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Bridgwater's Mary Stanley Unit goes 24/7 for first time in a decade - 01 August 2017

Bridgwater's Mary Stanley Unit goes 24/7 for first time in a decade - 01 August 2017

DSC 4075 7X5Have your Bridgwater Baby at the modern Mary Stanley birthing unit

“We want to deliver your baby at the Mary Stanley birthing unit” – that’s the message from Kate Hopwood and Esther Thayer, senior community midwives at Bridgwater’s maternity unit.

As part of a relaunch of the Mary Stanley Unit, the midwifery team has made a call to pregnant women, or those planning on starting a family, to consider using the modern Bridgwater birthing unit.

Why choose Mary Stanley?

DSC 4007 7X7“We are very excited to announce that from today (1 August) we will have a team of midwives based at the Mary Stanley Unit 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Kate and Esther.

“Almost every day we are reminded by people around town about how proud they are that we continue to have a maternity unit here.

“We are part of a team of 20 experienced midwives that run the unit. We are passionate about providing high quality, one-to-one care, to women who are at low risk of complications.

“Mary Stanley provides a safe, relaxed birthing environment with state-of-the-art facilities, including en-suite rooms and two birthing pools.

DSC 4026 6X4“Over the last few years the unit has been relatively underused, but we are determined to change that. We currently have about 30-40 births here every year, but we want to quadruple that number and welcome more Bridgwater Babies into the world.

“It’s not just the Mary Stanley Unit that our community midwives cover. We also support women who choose who have their baby delivered in the familiar surroundings of their own home.

“From today we will also provide many other services at the unit, such as 24 hour breastfeeding support and assessment in early labour.

What do the experts say?

“National maternity experts (NICE and National Maternity Review) have said that women at low risk of complications are more likely to have a normal delivery at a birth centre, and are less likely to need an intervention, such as caesarean section. They also tend to use less pain relief during labour.

“Evidence also shows that outcomes for babies born in birth centres, such as Mary Stanley, are no different compared with those of babies born at obstetric units at district general hospitals.

“Of course on the rare occasion that you might require additional monitoring you would be transferred by ambulance to Musgrove Park Hospital, where your care would continue.

History of Mary Stanley

DSC 4077 6X4“The current Mary Stanley Unit opened just over three years ago, following the transfer from the old hospital on Salmon Parade over to the brand new community hospital.

“The Mary Stanley Wing, as it used to be called, has been a historical feature of Bridgwater for some 70 years, where it has provided midwifery care to local women.

“We recently went on a short tour of all three maternity units and learned that Mary Stanley herself was actually a friend of Florence Nightingale and was a prominent nurse during the Crimean War.”

What does the future hold for Mary Stanley?

DSC 4075 7X5“Over the past year it has been difficult to escape some of the media coverage about Mary Stanley, following the unfortunate temporary closure last year and the completely unfounded rumours before the election that we were planning to close it.

“The Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust Board met in November 2016 to discuss the unit and agreed there was no reason to make any changes to the current service. So, we are very pleased to confirm Mary Staley Unit is here to stay and we want to see record numbers of births here.

“We are going to trial the 24/7 midwife cover at Mary Stanley initially for three months and if successful we will make it permanent.

How can I find out more?

Handi Maternity“We hold an open evening (6 – 8pm) on the first Tuesday of every month, where we give women and their families a tour of the unit so they can meet the team of midwives and view the excellent facilities.

“If you have Facebook, please do like our page – just search for ‘Mary Stanley Unit’. Or, you could download our HANDi maternity app – available on iTunes and Android app store.

“If you have Twitter, we’re going to start a #BridgwaterBaby so please do tag in your newborn baby pictures!

Proud of our role

“We are very proud of our role and the Mary Stanley Unit’s place in the Bridgwater community. We would really encourage all mums-to-be in the area to come and take a look around the unit and hopefully choose us to deliver your new bundle of joy into the world.”