Lauren’s Starr’s work.

Birthing women will soon be able to experience the calming comforts of a wall mural in the new birthing suites of the maternity ward at St John of God Hospital, Bendigo.

The three spacious birthing suites have been refurbished to give each suite a homely feel and include TVs, day beds for partners, comfortable furniture and spacious ensuites, with one suite fitted out with a bath for pain relief, and a wall mural.

Maternity unit manager, Mel Oliver said she was delighted to be able to offer mums peaceful and modern birthing suites.

“Over the years we have had overwhelming feedback from mums to install a bath for pain relief. We are looking forward to the birthing suites being complete,” she said.

“We really value women’s needs, particularly during the birth of a child. Women should feel comfortable, safe, and secure in the environment they are giving birth in.

“Our new suites offer not only modern comforts but a space where women don’t necessarily feel like they are in a hospital.”

The wall mural was a suggestion by the midwifery team, to help women get a sense of calm and tranquility during labour

Local photographer and artist, Lauren Starr was commissioned to create the artwork.

“The St John of God Hospital birthing suite is inspiring, I was honoured to be asked to come up with an art piece for the space.” Ms Starr said.

“I talked to many women about their birth experiences to get an idea of what picture they might want to look at while in labour,

“Hearing their birth stories was incredibly moving. Common themes that emerged were water, nature, strength, love, overcoming fear.

“I wanted to create something calm for birthing mothers to look at. The mum in the picture has laboured, and is now basking in the joy of her sweet newborn, that’s inspiring.”