The Acorn Suite is Bedford Hospital’s midwife-led birthing unit which was designed to provide women with additional birthing options.
The Acorn Suite offers women midwife led care and a natural birthing environment in a hospital setting where women can remain relaxed, upright and mobile during labour, helping them to achieve a more natural birth with the peace of mind of knowing that swift access to medical care is available if needed.
The Acorn Suite consists of two rooms and is located at the end of the Delivery Suite on the first floor of the Cygnet Wing. The suite offers low risk women midwife-led care, home-from-home surroundings, the latest birthing aids to encourage active birth, birthing pools and early discharge home following delivery.
A midwife-led unit is organised and run by midwives to look after low risk women. The ai
m is to offer ‘one to one’ care for women throughout labour, during birth and in the immediate post natal period.
The Acorn Suite is suitable for use by women who go into labour between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, are in good health, have an uncomplicated medical and obstetric history and do not wish to have an epidural during labour. The Acorn Suite is a facility which aims to support and encourage a natural physiological birth without intervention.
The Acorn Suite has two birthing rooms, both equipped with birthing pools and en suite facilities. The birthing rooms have been specifically designed to provide a relaxed, comfortable environment that will encourage and facilitate a natural birth. The emphasis of the Acorn Suite is on the use of water and mobility to cope with labour. Bean bags, cushions and floor mats will all be available in the room to help you to stay relaxed, comfortable and active during labour.
If you wish you may bring a TENS machine with you to use during early labour. Analgesia such as entonox and pethidine will be available if required. Should you feel you need an epidural your care will be transferred from the Acorn Suite to the Delivery Suite.
You and your baby
Once you have given birth, we will facilitate you and your baby’s transfer home directly from the Acorn Suite so that you can begin your life as a family. The majority of women who give birth in the Acorn Suite will go home straight from there, where they will continue to receive care and support in the days following the birth from the community midwives and maternity support workers.
If you feel you require extra support after you have given birth and feel unsure about transfer home from the Acorn Suite you can be transferred to Orchard Maternity ward.
If you are interested in using the Acorn Suite for your baby’s birth or if you have any questions, please contact your midwife.