In the heart of Wales, in one of the most rural areas of the United Kingdom, lies the beautiful county of Powys. In this stunning region the recommendations of The Birthplace Study and Better Births are being wholeheartedly implemented. In extraordinary contrast to some areas of the UK, Powys has determined to ensure that Midwife Led Units are recommended as the optimal birth place for healthy women and babies, provided they are happy to birth there – supporting women in their decisions. 20% of women give birth in a midwife led unit in this area, compared to 14% for the rest of the UK.
Powys has 6 midwife led units across the county, limiting the distance that women need to travel in labour, increasing safety for women and babies and reducing the stress on families at a time where the birthing woman needs to be able to focus on her job at hand. In addition, Newtown, one of Powys’ towns with a birth centre, has recently celebrated the huge achievement of obtaining funding to run sonographer services local to where women are, reducing the travelling distances for women by 3000 miles a year!
Newtown has also used its funding to add in a permanent Aquabirths birth pool, and a double bed so that new parents can snuggle up together with their baby after the birth, rather than being separated at one of the most profound times of their lives.
Well done Powys – you are an inspiration!
Guest blog by Emma Ashworth