Birth centre gets the royal treatment
Posted: 28 May 2012 by Rob Dabrowski
Midwives, mothers and babies, at a midwife-led birth centre have welcomed a royal guest.
HRH the Princess Royal visited the Lothian Birth Centre at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh today (28 May).
She arrived at the centre at 11.30am in her role as patron of the RCM and witnessed midwife-led care in action.
RCM president Lesley Page – who qualified and worked at the infirmary – staff and local dignitaries accompanied Her Royal Highness during her visit.
Lesley Page said: ‘It is a wonderful opportunity to show her midwife-led care in action in Edinburgh, and how this can benefit mothers, babies and their families and provide them with long-term health benefits.
‘Birth centres offer a much more home-like birth environment. Women using them are more likely to have a birth without unnecessary medical interventions and will receive one-to-one care from a midwife when in labour.
‘The feedback midwives get from women who have given birth in birth centres is very positive, and I would strongly encourage women to really consider this as a viable option.’
The Princess Royal met birth centre staff and mothers who have given birth in the new facility to hear about their experiences and highlight the work being done at the birth centre to enhance pregnancy and birth experiences.
NHS Lothian’s first birth centre opened in October 2011. The midwife-led facility is next to the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
The Simpson centre is the biggest maternity unit in Scotland with more than 6000 babies born every year, and the centre has been created to give mums more choice about the birth of their baby.
There have been 726 births at the centre since it opened and the feedback from mothers and their families has been very positive. Around 1500 low risk women are expected to give birth at the centre each year.
RCM director for Scotland Gillian Smith said: ‘This birth centre and others like it in Scotland are wonderful environments for women and their families, and I hope that this royal visit will raise the profile of midwife-led care even further in Scotland. I know that the midwives at the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health will be honoured by this royal visit.’
Maria Wilson, chief midwife for NHS Lothian, added: ‘The birth centre has a dedicated and professional workforce and they provide excellent and highly-valued services to local women, babies and families. This visit helps provide further recognition of the value of midwife-led care.’