Beautifying boxes used to transform birthing rooms in Walsall Manor Hospital’s delivery suite are proving a popular new arrival thanks to the Well Wishers charity.
Last year, one beautifying box was introduced in the delivery suite to help mums-to-be who are classed as high risk to give birth in a more holistic environment. Inside the boxes there are flameless candles, LED lights and light projectors which allow midwives to turn the room from a typical clinical setting into a calmer and more relaxing atmosphere.
The idea came from Delivery Suite Team Leader and Deputy Delivery Suite Manager Aqeela Hamilton, who joined Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust last April.
She previously worked in a Midwifery-Led Unit (MLU) while at New Cross Hospital.
She said: “The MLU was calm and 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.”
A year on, and after receiving positive feedback from staff and mums-to-be, beautifying boxes have been purchased for every birth room with funding via Well Wishers.
Aqeela said: “After our beautifying box was promoted by the communications team in our staff newsletter and social media, we received such great feedback and our fabulous Fundraising Manager Georgie Westley got in touch with me to see if I needed further support. She saw the vision and the passion I had and wanted to help and get the ball rolling which is how we have been able to provide a box for every room. I would not have been able to achieve this without her.”
She added: “I have also definitely seen a difference in our mum’s birth experiences with these boxes. Women are so much more relaxed and calmer in the rooms and it allows them to birth in a peaceful environment. As some of these are women who are deemed as having risk factors, the reaction they have when we turn the lights on is just amazing. We have had so many more women asking for the boxes and the lights.
“Our staff on the ward have really enjoyed them too. The fighting over our one initial box has stopped now! They really enjoy setting up the rooms for the women which includes the lights being turned down, putting on calming music and the light projectors. It beautiful to see and they find it lovely to hear the ‘wow’ from the women.
“I just want to say a huge thank you again to Georgie, she has been amazing, and I also want to thank Cara Hodgen from our procurement department.
“Not only have they got us boxes for every room but they also purchased some extra bits to brighten up our delivery suite which includes our happy ‘birth’ day tree and positive birth affirmations to go into the rooms.
“I am also really proud of #TheRealMidwivesofWalsall, they are a passionate team of midwives who put the women at the centre of everything they do. I could not have done any of this without them. They have embraced everything and want to create that bubble for women where they feel safe.
“It has been a real team effort from everyone involved.”