A new idea has been born in the delivery suite of Walsall Manor Hospital – thanks to a passionate midwife.
Delivery Suite Team Leader Aqeela Hamilton, who joined Walsall healthcare NHS Trust in April this year, has transformed the birth rooms for mums-to-be coming in to give birth.
By using a box of flameless candles, LED lights and light projectors, she can turn the room from a typical clinical setting into a more calm and relaxing atmosphere.
This has been applied to all the birth rooms, the maternity recovery area and even theatres (as long as lighting is not impacting anything and it is not an emergency procedure).
Aqeela, aged 36, said: “As part of my journey to becoming a team leader I was rotated to the midwifery-led unit (MLU) while I was working at New Cross Hospital. I was initially not happy about this as I felt I was a high risk delivery suite midwife (every midwife has their area they love).
“The MLU opened my eyes to so many things, however. The biggest was the environment – it was calm, relaxing and the women felt at ease, it was a home from home. On the other hand, this highlighted the major differences in birth rooms on delivery suite which meant that there were unequal opportunities for women in labour.
“So my aim is to give these women the chance to experience some of the same things that a woman giving birth in the MLU would.”
Aqeela added: “The pandemic also hasn’t helped with women walking into a birth room in hospital for the first time seeing all staff in PPE which can be quite nerve-wracking which is another reason why I wanted to create a calm and relaxed environment for them.”
When asking what her colleagues thought about this idea, the mum-of-two said:
“Being new to the trust they welcomed me with open arms and have taken on board my ideas and they love the box.
“Sadly as there is only one box they are all fighting over who gets it in their rooms and the projector is a really big hit!
“The boxes would not be as successful as they have been without the midwives’ support, they are the ones that create the experience for the women, I have just brought the equipment for them to use.”
So far, the addition to the birth rooms has been a success with lots of mums-to-be praising the idea and saying:
- ‘The lights came at a time when I was in pain and scared. Immediately, I felt a sense of calm. I was able to cope and my midwife was just amazing. It might not have ended the way I wanted it to but the experience was just wonderful and I will be forever grateful to my midwife’
- ‘I love the lights, the room made everything special’