A new Midwife Led Unit (MLU) has opened in Yeovil Hospital this week.

The unit, run by the community midwifery team, will promote natural birth for women with low risk pregnancies. New mums will also be able to take their baby home soon after the birth, with the support of our infant feeding team in their own home, avoiding being admitted to the ward.

Known as Yeovil Hospital’s Meadow Suite, the unit has been brought together by Community Midwife Leads Steph Larcombe and Ali Dennett. Ali said: “By increasing the options available, we are able to centre our care around the mum to help her have the birth she would like.

“The new Midwife Led Unit is a fantastic option for women with low risk pregnancies who would like a low-intervention birth using natural pain relief methods. Experienced midwives from the community team will support the mum throughout so we are able to offer more continuity of care as they will have seen many of the team throughout their pregnancy.”

The Midwife Led Unit has a focus on minimal intervention and supports those women who are likely to have a straight-forward delivery to give birth naturally, using relaxation techniques, water in the birthing pool, tens and entonox (gas and air). Around one third of women who give birth at Yeovil Hospital would be suitable to choose the MLU as the place to deliver their baby.

Head of Midwifery at Yeovil Hospital, Helen Williams said: “I am absolutely delighted that we are able to offer this service to women in Yeovil and the surrounding areas. We have had so much support for our homebirth team and this feels like a very natural next step, offering women an alternative to a labour ward delivery or a home birth.

“As midwives we see our role as being the advocate for our women and that means supporting them as much as possible to achieve the birth they would like. The addition of the new unit enhances the superb level of care we already give here at Yeovil and allows us to work with our women to personalise their care to suit their individual needs.”

The self-contained unit is located on the third floor of the Woman’s Hospital in Yeovil, across the corridor from Labour Ward. It offers a large, homely birthing room with space to move around, comfy chairs, drinks making facilities, TV, music player and an ensuite bathroom. Meadow Suite also offers the option of using our birthing pool room.

Helen added: “It is wonderful to see the department develop and I really feel women will benefit. It is really important that we offer this service alongside our labour ward, which is essential for women with more complicated or high-risk pregnancies, but we are always happy to discuss all options with each mum-to-be and support them in making the best decision for them and their baby, whether that be in the new Midwife Led Unit, on our Labour Ward or at home.”

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