Birthing pool option for mums-to-be at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital
MUMS-TO-BE will be given a choice of having their baby in a birthing pool following £89,464 funding to Boston's Pilgrim Hospital.
Pilgrim Hospital is one of more than 100 hospitals that will share a £25m fund from the Department of Health to improve and upgrade their maternity units.
Head of Midwifery Hazel Harrison said: "We are delighted to have been granted the funding to improve the birthing environments at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.
"We put in the bids to ensure we can provide choice for women, and this money will enable us to purchase a birthing pool and new equipment that will help to promote normality in birth and active labour. It will be fantastic for the local women."
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The news was announced by health minister Dr Dan Poulter who said: "A new arrival in the family is a joyous time but it can present a real challenge for mums and families, particularly those experiencing it for the first time.
"We are now going to see huge improvements to maternity services right across the country – from birthing pools to family rooms and even new midwifery-led units. These will make a big difference to the experience mums and families have of NHS maternity services, with more choice and a better environment where women can give birth."
In November, the Government opened the £25m fund to applications from local NHS trusts and foundation trusts. Bids were judged by a panel that included representatives from the Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The Pilgrim Hospital's maternity unit has also announced it is to relax its rules on partners staying overnight with new mums. This means that, for the first time from February 1, partners will be allowed to stay overnight in the maternity unit.
Previously, all partners visiting the antenatal and postnatal wards were only allowed to visit between 9am-9pm. Maternity ward sister Bev Pearson said the change was about ensuring women could be supported by their partners.
She said: "We wanted to ensure that partners could be present to support the ladies during their stay in hospital, both before and after the birth of the baby, including helping the women to care for the baby overnight when it is most difficult for them. This means that they can stay more as a family unit rather than the partner being sent off home in the evening."