back to make one space.

They also have some equipment from the German company FEBROMED which makes equipment for birthing rooms, that I feel, could really improve the way women use the space within birthing rooms, and encourage upright positions to help babies descent and pushing in the second stage. And also to encourage partners to be involved and physically in contact with each other.

Elaine Madden (Lead Midwife, Ulster Maternity Unit,. South Eastern Trust) said that the equipment is really popular and well used and that mums love it.

Results of a survey carried out by the Healthcare Commission to find out what women think about the maternity care they have received, found in Liverpool that:

20% (England Average 14.8%) of women felt unable to move around and choose the position that made them most comfortable?

and when asked-

What position were you in when your baby was born?(Of those who had a vaginal delivery.)

8% (12% England average) were standing squatting or kneeling (as opposed to sitting, lying or in stirrups)

Considering that a recent Cochrane review also found that women who walk, sit, kneel or otherwise avoid lying in bed during early labor can shorten the first stage of labor and were less likely to seek pain relief through epidural analgesia, equipment like that used in Ulster hospital, should, I feel be in all Maternity units!


Lawrence A, et al. Maternal positions and mobility during first stage of labor. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 2, 2009.

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