Midwives’ massages to raise cash for Sheffield birthing pool appeal

Melinda Pagden who is offering staff massages for donations

Two midwives who have supported hundreds of women with their labour and births have been offering relaxing massages to staff in a bid to raise money for a major Sheffield Hospitals Charity appeal.

Natalie Khoaz and Melinda Pagden have turned their talent to massage into generating donations for the charity’s Birthpool Appeal, which aims to raise £300,000 to fund the development of three new birthing pool suites for the Midwife Led Unit at the Jessop Wing.

Aromatherapy, reflexology and shiatsu massage have been offered to staff out of their working hours, raising £250 so far- and now the duo are considering opening the fundraising Trust wide.

Natalie said: “Being a midwife is a pressured job, so Melinda and I thought it would be a nice idea to combine our love for massage and the relaxation benefits it brings with fundraising for the Birthpool Appeal.

“I started with an interest in massage when I was studying for my Midwifery degree. For my dissertation I researched acupuncture and its uses in pregnancy and came across acupressure and shiatsu through my reading.

“After seeing some women use massage to great effect in labour I decided to do some training in shiatsu and wanted to add to my skills and realised through the training how relaxing and beneficial shiatsu is for everyone, regardless of pregnancy.”

The use of water in labour is one of the simplest forms of pain relief. It has no side effects and can reduce the length of labour and the need for other pain relieving drugs. It also helps women feel more comfortable as their body weight is supported and they feel secure in their own cocoon of warm water.

Sheffield Hospitals Charity has kicked off the Birthing Pool appeal in conjunction with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, in response to a growing number of mums-to-be who are choosing water as their primary pain relief when giving birth.

The refurbished rooms will be made complete with fully accessible ergonomic pools, sympathetic décor and dimmable LED lighting to help give parents the most relaxing experience possible.

The Sheffield Hospitals Charity appeal represents the start of a bigger project to enhance the Jessop Wing, by supporting areas that are beyond the scope of existing NHS funding.

To donate to the Jessop Wing Appeal, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/jessopsappeal or Text ‘Jessops1’ to 70660 to donate £3.

To find out more about fundraising for the appeal, please email charity@shct.nhs.uk or phone 0114 226 7351.

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