From the blog

UK: First Support Dog Allowed On Labour Ward To Support Owner

A two -year-old trained assistance dog is believed to be the first dog to be allowed into a hospital’s labour ward to support her owner during her childbirth labour at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Belle, accompanied 33-year-old Amee Tomkin through fertility treatment, as well as scans and midwife appointments throughout her pregnancy.

The dog was so perfectly behaved that Milton Keynes University Hospital, Bucks, allowed her to support nervous Amee on the maternity ward before she had a caesarean section in April.

Following the suggestion by a midwife, that Belle should be allowed onto the ward after seeing how beneficial the dog was for her owner during her pregnancy.

Ms Tompkinstold BBC radio that Belle had to pass a risk assessment that ensured she could cope with the busy ward and how she reacted to her owner being in pain.

“She just passed it all, they were amazed by her,” she said.

The hospital’s infection control team put extra cleaning measures in place and precautions were taken to maintain the safety of everyone on the ward and in the hospital.

When Belle detects her owner is stressed or in pain, she lays beside her to give the support needed.

“She gave me something else to focus on when everything else was happening around me.”