Mater Infirmorum, Belfast

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Freestanding Birth Centre

Last updated: 15 Sep 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 medium unit

260

births from Apr 2016 to Apr 2017

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4

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
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
    • Women are encouraged to be mobile around the unit or can make use of the sitting room with refreshments also provided.
  • Transfer details
  • Birthing rooms
    • 4 Birthing room(s)
    • 3 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 3 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: Reflexology service

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't 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 4 and for postnatal appointments it's 2.

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.

A small team of dedicated, experienced midwives will care for all your midwifery needs.

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)
      • Aged between 16 years and 40 years old
      • Between 37 weeks and 42 weeks weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 4 previous babies
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area:
      • 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: lift access, wet room, hoist, variable height cots and beds.
      • Hearing problems: a full range of disability and sensory support services including easy read documents.
      • Sight problems: information can be provided in easy-read documents; sensory support services.
      • Learning disabilities: support services provided by a multi-disciplinary team including psychologists, physiotherapists, speech therapists and social workers.
      • Autism spectrum: working with the NOW group to support the needs of women on the autism spectrum.
    • Interpreting service
      • Northern Ireland interpreting services. The BHSCT Maternity and Neonatal website offers translation in over 100 different languages.
      • Midwives organise and make available the service of interpreters. Written information is provided in the relevant language.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Perinatal mental health
      • Substance misuse
      • Teenage pregnancy
      • Vulnerable women
      • Hypnobirthing; Reflexology services.

    General information

    • Tours
      • Women are welcome to come and visit the Unit at any time. Phone first on 0289 504 1555.
      • Take a virtual tour
    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • Vending machine
      • 24h use of kitchen facilities
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    • Contact information
      • Main hospital number: 0289 5041 555 or 0289 5041 556
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      You can book through the community midwife attached to your GP surgery.
      Via your GP
      Book directly from 12 weeks of pregnancy
      • Booking phone number: 0289 5041 555 or 0289 5041 556
      Book online
    • Outside space
      • There is no outside space available for women in labour
    • Visiting information
      • Open visiting hours
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • The hospital carpark is close by with a drop off at the entrance, which is permitted for labouring women. The barrier access is £1 for an unlimited period.
    • Parking
      • £1 for any period of stay
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