Alexandra Birthing Centre

Alexandra Birthing Centre (ABC)

The aim of the ABC is to create a ‘home from home’ atmosphere. The body needs a hormone called oxytocin to labour and one of the ways it is produced by the brain is when women feel safe and secure. So the unit tries to provide a very casual atmosphere with midwives well trained in normal birth as well as emergencies.

Because the midwives on the ABC know normal so well they also recognise when things are not gong normally and can take the appropriate steps.

All of the rooms are en-suite with a toilet and shower. There are 7 birthing rooms, two pools and the sensory room. Women can either give birth to their babies in the room or pool. The pools cannot be booked. Discuss your coping strategies with your midwife when you arrive in active labour and if it includes using the pool for labour or labour and birth let them know.

The ABC offers entonox (gas and air), pethidine, meptid and the pools. There is no epidural on the ABC.

What we are finding is that if labour is progressing women generally cope well on the unit. It is when labour stops progressing that some women may transfer to delivery suite for an epidural.

Because the ABC is for healthy low risk women we are looking at getting you home quite quickly. The length of stay on the unit is normally 6 hours from birth. Obviously this depends on the time of day your baby is born.

Unfortunately, the unit does not have the facilities for dads to stay, so if your baby is born at night, after we have settled mum and the new baby, dads will be expected to go home and come back to collect their new family in the morning.

This is a midwifery run unit for low risk healthy pregnant women.

Low risk healthy pregnant women:

  • BMI 18 – 35
  • Hb level (Iron) 10gdl or above
  • No previous pregnancy complications e.g. previous caesarean section, PPH,
  • Age 18 – 42
  • Normal range blood pressure
  • Having baby number 1-5 

Conditions that will exclude you from the ABC

  • Group B Strep
  • Rupture of membranes over 48 hours
  • Induction of labour
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Breech
  • Any condition that requires close observation or antibiotics during labour
Sensory Room

The Sensory room on the ABC is a very relaxing room with dimmed lighting, bean bags, birthing couch, music, birth balls and a large bed.

This room cannot be booked, if it is free women can use it to labour in.

Only one labouring woman at a time. It provides a change of scenery and a very relaxing atmosphere.

Birthing Pools

We have two pools on the ABC.

The advantages, as far as labouring in water is concerned, is that it is very relaxing, soothing, warm and comforting.

In water, labouring women find it easier to move because the water makes them almost weightless. This allows women to follow their natural instincts and adopt positions that enable the baby to move into good positions for labour and birth.


Next: The Delivery Suite »

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