Have you recently found out you're pregnant? Did you know that you don't need to visit your GP surgery to access maternity care? Go here to register your pregnancy online
We welcome feedback about our maternity services, good or bad, so that we can continually improve. If you would like to highlight exceptional care, raise any concerns, or have any questions you would like us to answer regarding your future or past care, please get in touch on: SBU.MaternityEnquiries@wales.nhs.uk
We're delighted to announce that a £750,000 investment in maternity services including the recruitment of 35 extra staff will see the reopening of a birth centre and the reinstatement of home births in Swansea Bay over the next few months.
This comes two years after the midwife-led Neath Port Talbot Birth Centre was closed and the home birthing service suspended – both due to staffing shortages and pressures.
All available resources were focused on Singleton Hospital to ensure safe care could continue to be provided, in line with professional guidance from the royal colleges.
The health board reluctantly entered into this arrangement and recognised that it limited birth choice. It has been working hard behind the scenes to find a sustainable solution – which has now been achieved.
Board members heard at a meeting on Thursday 28th September 2023 that Swansea Bay UHB was investing £750,000 in hospital-based and community midwifery over two years. This, coupled with changes to the way services are staffed, meant the Neath Port Talbot Birth Centre and the home birth service could be reinstated.
Previous attempts to recruit additional midwives were mostly unsuccessful because of a national shortage. Now, however, Swansea Bay has succeeded in recruiting 21 midwives, a mix of newly qualified and experienced, who are due to start in November.
While there are now firm plans in place to reinstate maternity services - as outlined above - for now the temporary suspension of our home birth service, as well as the temporary closure of the Neath Port Talbot Birth Centre continues. This is to ensure we can maintain safe care. This decision has been made in line with the professional guidance from the Royal College of Midwives and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
We appreciate this may cause disappointment, but please be assured the decision to suspend this service has not been taken lightly.
We would ask you make contact with us as soon as you have any signs of labour, which will help us plan your care.
You may wish to consider our Bay Birthing Unit in Singleton hospital. This is midwifery-led, with individual rooms and a real home-from-home environment.
Essential support partners are welcome to attend all settings when you have an initial assessment in labour.
Alongside Midwifery Unit (The Bay Birth Unit), is open 24 Hours 7 days a week. The Bay Birth Unit follows the same model of midwifery led care as home and freestanding midwifery unit, and is an option for many women. More information about this choice of birth setting is available by following this link to the Bay Birth Unit webpage.
We will be reviewing this situation every two weeks and will update you as soon as we have any changes. We would urge those families who have planned a home birth to make contact with their community midwife to discuss the options available.
The Welsh Government continue to provide guidance around COVID-19 and hospital visiting in Maternity and Neonatal Services. Follow this link for more information about hospital visiting guidance in maternity and neonatal services from Welsh Government.
We understand our service restrictions have undoubtedly had a big impact on your maternity journey and we thank you for your understanding and patience.
If you want to discuss anything around the announcement or your birth options, please contact your community team, the numbers for the teams should be on your maternity record or you can follow this link for contact details for each community midwife team.
See below for further information and useful links.
As well as canteens and coffee shops, there are vending machines available on our sites if you need refreshments.
Please note that SBUHB supports a zero tolerance stance for any abusive behaviour towards staff due to variances in visiting guidance for different patient groups.
Expecting the pitter patter of tiny feet? Congratulations!
You are embarking on one of life's great journeys. But while this can be a wonderful time, it is natural to feel some worry and uncertainty about what's to come.
Here at Swansea Bay University Health Board we will give you the information and support you need to make the right decision about where you choose to give birth.
We know that where and how you give birth can have a huge effect on you mentally and physically. If you feel safe and calm this will release hormones which will help your labour progress and provide powerful pain relief.
The time after birth is also crucial to your welfare and your baby's.
Our midwife-led birth centres provide a home-from-home environment which allows you and, if you wish, your partner to enjoy those first precious moments with your new baby safe in the knowledge that our staff are on hand to provide support. We even have double beds and encourage partners to stay.
However, you may wish to give birth at home and we can support this.
Equally, if you or baby need extra clinical support, we have an obstetric unit at Singleton Hospital which is staffed by doctors and midwives.
See below for more information.