Sarah and Dave Dineen with baby Fiadh, who one of the first mothers to avail of the new service Picture: Brian Arthur
UNIVERSITY Maternity Hospital Limerick has officially opened its new home-from-home delivery suite, which will provide “calm, positive and peaceful” water immersion for mothers with less complex pregnancies.
The pool for water immersion in the new Danu Suite was a major proposal in the HSE’s 10-year national maternity strategy, and is the first of its kind since the report was published two years ago.
The name of the new delivery room was chosen after an in-house competition at the maternity hospital. Danu is the Celtic goddess of fertility and strongly associated with water.
UL Hospitals CEO Colette Cowan said that the suite, which opened on May 31, marked another milestone in the hospital’s plan to deliver the HSE strategy.
“This is something our staff and our service users are taking on with great enthusiasm and the Danu Suite is the latest example of that. It gives greater choice for women and makes childbirth a less clinical, less intimidating experience,” she said.
Sarah Dineen, who lives in Ballina, was one of the first mothers to avail of the new service with little baby Fiadh, just six days ago.
She said: “My hope and my expectation was that everything about my labour would be as natural as possible. I had heard that the pool was going to be available and I was hoping that nothing would happen to delay it before Fiadh was born.
"Thankfully, everything worked out for us and it was great to have such a relaxing environment and the support of the staff, who were fantastic.”
In the new suite, women are offered the opportunity to labour in water for pain relief. Water for labour is a package of care which includes the actual water and the associated environment.
A spokesperson said that efforts are made to support a calm, positive and peaceful atmosphere for women labouring in water.
“The pool itself is a large bath in which a pregnant woman can sit or adopt a range of different positions to optimise her mobility and comfort. The service is only for labouring in water. The woman will deliver her baby out of the water,” the spokesperson said.
The service is available for mothers who are normal-risk and with less complex pregnancies.