Expectant mums in County Durham and
Darlington now have more choice over where and how they have their
baby, following the installation of a new birthing pool at the
University Hospital of North Durham.
The new birthing pool adds to the existing maternity services
offered at the hospital, which has been recognised nationally for
its high standards of care, and customer service excellence.
New mum, Donna Bennett from East Rainton, was the first lady to
give birth to her second baby, Isobelle in the new pool.
Speaking about the labour, Donna said: "I had an absolutely
wonderful experience. I had such a difficult birth when my first
baby, Ethan was born, so I was nervous about having Isobelle, but I
didn't need to be worried, everything was fantastic. The staff in
particular were outstanding, I can't speak highly enough about
them, they were so supportive.
"I hadn't actually planned to have a water birth. I went in to
have Isobelle during the night and the midwife told me they were
getting the pool ready to be used, but she thought I would have had
my baby by the time it was ready. In the morning, the midwife came
in and asked if I wanted to be the first person to use it, I was
having quite a bit of back pain and they thought it might help
"I was in the pool for around 40 minutes before Isobelle was
born at 9.25am. It was such an amazing experience, I can't
recommend it highly enough. It was so calming - even now Isobelle
is such a calm and content baby and I'm sure it must have something
to do with how she came into the world, because it really was such
a lovely experience for us all.
"It was a much easier birth than Ethan - he was a bigger baby
and I had some problems, but this time my partner, Steven got to
cut the cord, he was the one who told me it was a girl, it really
Water births in pregnancies which are classed as 'low risk' are
supported by both the Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives. Advocates believe
that giving birth in water results in a more relaxed, less painful
experience which can reduce the risks of tearing and reduces the
need for episiotomy.
Lesley Heelbeck, Maternity Matron at the hospital, said: "We're
delighted to unveil our new birthing pool and look forward to many
new mums using the facility. The pool really complements our
existing maternity suite and offers more choice than ever
"We've had some lovely feedback from women using it, and are
pleased to be able to give more parents the choice to have a water
birth. Our aim is to promote normality during pregnancy and
delivery, and ensure that the family is at the focus of the care we
Linda Ibbetson, Delivery Suite Manager, added that the staff are
also really enjoying the experience of helping women to birth
safely in such a relaxed, calm environment.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community