Published on: 5 August 2019

maternity001.JPGStaff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust are celebrating as the Trusts’ new Midwifery-Led Birthing Centre officially opens today (Monday, August 5).

The centre will offer mams-to-be even more choice on where to give birth and a safe alternative to giving birth in a consultant-led hospital setting or at home.

From today (August 5), women with low risk, problem-free pregnancies will have the following options when considering where to have their baby:

  • Giving birth at home
  • Giving birth at the new midwifery-led birthing centre at South Tyneside District Hospital
  • Giving birth under midwifery-led care at Sunderland Royal Hospital, which is within the consultant-led maternity unit
  • Giving birth at another maternity unit of their choice in the region.

With en-suite birthing rooms including a large room with a birthing pool and additional postnatal rooms, the centre offers women in labour a relaxed and homely environment. Partners are able to stay overnight and one-to-one midwifery support will be provided during labour by our team of experienced midwives.  

Sheila Ford, Head of Midwifery at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to now have the new Midwifery-Led Birthing Centre at South Tyneside District Hospital, especially as it will mean more choice for local women giving birth. We want to support women to achieve a safe and natural labour and birth. Women giving birth in the centre will benefit from a home like environment and have the opportunity to use a birthing pool for labour and birth."

Women who have a high risk pregnancy; for example if they are expecting twins, if their baby is in the breach position, or if they have experienced complications in this or a previous pregnancy, will be advised to give birth in the Trust’s consultant-led unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The majority of all antenatal and postnatal care will continue to be provided locally, just as it is now.

Mams-to-be and their families who want to find out more about the unit can drop in between 11am and 2pm any day this week for a tour.