Esther Rantzen leads birth centre anniversary celebrations

TV personality Esther Rantzen will join maternity staff and mums and babies at the New Forest Birth Centre tomorrow (Friday, 2 October) to celebrate its first anniversary.
The modern centre at Ashurst Hospital, situated on the edge of the New Forest, has enjoyed a successful opening year and has proven to be a major step forward in the quality of local birth centre provision.
Ms Rantzen, who is also the founder of charity ChildLine, will tour the state-of-the-art facility and meet guests before giving a talk.
The centre is equipped with two birthing pools, seven postnatal beds and also has facilities for women to drop in for breastfeeding support and antenatal education.
The birth centre is midwife-led with no doctors on site and is suitable for women expecting a straightforward birth and not requiring an epidural for pain relief.
Experienced midwives and trained support staff provide round-the-clock care before, during and after childbirth. Maternity care assistants are also on hand to support the midwives, providing advice and support with breastfeeding and parenting skills.
If a woman or her baby needs to see a doctor at any time, or the birth is not progressing as expected, they are transferred to the Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton, by ambulance.
Maria Dore, head of midwifery at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:  “We are delighted such an established child advocate as Esther will be joining us to celebrate the New Forest Birth Centre’s first anniversary celebrations.
“It has been a very successful year for everyone associated with the centre – from midwives and support staff through to mums and their babies – and this is an opportunity to reflect back on the progress we have made together.”
She added: “The birth centre is a place where children can be sure of a great start to their life, while ensuring parents leave full of confidence for the future.”
Posted on Thursday 1 October 2009