Expectant mothers now have greater choice in where they deliver their babies thanks to a new service which was launched earlier this week.
Pregnant women in West Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and parts of Suffolk will now be offered more choice in where they give birth.
Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital launched its midwife-led pathway on Monday to provide a less clinical approach for women having low risk pregnancies.
Women will be given the option to give birth at home or in the hospital’s midwife-led Waterlily birth centre and the pathway also aims to provide continuity of carer.
Divisional head of women and children’s services Lesley Deacon said: “We are really excited to have launched the midwife-led pathway and to provide more choice for women.
“The pathway will ensure women are supported through their journey rather than women accessing services.
“We know that increasing choice and providing a continuity of carer is hugely beneficial for both women and midwives.
“Our midwives are looking forward to supporting new parents and their babies.”
The pathway will be supporting women from their first antenatal appointments right through to postnatal care.
Women can be directed onto the pathway via their GP or they can also refer themselves by calling 01553 214903.
The team of 43 midwives is able to offer support to for women in West Norfolk and Fenland along with those up to Boston and Brandon.
Ms Deacon said: “The whole aim of the new pathway is to focus on the woman and her needs while continuing to provide high quality and safe care.”
The Waterlily birth centre, with its birthing pools and homely atmosphere, has proved to be popular with new mothers and fathers since opening in December 2015.
The introduction of the midwife-led pathway, which included the reinstatement of the home birth service, was approved by the hospital’s board of directors in November last year.
The service was suspended in September 2013 due to an inability to sustain the service due to staffing challenges, which have subsequently been resolved following a concerted effort by the trust.
The decision to suspend homebirths for more than three years caused widespread protests from women, who said that it contravened the law.
In 2014, Cathryn Remmington, a 32-year-old mum-to-be from Upwell, initiated legal proceedings against the QEH Trust.
At the time, the QEH had been placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission because of low staffing levels.