Darley Dale birth unit should be saved

I write this letter as my wife is upstairs feeding our daughter. Georgina is our first child and neither Michelle nor myself have had any experience with newborn babies.

I must stress to you the superb level of support and encouragement we both received whilst Michelle was at Darley Birth Centre. Michelle was unable to give birth at Darley, though this would have been our first choice. She did, however, transfer from Chesterfield Royal the morning following her delivery.

For the four days following Georgina’s birth, the midwives and support staff helped enormously. This included advice and encouragement with breast feeding which can be difficult and very frustrating in the early days. I am glad to say that their perseverance has paid off.

It is a daunting prospect for new parents to be presented with a newborn within hours of delivery. The gently introduction to feeding, washing, health and general maternal support has helped us enormously.

It would be a real shame if this fantastic facility falls victim to NHS cuts. If anything, more new parents should be able to access the help and support such small midwifery led units can provide.

The support throughout our pregnancy has been excellent, our community midwife Julie, continues to be a friendly and knowledgeable visitor. All the staff at the Royal were equally supportive and reassuring during delivery. It was, however, the time invested in mother and baby by the ladies at Darley which has helped us the most. No number of books or leaflets can compare with a patient midwife’s support.

I trust this letter will join the many others in support of Darley Birth Centre.

Richard Sherwood