CELEBRATIONS were held at Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s Meadow Birth Centre as the venue welcomed back mums and babies for a special birthday party.
Since opening on April 14 last year, more than 650 babies have been born, surpassing the target of 500 and to celebrate, staff and families were invited back for tea and cake.
Officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal, the homely, midwife-led centre offers a comfortable environment for low-risk pregnancies with four en-suite delivery rooms and three birthing pools available.
The first baby to be born at the unit at 8.51am, Oscar Andrews and his family were welcomed back to celebrate the one-year anniversary and his first birthday.
Presented with gifts and a birthday cake, the day came as quite a surprise for parents Claire and Oliver.
She said: “We weren’t expecting anything like this today, it is amazing that they would get a present for Oscar and his brother Philip. Oscar is like a little celebrity.
“When Oscar was born, the birth centre was brilliant. We arrived five minutes after it opened and you couldn’t tell because they were all so prepared and ready. It was so relaxing and quiet, it’s just what you want.”
Marisa Roberson, from Bromsgrove, was the first Worcestershire Royal member of staff to give birth at the centre and welcomed her daughter Frankie in June.
“Frankie was the 91st baby born at the centre, so she was quite an early one.
“My experience was so relaxed, I can’t fault them at all. At first I didn’t know what to expect but now I want to give birth again.
“I have recommended the centre to everyone. The staff maintained my dignity all the way through and I wasn’t treated differently as a member of staff.
“It is such a calming and nice atmosphere and I wasn’t stressed. People need to know it is here.”
The popular centre is now welcoming mums having their second child and staff are aiming for more than 800 births next year.
Meadow Birth Centre midwife team leader, Louise Turbutt, said: “The success has been a team effort. I can’t describe the elation we all feel. To see the women and their families is the most amazing feeling.
“The midwives and support workers are all absolutely dedicated and even offer massage and aromatherapy, we go above and beyond.
“Water births have increased by 75 per cent as well. The ambiance is relaxing with lights and low music, a lot of women describe it as being like a spa treatment,” she added.
“All the staff are driven to deliver the perfect birth for our low-risk mothers. I want to thank everyone who has supported us on our journey, the mothers and staff from the multi-professional team.”
“Today is a big celebration for us,” she added.