More Homely Surroundings

Mums-to-be can now give birth in more homely surroundings following the development of a new Alongside Midwifery Unit (AMU) at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

The midwife-led facility sits within the existing Women and Children’s Unit and rooms have been refurbished to create a less clinical atmosphere. New beds have been purchased to support delivery, along with new cube chairs which convert to a double bed for women to sleep on together with their partner. The AMU also has two rooms for water births and one other labour room. In addition, specially commissioned artwork and new light projection equipment have been installed to provide visual diversions and help create a more calming environment.

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman attended the opening of the unit and met members of the team and new parents Megan Hawick and Gary Fraser whose daughter Amelie was one of the first babies to be born in the Unit. She also met pupils from Larbert High School who have created a new mural for the AMU corridor which was inspired by nature and the hospital’s woodland surroundings.

NHS Forth Valley’s Head of Midwifery, Gillian Morton, said: “NHS Forth Valley is one of five NHS Boards in Scotland selected to take forward the early implementation of recommendations in The Best Start, Scotland’s national strategy for maternity and neonatal care.

“As well as the development of an AMU, we will be introducing new working patterns for staff to ensure more women are cared for by a midwife they know during pregnancy, labour and after their baby has been born. In addition, we are planning to develop new care  arrangements for a specific group of babies who require increased nursing and monitoring to enable them to remain with their mother in the post-natal ward rather than having to be transferred to the Neonatal Unit.”