A CHARITY campaign to raise £20,000 for Noble’s Hospital’s maternity unit will be launched next week.
With Women Worldwide is spearheading The Jane’s Big Push to improve the unit’s environment for the benefit of all women who go there to give birth.
The Manx Independent is backing the campaign, which will be launched at the Strand Shopping Centre, in Douglas, on Saturday next week (March 2).
With Women Worldwide secretary Anne Graham said: ‘Our aim is to raise £20,000 which will hopefully be enough for the midwives working in the unit to refurbish two rooms on the labour ward into a home-from-home birthing room which will provide a much more relaxed and low-tech environment for the women on the island to birth in.
‘Some of the funds may also be used for the ongoing educational update of the midwives.’
She said that providing this type of environment means that all women will benefit in some way, saying: ‘Women’s needs are changing and we must change with them.’
Melanie Capewell, a midwife at the unit, said staff had been looking at ways to improve women’s childbirth experience in the Isle of Man.
‘Hospitals tend to be an alienating environment for most women and can contribute to feelings of loss of control, anxiety and disempowerment.’
She said the work would ‘allow women more choice and consequently a more satisfying birth experience’, adding: ‘Research from the NCT [National Childbirth Trust] and RCM [Royal College of Midwives] has shown that a non-labour ward environment can provide a more calming and relaxing environment for women to birth in, enabling a more positive and enjoyable experience.’
The launch event takes place at the Strand Shopping Centre from 10am, where there will be leaflets and information on display.
There will also be cakes, face painting, balloons and colouring for the children to enjoy.
People can also sign up to become a friend of ‘The Jane’s Big Push’ on the day.
Melanie said: ‘We will be encouraging women to give us their ideas and wishes of what they would like to see in these rooms and how they would like the rooms to be.
‘Please come down and support our venture.’
The launch will be the first in a nine-month programme of events – the length of a pregnancy.
An event will be held each month, ranging from cake-selling to a black tie ball in May at the Mount Murray Hotel and Country Club in Santon.
It is hoped that residents will give the campaign their support too by getting together and holding their own events to raise money towards reaching the £20,000 target – or more.
The charity With Women Worldwide was set up in 2009 and one of its aims is to benefit women and children in the Isle of Man and elsewhere. There are between four and five members at any one time and they spend the year organising events and raising money.
At the end of the year they then give the money away to various causes.
Any donations can be made to With Women Worldwide and sent to The Secretary, Anne Graham, 10 Lezayre Park, Ramsey, Isle of Man, IM8 2PU.
For further information about the campaign contact Anne Graham on 491370, Dianne Rubery on 436036 or Jane Shutt on 317237.