Equipment donated to make monitoring more comfortable for women in labour

Women in labour at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) can now benefit from a new piece of donated equipment which makes monitoring their babies more comfortable.

The Norfolk branch of Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, has donated a wireless fetal monitor which is used to monitor babies heart beats when ‘high risk’ women are in labour. The monitor, which costs £5,000 was purchased with funds raised by Hannah Ryan, Sands committee member, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro last year after being helped by the charity after the loss of her baby daughter.

Women in labour who are classed as ‘high risk’ would normally need to be attached to a monitor whilst in bed, which restricts their movement. The wireless fetal monitors allow these women to move around the room more freely, helping relieve discomfort and giving them a more optimum chance of achieving a normal birth, while midwives and doctors can still check that the baby is not in distress.

Glynis Moore, Head of Midwifery at NNUH, said: “We’re so grateful for this monitor – it’s a considerable donation and will make a real difference to women in labour. It will allow them to keep as comfortable as possible and help to improve their birthing experience.”

The monitor was presented to Vicky Barker, Delivery Suite co-ordinator and Tracy Barker, Delivery Suite Matron on 25th July by Miranda Rowlands, Chair of Norfolk Sands.

Miranda Rowlands, Chair of Norfolk Sands, said: “Norfolk Sands is delighted to be handing over this vital piece of equipment today, which could save babies lives by giving health professionals early warning of any problems during labour. At the same time, it will give reassurance to the parents, especially if they have been unfortunate enough to experience the death of a baby previously. I would like to thank all of our supporters, and in particular, Hannah, whose tireless efforts have raised much of the money that has made today's presentation possible.”

Notes for editors

1. 'High risk’ labour include: VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean section), medical induction of labour, obesity and women requiring syntocinon to augment labour.

2. Money raised from Sands fundraising events helps to cover the cost of the support services provided, including telephone support and group meetings, as well as funding several annual memorial services. In addition, Sands provides memory boxes which are given to bereaved families at the hospital.

3. Norfolk Sands is looking to expand to be able to help more bereaved families. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Miranda Rowlands by emailing

4. In the United Kingdom, 17 babies die every day, either through stillbirth or neonatal death. This figure has remained almost unchanged for the past 10 years.

Monday 29th of July 2013 09:00:57 AM