Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly officially opens refurbished Labour & Birthing Unit at The National Maternity Hospital to mark International Women’s Day

By admin, Monday, 7th March 2022 | 0 comments

Twelve en-suite rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and a dedicated bereavement room, replaces its previous unit. The newly extended and refurbished unit will benefit thousands of patients every year until the hospital’s move to Elm Park.

The National Maternity Hospital, Ireland’s centre of excellence for maternal and women’s health, today officially opened its doors to a fully-refurbished Labour & Birthing Unit in honour of International Women’s Day. Five additional en-suite rooms have been added, as well as en-suites added to five pre-existing rooms, bringing the total number of rooms in the unit to fourteen, twelve of which have an en-suite.  A dedicated bereavement suite and hydrotherapy pool as well as a state-of-the-art specialised room to care for immunocompromised patients have also been added to the unit.

The introduction of a hydrotherapy pool gives women between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy with no medical, surgical or obstetrical risk factors or complications the choice to avail of water immersion or hydrotherapy during labour.

Speaking at the hospital today, Minister Stephen Donnelly said, “I am delighted to be here today to officially open the newly extended and fully refurbished 12-bed Labour & Birthing Unit at The NMH. This facility represents a significant and very positive development for women’s healthcare in The NMH. In line with the National Maternity Strategy’s vision, of a service that is woman centered, safe, and offers choice of care that is delivered with dignity and respect, this unit will provide the modern, comfortable and sensitive setting required for the delivery of excellent and compassionate care. Promoting and developing Women’s Health is vital, especially this week, our first Women’s Health Week. The investment and developments we are seeing across the health and social care services, including the unit we are opening today, will ensure that we can deliver services that women need and expect, both now and into the future.”

Professor Shane Higgins, Master at The National Maternity Hospital said: “The extension to the Delivery Suite is a significant improvement to the previous facilities, which had become untenable.  This unit is larger in size, and enhances the birthing experience for a woman, offering calm and comfortable surroundings and affords respect for privacy and choice. The addition of the hydrotherapy pool and mobility corridor are part of our commitment to holistic care aimed at supporting normal birth. These works are integral to the continued safe care of our patients until such time as we move to Elm Park.”

Speaking about the transformation of care at today’s opening, Martina Cronin, Labour & Birthing Unit Manager said, “The National Maternity Strategy identifies three care pathways in its model of care, based on the risk profile of women. Today, every woman who comes through our doors, irrespective of their care/support needs, can be provided with that care - choice can be facilitated. Consideration was also given to providing a private, quiet space for bereaved couples and their baby. We believe that the bereavement suite will provide the compassionate and respectful care required at this difficult time for our mothers and their partners.”

“We are very proud of our new Labour and Birthing Unit”, Martina continued. Patient feedback has been overwhelming positive on how the new facilities are enhancing the birthing experience and our staff are truly delighted to be receiving such gratitude from women and their partners.”

For further information or to arrange an interview with Prof Shane Higgins, please contact:

Jennie Cotter                   086 7761890