Outrage after birthing pool in Gosport is ‘condemned’
MUMS and birthing experts are outraged after a birthing pool has been left out of action.
The birthing pool at Blakes Birthing Centre in Gosport has not been available for use for a month.
NCT antenatal teacher Kathryn Kelly met staff at the centre, run by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, who are looking to fundraise to replace the pool.
She said: ‘I think it is the trust’s responsibility to fund a replacement and it is very important that water births are available to pregnant women.
‘I don’t think we should be holding cake sales for what is an essential piece of equipment for a birthing centre.’
The pool has been out of action since April 12.
Kathryn added: ‘Blakes is a lovely centre to give birth in but the trust is making it hard to access for mums who want the choice of a water birth.’
Helen Bland, director of midwifery at PHT, said: ‘The Blake Birth Centre is currently unable to facilitate water births and we apologise for any inconvenience.
‘However, for women who wish to experience a water birth, this service is still available at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth Maternity Centre and at the Grange Birth Centre in Petersfield.’
PHT also confirmed funding for a replacement pool is under consideration and potential fundraising opportunities are also being considered.
Wendy Evans from WondrousBirth Hypnobirthing said: ‘It is really very frustrating that the birth pool has not been replaced immediately.
‘If a labour ward told mums that there was no epidural available, mums would most likely not choose to birth there. The way women birth their babies matters.’
The 38-year-old from Portsmouth added: ‘The fact that midwives are now resorting to fundraising themselves means they know full well how beneficial this pool would be to the women they care for.
‘I truly hope that the responsibility for our mothers’ wellbeing is not going to be left to our midwives as it is not theirs to bear and we desperately need more funding in maternity services.’
Fareham and Gosport CCG, which plays a part in commissioning the service, did not want to comment.