The delivery suite at Blackpool Victoria Hospital is responsible for the safe delivery of around 3,000 babies every year. In doing so, the staff endeavour to provide holistic care to women, their partners and families.
Delivery Suite Virtual Tour:
The suite has a number of spacious delivery rooms decorated in light and relaxing colours to give them a homely feel. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom.
One of the main features on the unit is the water birth room. If you are interested in using the state-of-the-art birthing pool for labour, please contact the Delivery Suite and you may have a look around and ask any questions you have regarding this method of pain relief in labour. There is always a Midwife on duty who has undergone strict training and is experienced in water labour and delivery.
Other facilities in the department include a triage room and a reception area.
Alternative methods of pain relief range from natural methods, with aids such as birthing balls, to a 24-hour epidural service. Whatever method you choose, the support of your partner or a close friend or relative is very effective in helping you cope with your labour and delivery.
It is beneficial if you are able to relax through your labour. The presence of a partner, friend or relative will help. There are specific relaxation techniques which you can learn through attending your Parentcraft classes.
This uses small electrical impulse from a little battery pack. The impulses pass through four sticky pads applied to the skin of your lower back. It produces a tingling sensation and works by releasing the body’s natural painkillers. Some mothers find it helpful in early labour especially if they are experiencing backache. If you would like to arrange to use a TENS machine, please speak to your Midwife.
- Gas and air (Entonox)
This is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is breathed in through a face mask or mouth piece. It has a short duration of action and is used just before and during a contraction. As you use the gas, it will provide good pain relief during the contraction. It may make you a little drowsy. Once you stop using it the pain relieving effect and drowsy feeling wear off very quickly.
This is a painkiller that is given as an injection into the muscle of your leg. Pethidine will not take away the pain completely but it makes you more relaxed, a little drowsy and helps you cope with the pain more easily. Some pethidine will cross the placenta and may cause your baby to be a little sleepy at delivery. This effect is usually easily treated.
This is a pain killer that is given via an intravenous cannular sited in the back of your hand. You press a button on a pump and the drug is administered. As this is a form of ‘Patient Controlled Analgesia’ you control how much of the drug you get.
An epidural uses local anaesthetic to temporarily numb the nerves that carry the sensation of the pain of your contractions. The local anaesthetic is injected through a small flexible plastic tube inserted in your lower back. The epidural is administered by an Anaesthetist, although there are some circumstances when the Anaesthetist will consider it unsafe for you to have an epidural.
We actively encourage normal labour and birth but recognise that some women require medical intervention in order to achieve a safe outcome. Our unit is consequently staffed with highly trained Midwives with close links to the University of Central Lancashire. We are able to provide a high standard of clinical experience for student Midwives and have a robust development package for qualified Midwives.
Should a caesarean section be planned for you antenatally, you will be given an appointment to attend a pre-operative assessment. Providing there are no medical problems, you may have a spinal anaesthetic and be awake during the operation. Your partner may stay with you in the theatre, unless you are having a general anaesthetic. Music will be available in the theatre itself should you wish to have this facility. More information about caesarean sections and anaesthetics is available from your Midwife or Doctor.
See also: Anaesthetics and Theatres