Local doulas take a tour of Smethwick birthing centre

18th Dec 2013

A birthing unit in Sandwell recently welcomed local doulas as they viewed the facilities and options available for expectant mums.

A doula (pronounced “doola”) is an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. Doulas believe in “mothering the mother”, enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mum. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience, with the midwife and other medical staff fulfil their clinical role.

The doulas were taken on a tour of the facilities at the Halcyon Birth Centre, on Oldbury Road in Smethwick, including the kitchen, therapy room and the beautiful Harmony, Grace and Tranquillity birthing rooms. They also learned about the various classes run at Halcyon, including breast feeding and parent preparation sessions.

The Halcyon Midwifery Birth Centre opened in October 2011 for low-risk births. It is a purpose-built centre that looks and feels like a spa, with a focus on helping expectant mothers to be calm and relaxed.

Kathryn Gutteridge, Consultant Midwife, said: “We decided to invite the doulas as they form very close bonds with mums-to-be. By inviting them to see the fantastic facilities at Halcyon for themselves, they will be able to recommend the centre to their clients and get to know the staff and buildings well in advance. They were all very impressed by what we have to offer mums, relatives and babies.”

Following the tour, the doulas tucked into seasonal treats and each had a goody bag, containing a postcard, stickers and aromatherapy oil.

For more information on the Halcyon Birth Centre, including a virtual tour of the facilities, go to www.swbh.nhs.uk/services/maternity.

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