Radio DJ Fearne Cotton opens antenatal care unit 

01/07/2014 00:00 
“Midwives and babies – I love them!” Television and radio presenter Fearne Cotton was keen to talk about motherhood when she officially opened a new unit in the maternity wing at University College Hospital yesterday.

The popular presenter opened the 10-bed Antenatal Care Unit at the hospital’s Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing and chatted to midwives including Fola Ajayi who has delivered hundreds of babies during her 40-year career. Fola, who leads a team of midwives, told Fearne that she wouldn’t trade her job ‘for anything else in the world’.

Fearne, who has a 17-month-old son, said: “It’s a gorgeous, lovely unit. When you are in the late stages of pregnancy you just want to have your baby and for everything to go right. Every minute feels like an eternity – and a nice environment like this must help.”

The unit is designed to care for women admitted to hospital with pregnancy complications before they go into labour and provides a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere for those that need to be induced. Their care is overseen by consultants, registrars and midwives from the nearby labour ward.

Fearne told midwives that she admired the profession. “Giving birth to an amazing little being and giving them a cuddle is the best thing you will ever experience – and midwives are key to it all. Just talking about it is making me feel emotional!”

The maternity team at University College Hospital are delivering over 6,000 babies a year – double the number born when the EGA Wing was opened a few years ago.

On arrival at the EGA Wing, Fearne was welcomed by chief executive Sir Robert Naylor, deputy chief nurse Paul Fish and divisional clinical director Pat O’Brien.

Pat said: “This new 10-bed unit was opened in response to feedback from women who said they wanted to ensure they received the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

“As well as increasing our capacity at a time when demand for our services is increasing, it means that we can offer women calmer surroundings, away from the busy labour ward, if they need to be monitored or are medically fit but need to have their labour induced.”

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