NEW mums recovering from childbirth may soon not be able to do so in Chippenham as post-natal beds are put under threat.

Concerns that Chippenham will lose the service for new mums has been raised by councillors who want to see post-natal beds kept running in the town.

A consultation into maternity services in Wiltshire and BaNES proposes that Chippenham birthing unit will stop providing overnight accommodation for new mums to recover from birth.

There are currently five beds available and are used by mums who have had a Caesarian section or need support breastfeeding.

According to the consultation, 95 per cent of beds at free-stanning units are left empty as women rarely need to stay in a community hospital after giving birth.

It says closing post-natal beds means resources can be used to offer better breast-feeding support and post-natal care in the home.

A total of 89 post-natal beds at the obstetric units at Royal United Hospital, Bath, Salisbury District Hospital and Great Western Hospital, Swindon will remain in use.

Mums from a local baby and toddler group met on Friday morning and the consultation was a hot topic. Among them was Alana Neads who lives in Corsham and spent two days in the post-natal beds to recover from a Caesarian delivery of her second child.

She said: “It was very stressful in Bath but going to Chippenham really helped my recovery. I had a little one at home running around so it would have been very stressful to go home. Bath is so much more clinical.

“Chippenham had a lovely atmosphere and parking in Bath is such an issue. I spent 45 minutes in the car park trying to find a space when I went in.”

Friend Lucy Colegate added: “For my first one I had them in Bath because I was worried that if something went wrong, then I would be in hospital.

“But for my second one I wanted to go to Chippenham because it was so much more convenient, parking wasn’t an issue and Chippenham is more comfortable. In Bath you feel like you are rushed in and rushed out. In Chippenham you have time to come around and relax.”

Mums praised community midwife-led birthing centres while sharing a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Between them they have 14 children and have used both Chippenham and Bath RUH to give birth.

Tora Edmonds from Collerne said: “Even though I went in an ambulance to Bath from Chippenham twice I would rather start in Chippenham. Then the hard bit has been done in a calm setting that is comfortable and by the time it goes out of our control it doesn’t matter so much.”

Shona Hillman from Corsham said: “I don’t think an alongside unit in Bath would have the same calm atmosphere as Chippenham. There are so many people to accommodate.”

Lucy Baker of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This is all about delivering what mums want in the future. The consultation is out there, please use this opportunity to have your say. This isn’t about saving money, any resources released will go straight back into midwifery to create continuity of care.”