Women in Sheffield now have more chance than ever before to opt for a water birth when they have a baby thanks to a £300,000 fundraising effort by the Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
The Jessops Wing of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital yesterday officially opened three new birthing pools, vastly increasing the number of water births they will be able to offer.
The pools have been the product of a year-long fundraising effort in which the unit have been involved from the very beginning, with midwives and other staff raising thousands of pounds for the appeal.
The three high-tech rooms - which have been named serenity, tranquility and harmony - are state-of-the-art birthing suites complete with fully accessible ergonomic pools, sympathetic décor, dimmable LED lighting and bluetooth speakers.
Jessops’ lead midwife, Adele Stanley, said: “It is something we have wanted for a very long time and something that all of the midwives wanted to build for the women of Sheffield.
“Having one pool was brilliant but we wanted to offer it to more women. Just seeing the look on women’s faces is brilliant. Someone said it is like being on holiday and you have got the best room. So the women are loving it and the midwives are enjoying it as well.”
Adele said the whole department had got behind the effort, with £12,000 raised on a Call the Midwife themed bike ride in May and dozens of other fundraising events.
“The bike ride was a real morale booster but people have also been offering aromatherapy and massage sessions as well,” she said.
“These birthing pools have been really important to me. I am retiring in a month’s time and I couldn’t have asked for a better leaving present.”
The rooms were opened by staff from the department and dignitaries including Gill Walton, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, David Reynolds, executive director at Sheffield Hospitals Charity, and Chris Morley, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.
Alison Brodrick, consultant midwife at the Jessop Wing, said: “It’s fantastic to have these new pools available for our mums and the feedback we have received so far is incredible.
“The use of water is one of the simplest forms of pain relief available to women it has no side effects. It can also reduce the length of labour and the need for further pain-relieving drugs in many cases.”
And David Reynolds, executive director at Sheffield Hospitals Charity, said: “With thanks to our generous supporters, we have reached our target in just under a year after launching the appeal.
“Their support will help to ensure that the Jessop Wing continues to be one of the best maternity hospitals in the country.”