The Midwifery Led
Unit is a special place created especially for you. It has been
created to provide for you a place of comfort, safety and privacy
for you to have your baby.
The unit is intimate and small, and is situated on the 1st floor
of Bishop Auckland General Hospital.
Each delivery room is very private with en-suite facilities.
They have been planned so that you can feel relaxed and "at home"
with all your needs catered for. A place where you can have the
environment you would wish for the birth of your baby.
We have a lovely Pool Room, a facility that is becoming more and
more popular with our mothers. The Pool Room is used for women who
wish to labour in water as well as for the delivery of their
babies. Some women find they are so comfortable and relaxed in the
pool that even if they had not actually planned a waterbirth they
do ultimately have one.
Our postnatal rooms have also been designed with your comfort in
mind. Most have en-suite facilities, music centres and televisions.
They are quite self contained and private, although there is a
two-bedded room, which has its own shower and toilet facilities
Partners are also catered for, so that they are able to be with
you during labour and after the birth of your baby. The postnatal
rooms have a variety of sofa beds and a very comfortable enormous
beanbag. The only room that does not have facilities for partners
to stay is the two bedded room, but as soon as a single room is
available you can be transferred to that room.
We have an "open policy" for visiting of family and friends.
We are sure your stay with us will be a very pleasant and
memorable experience, something you will always treasure.
The Midwifery Led Unit comprises of:
The Midwifery Led Unit at Bishop Auckland seeks to provide a
welcoming, supportive environment for women and their families who
would like to give birth on our "home from home setting".
We aim to empower women to enable them to make informed
decisions, and our focus will be on normality in birth.
We have a team of highly skilled and dedicated midwives, who
offer high quality of care, which is evidence based. The result of
this is a centre of excellence in midwifery care.
We want the women we care for to feel safe, supported, confident
and totally involved in all aspects of their care, regardless of
background, culture or religious beliefs.
The care we offer begins at your first antenatal appointment,
this is usually at the "booking" appointment, and continues through
the antenatal period, throughout labour and after you have had your
baby. We are now also able to continue your post postnatal care
when you go home.
Our "team" of midwives works with the Community Midwives to give
you complete care. Our sole purpose is to be there for you, your
family and your baby. As Midwives we are your partners, throughout
the whole process of having your baby.
As well as your normal care we will be there to support you in
every way, emotionally and physically, so that when the time comes
for you to have your baby you will be able to do so with
The word "Midwife" means "with woman" and that is exactly what
we are doing. We are there for you.
The birth of your baby is a memory you should treasure for the
rest of your lives. It is an experience that marks the beginning of
your lives as parents. How this takes place is really important, it
is an experience that will affect you and your baby for the rest of
A child brought into this world with love, respect and
gentleness has the best start in life and together we can achieve
When your labour begins we will be there for you to help and
support you in the birth that you want to have.
Our aim is to get to know you from the beginning of your
pregnancy so that you, and we as Midwives, will become a "team",
not strangers, as is often the case in other maternity units. We
will have taught you about how your body has made the changes
during your pregnancy to cope with labour. During pregnancy we will
encourage you to sit in ways which will help encourage the baby to
take up the most efficient position for labour. We may also suggest
how you might adapt your lifestyle so that the baby is likely to
adopt the best possible position.
During the process of labour you do not need to be confined to a
bed, we actively encourage you to be as mobile as you wish. We have
birthing balls, beanbags and rocking chairs to ease your
positioning during labour and a fantastic pool.
Our whole purpose as Midwives is to be there for you and with
you throughout the process of having your baby.
One of the benefits of a Midwifery Led Centre is that we are
able to offer you one to one care throughout your labour.
What methods of pain relief do we offer?
(Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation).
This gentle electric current, which is passed through 4 flat pads,
which are stuck to your back, creating a tingling feeling. This is
especially helpful at the beginning of the labour and with
backache. It has no harmful effects on your baby.
Entonox (Gas and Air)
This is breathed through either a mouthpiece or mask. This is a
very simple but effective form of analgesia, which you control. It
does not take the pain away, but does take the edge off the pain
from contractions. It has no harmful effects on your baby.
The use of water as a method of pain relief and relaxation is very
popular amongst pregnant women. The benefits of labouring in water
can be seen fully described on our "use of the pool room"
Pethidine and Diamorphine
These are drugs that are given in the form of injections,
and are commonly used for pain relief in labour. They do not
completely take away the pain of contractions, but they do help you
feel more relaxed and comfortable. There are side effects to these
drugs, which can make you feel a bit sick, but giving you another
drug with them can help counteract this.
Pethidine and Diamorphine cannot be used if you are in the pool, a
factor which you need to consider when thinking about what you
would like to happen whilst in labour.
Women react to pain in different ways, and although water does
not give complete pain relief it can reduce the pain you feel to a
manageable level, often so much that you may not need additional
methods of pain relief.
People often use warm water to relax and unwind; it eases aches and
pains experienced with backache, aching muscles and menstrual pain.
In labour, warm water also aids relaxation and eases pain.
It is thought that the warm soothing effect of the water helps
the body produce endorphin hormones; these are the body's own
natural painkillers. These endorphins also act as mood uplifters,
and can also help to stimulate strong womb contractions, making the
When the pool is used for both labour and birth, women have
Any woman with a "low risk" pregnancy, ie:
This is entirely up to you; often people choose to wear nothing.
However, a large t-shirt or a bikini top is suitable.
Whilst in the pool you may use Entonox or "gas and air".
Aromatherapy oils may be used by inhalation whilst in the pool.
The Midwife will monitor your baby's heartbeat using either a
Pinards stethoscope or a waterproof sonicaid, at regular
As soon as your baby is born he/she is brought gently to the
surface, the baby's head is then kept above the water. You will
then be given time with your baby and your partner to enjoy and
savour the moment of birth.
You will be assisted to leave the pool for the placenta to be
If you would like to consider using the pool for either labour
or to actually have a waterbirth, you will need to discuss this
with your Midwife.
The environment of the pool room is very conductive to having a
relaxed atmosphere around you while in labour. We use soft lighting
where necessary, the warm water is very relaxing, and in the pool
there is plenty of room for you to make yourself as comfortable as
possible. The buoyancy of the water helps to support your body, you
can even have your favourite music playing.
Everything to help you have a wonderful experience whilst having
This is the controlled use of natural oils derived from plants to
achieve balance and harmony of the mind, body and spirit.
It is a gentle, holistic and complementary therapy, which can be
used alongside conventional medicines to ease symptoms.
It is not completely understood how oils work. They enter the body
in different ways and can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin
via the pores and hair follicle. On entering the blood stream and
the nervous system they are known to have a therapeutic effect on
It must be stressed that many essential oils are toxic and can
be harmful. Essential oils should only be used during pregnancy
under the supervision of a qualified Aromatherapist.
Do not use oils before 13 weeks of pregnancy. Some oils should
not be used at all in pregnancy. Oils need to be diluted and should
not be used directly on the skin.
If you are driving to the hospital please allow time for parking
as at peak times this may be a problem.
Please note there is a pay and display system in operation so it is
advisable to have coins for the machines.
Parking ticket prices vary depending on your length of stay.
Bishop Auckland Hospital 01388 455000
Midwifery Led Unit 01388 455108
MLU fax number 01388 455008
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