Downe Hospital

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

Freestanding Birth Centre

Last updated: 22 Jun 2017

The Midwifery-led unit

Contact & visitor information

Freestanding birth centres are not on the same site as a hospital, so your care is led by midwives. If you need the assistance of a doctor you’ll be transferred to a labour ward at a hospital.

a very small unit

50

births from Apr 2016 to Apr 2017

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3

Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Neonatal care unit

Pain-relief options

  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Diamorphine
  • Meptid
  • Morphine sulphate (Oramorph)
  • Pethidine
  • Remifentanil
  • Sterile water injections
  • Epidural
  • Birth pool
  • Other: Deep breathing and relaxation techniques
Find out more about pain relief during labour

Having a baby here

During labour and birth

  • If you arrive in the early stages of labour
    • You'll be seen by a midwife who will check the progress of your labour
    • You'll be encouraged to go home
    • There's a dedicated area where women can keep active
    • There's an area where you can be assessed
    • You can have a bath or use a birth pool if available
    • You can be admitted to the delivery suite/birthing room
  • Transfer details
  • Birthing rooms
    • 3 Birthing room(s)
    • 2 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 2 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • There are no restrictions on how many birth partners you can have.

Birth facilities

  • Aromatherapy service
  • Bean bags
  • Birth balls
  • Birth mats
  • Birthing couch
  • Dimmable lighting
  • iPod dock
  • Reclining chair
  • Supporting rope or sling
  • TENS machine
  • Hypnobirthing / Natal hypnotherapy
  • Birthing stools
  • TV
  • Rocking chair
  • Other: Rebozo (Mexican shawl)

After you've given birth

  • Private postnatal rooms
    • Amenity rooms are not available.
  • Provision for partners staying overnight
    • Partners can stay in a room with you on a camp bed/sofa
  • Your stay after you've given birth
    • You'll be able to stay in the same room throughout your stay
    • Women who've had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 6-24 hours after the birth
    • If you're transferred to the labour ward during the birth you can come back to the birth centre postnatally
  • Contact & visitor information

How many midwives will I meet?

The maximum number of different midwives you're likely to see for antenatal appointments is 10 and for postnatal appointments it's 5.

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born, but different midwives when you're in labour.

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy and during labour, but different midwives after your baby is born.

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy, during labour and after your baby is born.

Downe Maternity Services provide antenatal care for all women regardless of risk. The unit offers the 20 week 'big scan' to all women. You will receive one to one care during labour and continuous care in the postnatal period by a midwife from within a team of midwives that you will know. We work in teams -you will have been seen by a Midwife either at the GP surgery or in the Midwifery Led Unit and that those same Midwives will see you at home after your baby is born.

Find out about the benefits of knowing your midwife

Statistics

* We’ve adjusted the data where it’s based on a small number of women to ensure confidentiality
Compared to the national average, women were:
    What is your situation?

    Is this your first birth?

    Have you had a caesarean for a previous birth?

    Are you at a higher risk of complications?

    Clear answers

    Is this the best unit for you?

    Find out more about your local options and where you want to give birth

    Use our tool to find out

    Who can give birth here?

    • Eligibility
      • Baby must be head down
      • You can discuss having your baby here, even if you don't fit the following criteria.
      • Straightforward pregnancy
      • Straightforward previous pregnancies
      • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
      • BMI between 18 and 35.0
      • Aged between 16 and 40 years old
      • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 4 previous babies
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area: The catchment area extends to between Saintfield and Carryduff in the North (incorporating Four Winds) to Kilcoo in the South. We cover an area of 646 square miles.
      • You can give birth here even if you don't live in the catchment area

    Support services

    • Accessibility
      • Wheelchair access to the wards and delivery suite
      • Limited mobility: Wec are a free standing Midwifery Led Unit -women with limited mobility would not be suitable to birth in the MiDWIFERY lED uNIT
      • Hearing problems: We could arrange for a signing service
      • Sight problems: We have access to braille.
      • Learning disabilities: Your needs will be individually assessed.
      • Autism spectrum: You will have a carer/social worker assigned for your personal needs.
    • Interpreting service
      • You can use the Northern Ireland Interpreting Services.
      • We use the Big Word service.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Infant feeding
      • Perinatal mental health
      • Substance misuse
      • Teenage pregnancy
      • Vulnerable women
      • smoking cessation, obesity, hypnobirthing, active birth and infant feeding workshops

    General information

    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • 24 hour patient kitchens
      • Vending machine
      • 24h use of kitchen facilities
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    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      Please go on our Trust website.
      Via your GP
      Book directly from 10 weeks of pregnancy
      • Booking phone number: 028 4461 6995
      • If in labour call: 028 4461 6995
    • Outside space
      • Outside space is available for women in labour
      • Victorian Gardens and walks
    • Visiting information
      • Not applicable - No private rooms
      • Open visiting
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • Parking spaces at the maternity unit
    • Parking
      • Car parking is free
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