MORE women will be able to experience water births at Colchester General Hospital after nearly £50,000 was secured to improve the maternity department.

Three new birthing pools will be amongst the improvements funded by a £47,942 grant from the Department of Health’s improving maternity care settings fund.

Dymphna Sexton-Bradshaw, the trust’s head of midwifery, said women attending antenatal classes were asked for their views before the Trust submitted its application.

She said: “Apart from birth pools, soft lighting was also very popular.

“Women and their birthing partners told us they found it very relaxing.

“That is why our bid included money for five laser projectors that can project calming images, such as twinkling stars, onto the ceilings of birthing rooms.

“Other items we successfully applied for include redecoration of the environment which includes wallpaper which depicts relaxing scenes, and comfortable chairs for partners.”