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Birth at Home

18th May 2022

Pictured at the Southern Trust Waterbirth conference this week are: Paula Boyle, Lead Midwife for Community and guest speaker Dianne Garland with staff midwives Derval Tinnelly, Helen Killen, Sarah McFarland, Michelle O’Hagan, Oonagh Kelly, Louise O’Callaghan, Jennifer Molloy.

 Mums-to-be from across the Southern area who want to birth their baby at home will now be supported by a new team, if suitable.

The new ‘Birth at Home’ team has been set up by the Southern Trust to support women who opt to have their baby in their own surroundings.

Since they started in November 2021, the team of dedicated birth at home midwives have worked with community colleagues to birth 13 babies at home with more planned in the coming months.

The service was officially launched at a Waterbirth conference hosted by the Trust this week.  Waterbirth is available to support women with pain relief during labour at both Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area hospitals and by the Birth at Home team. International Waterbirth specialist Dianne Garland shared her expertise and knowledge with midwives from across all services with an interest in upskilling in this area.

The new team is managed by Paula Murray who returned to take up this post after many years of experience with Birth at Home in Scotland.

Paula Boyle Lead Midwife for Community explains: “Whilst regrettably like many other services, our home birthing service was suspended due to the pandemic, with increasing requests, we were keen to modernise and re-establish this option for local women.

“We were absolutely delighted to offer specialist training to our community team and upgrade our equipment so that those women who choose to birth their babies in the familiarity of their own home, can receive a much improved service.”

Congratulating the new team, Caroline Keown, Assistant Director for Integrated Maternity and Women’s Health adds: “This is a very exciting time for maternity services in the Southern area as we can now offer a much broader range of options for women, depending on their clinical needs.

“Both Daisy Hill and Craigavon hospitals have dedicated Midwifery Led Units, for those women who can safely choose to birth in a more home-from-home environment, where natural labour is promoted.

“Those with higher risk pregnancies, who may need medical intervention, will be referred to a Consultant Obstetrician who will lead on their care.

“Whatever your needs, our amazing midwifery and obstetric teams will support and advise you to ensure the safest care for you and your baby.”

To find out more, expectant mothers interested in birthing at home can Email:  or discuss with your midwife as early as you can in your pregnancy.


Pictured at the Southern Trust Waterbirth conference are Caroline Keown, Assistant Director for Integrated Maternity and Women’s Health, guest speaker, Dianne Garland, Wendy Clarke, Head of Midwifery and Gynaecology, Paula Boyle, Lead Midwife for Community with staff midwives, Maria Garvey, Andrea Prichard, Lorraine McKeown, Sadie Porter, Dianne Garland, Grainne Murphy and Paula Murray.

The new dedicated Southern Trust Birth at Home Team:  Paula Murray, Sadie Porter and Andrea Prichard (Amanda Dharmaratne, missing from the photo).