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Rural birthing centres wanted

Wednesday, 2nd October, 2019 4:43pm

A call has been made for birthing centres to be set up in rural Cork so that women don’t have to give birth on the side of the road.

Evie Nevin, with the Social Democrats’ Party and unsuccessful 2019 local election candidate, made the call on Wednesday saying that there needs to be a birthing centre in West Cork for low risk pregnancies.

The Clonakilty mother of two said: “We have seen a number of cases over the years where people have had to give birth at the side of the road. I often think about pregnant people living on the islands and further down West Cork when they go in to labour. Many people have had to move off the islands because of the lack of healthcare facilities. I think that's quite sad because some may have dreamed of starting their families on the islands.”

Ms Nevin added that a birthing centre would take the strain off understaffed and overcrowded hospitals and create jobs. She said more and more couples are moving further from the city because of rent prices or because they want to raise their family in West Cork.

Ms Nevin continued: “I know we have outpatient maternity services in Bantry Hospital but you can't give birth there. We definitely also need something to facilitate different types of birth and labour. In addition to facilitating labour and birth, these centres could also facilitate proper breastfeeding support, as it is abysmal at the moment here in Ireland.”

She also said that many areas of rural Ireland are struggling and there needs to be support in communities with adequate healthcare and social supports.

“With the Eighth Amendment removed, there needs to be more options available for people in how and where they want to give birth,” she added.

Ms Nevin concluded: “I know from my own experiences, giving birth in (a hospital) I felt like a piece of meat. It was like being on a conveyor belt, being rushed and your body being put under pressure if you're not progressing fast enough.”

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