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Bus advertising campaign aims to promote birthing unit at County Hospital

Adverts on buses are encouraging more expectant parents to consider having their baby at the midwife led unit at Stafford's County Hospital.

It is part of efforts to ensure the facility remains viable.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the number of births at the unit was lower that bosses wanted.

In February there was just one baby born there.

Now, staff are aiming to highlight what is on offer there so more mums-to-be consider it.

Sharon Wallis, UHNM Head of Midwifery, said: “The FMBU provides a calm and relaxing environment for any mum to be and their partner for those women who have a low risk pregnancy and do not require care from a consultant.

"Parents often tell us the unit provides a home-from-home environment as well as excellent care.

“If anyone is interested is having their baby here we would invite them to contact us and take a look for themselves at the excellent facilities we have on offer.

"We are not getting as many women coming through the unit at the moment as we would like.

"We have very experience midwives who are waiting for women to come and have their babies here.

"It is frustrating and disheartening for them.

"What we do is rotate our staff through the birth centres, so they will come up to Royal Stoke as well, and then go back down to Stafford.

"They are maintaining their skills so there are no issues around safety or competency.

"If something did happen very quickly, such as the baby coming out and needing some help with breathing, the midwives are trained to deal with that.

"They are trained to deal with the most common complications.

"We have criteria - a list of things that we look out for in women in pregnancy - which means we could say yes you can have your baby here, or no we would not recommend it."

The advertisement shows a picture of baby Theo, who was born in July.

His mum Nicola said: “Theo is now six weeks old and we are delighted to be able to support the advertising campaign.

"Theo was born at Royal Stoke because I had to be induced but I can say the services at the FMBU are fantastic.

"I have found both the antenatal and breast feeding services particularly helpful.”

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