You may have seen this pop up on your Facebook feed.
The text reads:
This is the Tranquility room at Halcyon Birthing Centre in Smethwick, where Rosie Bo came into the world yesterday. This standalone midwife led unit is an amazing NHS facility that is at risk of closure if it doesn’t increase it’s average birth rate of just 1 per month currently (since no-one knows about it)! Open to all low risk women, regardless of area. Fixed pool in each room, flat screen TV and DVD player, double bed for both parents to share after delivery and totally unrestricted visiting. Please help us spread the word by telling anyone you know who’s pregnant!
This makes me so sad.
Why is such an amazing facility so underused? What is putting women off attending there? Do they really not know about it?
I know why I didn’t go there.
I gave birth to my second child in my lounge, with an inflatable pool, my husband, and two wonderful, supportive midwives just 2.8 miles from The Halcyon Birthing Centre.
Of course, I wasn’t eligible to use the centre on the grounds of my high BMI.
No other complications. None. Monitored throughout for blood pressure, diabetes, macrocosmia (big baby), all the usual suspects. None arose. Just high BMI.
It was a fabulous birth.
Knowing what I know now, I would plan for all my future births to be at home. We’ve actually decided our family is complete, but at the time of planning what became a home birth, I would have been delighted to be welcomed to this facility, but it was not to be. And so, I fought my fight for my treatment to be on my terms, got the fantastic birth I wanted, and the Big Birthas site was also born out of the process.
You probably wouldn’t be reading this now if I had given birth in the Halcyon. But I wonder if I had, would you then be reading the above plea on Facebook?
If they want to increase attendance, they could perhaps consider how they evaluate ‘high risk’ cases as a starting point. Just a thought.