Mums’ experiences of much-loved birth unit

Mums have been pledging their support for Darley Birth Centre – and shared their experiences of the much-loved facility.

NHS chiefs revealed they will be carrying out a review into the future of the midwife-led centre in Darley Dale in an attempt to save money.

The Mercury has launched a Don’t Ditch Darley campaign to try and safeguard the future of the centre and we are calling on our readers to get involved by signing our petition (below).

Lynn Allison, of Bonsall, was the first woman to book a ‘home from home’ birth at Darley and her daughter Grace Day, is 18 this year.

She said: “When I heard Darley was under threat I rolled my eyes and thought ‘here we go again’. It has been an on and off story since I moved here 20 years ago.

“It’s a good facility and it’s what women want. I’m a great believer in choice and by law woman should have the chance to choose where they give birth.

“If women don’t want to go in to a big hospital or have a home birth this is offering something in between.”

She added: “When I moved to the area in 1991 I didn’t know any doctors but I knew I wanted to have a home birth.

“I heard about the centre, went along and talked to one of the midwives and it seemed perfect.

“I felt they were hugely accommodating to somebody who didn’t know any GPs. It was small and friendly and a perfect solution for me. I also really liked that it was midwife led. It was as if someone had tailor-made it for me.”

Lynn was also the first woman to book at Darley for the second time, her daughter Aliza is now 16, and she was also the first member of the public to sit on the centre’s steering committee.

International beauty queen and model Hannah McCuaig, also contacted the Mercury this week to pledge her support for our Don’t Ditch Darley campaign.

The former Anthony Gell School pupil, who has been named Miss Great Britain 2004, Miss UK Earth 2004, Miss England Intercontinental 2005 and Mrs Commonwealth International 2010, received after care at Darley Birth Centre.

The glamourous mum hopes to help promote the unit.

She said: “After a horrendous 24 hours in what was the new City Hospital, I was transferred to the Darley Birth Centre for my after care.

“The care and support I received was unparalleled and the staff were incredibly caring.

“It was a quiet, safe and relaxed environment, and a stark contrast to the busy, over-worked nurses who I felt guilty for asking for help.”

She added: “To lose Darley would be a tragedy and I am sure would affect many women and their babies across Derbyshire.”