The brand new birthing unit at East Surrey Hospital welcomed its very first water baby last week (May 8) with the arrival of Phoebe Annabelle.
Her proud parents were the first couple to enjoy one of the new birthing pools at the hospital after a major £400,000 investment and the creation of four en-suite rooms, each with its own pool.
Phoebe weighed in at a healthy 8 pounds 13 oz. and her happy mum Heather Hards from Earlswood said: “Her birth was a very relaxing, positive experience. When I had my first daughter it felt very clinical. This time, as soon as I came into this lovely room I felt I could do this. I didn’t need lots of drugs and being in the pool really helped.”
The 31 year old was inspired by the beautiful bluebell photograph decorating one wall of the room when it came to her daughter’s second name – Annabelle. Anna after the baby’s aunt and belle after the dainty blue flowers on the wall.
The new midwifery led unit offers a comfortable and homely environment for women in labour who might opt for a home birth but who also want the comfort of having expert medical staff on hand.
Three rooms are for low risk deliveries while the fourth is available for high risk patients who would still like the option of a water birth. Soft lighting and walls decorated with flowers and meadow scenes all help to create a relaxing environment for women and their partners.
The money awarded to Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust was part of a £25 million investment programme by the Department of Health in maternity facilities and was the largest amount given to a hospital in this area.