Lister Hospitals Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit opened in 2011 and now sees over 5,500 babies born every year. Our dedicated team of midwives, doctors and support staff ensure that every pregnancy is performed safely, resulting in healthy, happy mothers and babies. Parents can choose to have their baby at home, in our midwife-led unit, or in the consultant-led unit.

Our consultant-led unit (CLU) aims to help all women who have pre-existing medical conditions and/ or are experiencing complicated pregnancies to achieve a safe outcome. Of the 5,500 babies that the maternity unit delivers each year, over 3,000 are delivered in the CLU.

To do this the unit is tailored to meet their needs with facilities including nine delivery rooms, two dedicated theatres and two close observation areas. However, the unit currently only has one birthing pool. The midwife-led unit, delivering 1/5 of babies, has two birthing pools.  Mothers on the CLU are not receiving the same level of choice.

There are many benefits to a water birth:

Pain relief and comfort – the warm water lowers blood pressure, reducing feelings of anxiety, allowing your body to release endorphins which helps to ease the pain.

Reduction of injury risk – the water helps the mother’s perineum to stretch gradually as the baby’s head is being born.

Movement and ease – the support of the water means the mother is able to try different positions more freely, and being upright in the water means gravity helps to move the baby down towards the birth canal.

In 2018, 336 mothers used the birthing pool on the CLU. However, we know via feedback from the NHS Friends and Family Test that many women were unable to use the birthing pool as it was in use. A second birthing pool in the CLU would give almost 700 women each year a choice of using a pool during labour.