NHS Lothian opens new Birth Centre

Expectant mothers in Lothian have more choice about the birth of their baby from today (Monday 3 October 2011) with the opening of NHS Lothian’s new Birth Centre.

The £2.8 million Centre is connected to the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The state-of-the-art building has six delivery rooms all with en-suite facilities. Each of the bright and airy rooms has a birthing pool and equipment to help the women feel more comfortable during birth like aromastones, mats, pillows and birthing balls.

Around 1,500 women a year, who are assessed as being unlikely to require medical interventions, can have their babies in a more homely environment. The Centre has been built next to the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health so that expert emergency care is available if required.  

NHS Lothian has worked with women from all over the area to find out what they want from maternity care, and how they would like to have existing services improved.

Maria Wilson, Chief Midwife said:

“Our new birthing centre will offer a homely environment with all the advantages of hospital expertise nearby. It will be one of the options available to women in Lothian, alongside hospital and home births.
“We spent a lot of time talking to mums about what they wanted and are delighted that we will be able to offer more choice about how and where women can give birth.”

Mathilde Peace, lay chair of the Lothian Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC), said:

“This is a very exciting time for maternity services in Lothian and the new Birth Centre is a fantastic new facility. The MSLC have been closely involved in the development of the plans and are delighted that our comments were taken on board.
“Women in labour will have space to move around freely, a comfortable room where they can feel relaxed and make themselves at home and the option of using a birth pool.”

Plans are also in place to upgrade the delivery suite at St John’s Hospital, Livingston. En-suite facilities will be created in each delivery room and the number of birth pools will be increased.