Birth Centre Opening

Health Secretary opens Lothian’s new Birth Centre

NHS Lothian’s new Birth Centre will be officially opened by Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy today (Wednesday 11 January).

The new £2.8 million centre gives expectant mothers in Lothian more choice about the birth of their baby.  

The state-of-the-art building is connected to the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and 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. The centre has been built next to the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health so that expert emergency care is available if required.  

This new facility is a key component of NHS Lothian’s maternity strategy, which was developed to help the Health Board manage the significant increase in the number of babies being born in Lothian – up from 8,538 in 2004 to 9,915 in 2010. It provides another option for expectant mums in Lothian, alongside hospital and home births.

Around 1,500 women a year, who are assessed as being unlikely to require medical interventions, are expected to have their babies in the more homely environment of the Birth Centre

Maria Wilson, Chief Midwife said:

“Our new centre offers a homely and tranquil environment with all the advantages of hospital expertise nearby. More than 317 babies have been born here since we op​ened in October and the feedback from the women who have given birth, and from their families, has been extremely positive. 
“In developing our maternity strategy we spent a lot of time talking to women, their families, staff and the voluntary sector about how they would like services to be delivered and we are delighted to be able to offer more choice about how and where women can give birth.”

Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy said:

“I am delighted to be here today to see the Birth Centre up and running, and to meet some of the mums and babies who are benefiting from the new unit.
“The new centre is a great example of giving women a choice in relation to their maternity care, and maximising the potential for all women to have as natural a birth experience as possible.
“I am extremely impressed by the quality of the facilities at the centre. Each of the bright and airy rooms has a birthing pool and a range of equipment to help the women feel more comfortable during birth. This will be of great benefit to both the women who use the centre and their families.”

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.  

12/01/2012