The number of births at the Eastbourne Midwifery Unit at the DGH has increased by 15.6 per cent in the past year.
In 2018/19 there were 332 births compared with 287 in the previous year.
Of those babies born last year, 126 babies were born to first time mothers representing a 57.5 per cent increase in first time mothers birthing at Eastbourne Midwifery Unit compared with the previous year.
Some 206 babies were born to mothers who had given birth before. Half of all the births at Eastbourne Midwifery Unit were in the relaxing water bath.
Midwifery matron Marie Foreman said, “We are pleased more women are choosing to have their own babies in the Eastbourne Midwifery Unit. The unit is becoming increasingly popular and this has been our busiest year so far. Many of the women who give birth here comment about their positive birthing experience which is something we strive for and are keen to promote.
“Any women who has a healthy pregnancy, free from complications should talk to their community midwife about coming to the unit to give birth or alternatively they could contact the unit directly and speak to one of our midwives on 01323 414911.”
Eastbourne Midwifery Unit is staffed and run by experienced midwives and offers a comfortable, relaxed and homely environment for women to give birth. Any woman who has had an uncomplicated pregnancy and has no medical problems or conditions can give birth on the unit.
In addition, a wide range of maternity services are available at Eastbourne DGH for women during their pregnancy and when the have a baby.
• Antenatal clinics - Women are seen on a regular basis throughout their pregnancy by a midwife or obstetrician to make sure they are well and the pregnancy is progressing normally. There are four consultant antenatal clinics each week. All the consultants who provide antenatal care at Eastbourne DGH also work on delivery suite at the Conquest.
• Ultrasound scans - All women are routinely offered two scans in pregnancy. The first scan is offered usually between 11 and 13 weeks with the second scan performed between 20 and 23 weeks. Further scans in pregnancy will be organised if necessary based on the woman’s clinical need.
• Early pregnancy unit - For women in early pregnancy (up to 14 weeks) to be seen and assessed if they have bleeding and/or pain. A specialist nurse together with an ultrasonogrpher and middle grade doctor are able to offer advice, support and any treatment which may be needed.
• Maternity Day Assessment Unit - For all women during their pregnancy with any concerns to be seen by either a midwife or doctor to be assessed, monitored and treated.
• Maternity Triage Service - A 24 hour telephone advice service staffed by midwives to offer advice to pregnant women.
The only time during a pregnancy that women will need to travel to the Consultant Obstetric Unit at Conquest Hospital is either if a complication is diagnosed in the antenatal clinic or day unit or to give birth for women who are considered at high risk of developing complications in labour.
Liz Walke, the chairwoman of the DGH campaign, said, “This is excellent news. The more women who can give birth at the local midwifery unit the better and then hopefully have the demand for a local obstetric unit too, then all local women could give birth in Eastbourne. Well done Eastbourne midwives.”