The WJC Birthing Unit in Braintree has enjoyed a bumper start to 2019 with an increasing number of women choosing to give birth at the midwife-led unit.
The team have delivered 36 babies since the start of the year – 20% more than the same period in 2018 – and had a remarkable 23 births in January.
The unit, which specialises in low-risk births, has a staff of 15 midwives and seven maternity care assistants.
Several families returned to WJC to show off their new sons and daughters to staff.
Midwife Lindsay Hellier said: “We’re a really friendly and supportive team and it was great that so many of the parents came back to see us. Their children are all beautiful and everyone is doing so well.
“September is usually our busiest month after the Christmas conceptions but we’ve had a growing number of women choosing to have their babies here. It’s a really calm, relaxing atmosphere and the women really like it.
“As well as the births, we run antenatal and postnatal clinics. Even if women deliver at Broomfield Hospital, they can come back to us for their postnatal care and breastfeeding support.
“We work hard to make sure the women are seen by the same midwife or one of a small team throughout their pregnancy. There’s a real family feel about WJC and I’m very passionate about the service we offer here.”
The first baby born at WJC this year was a girl called Ember and her mum Fawn Sterry was enthusiastic about her experience: “My daughter was born on New Year’s Day. It was very personal, it was quiet and I had my own big room.
"My waters broke and five minutes later the baby came out. I was actually sad my labour was so quick – not many women say that! It was lovely.”