MIDWIVES were joined by the mums they have helped to mark one year since the first baby was born at the Seacombe Birth Unit.

A pilot scheme based at Seacombe Children's Centre, the unit was the first of its kind to launch in a community setting where other services are available to give ongoing support to families before and after their baby arrives.

Harley Goulding-Bioletti was the first baby to be born at the unit and was the special guest at a tea party, where he was reunited with the midwife who helped bring him into the world.

Proud mum Stacy said: “Harley was born here a year ago so it’s nice to be back again to join the celebrations on his first birthday.

"I had always dreamt of having a water birth and when I met the Highfield Midwives, they were so welcoming and reassuring.

"The care I received was amazing and I would 100% recommend the birth centre.”

Highfield Midwives are part of Wirral University Teaching Hospital's (WUTH) community midwifery team.

Wirral Globe:

The Highfield Midwives with some of the babies that they have delivered

Over the last 12 months the team has helped deliver 66 babies and since the unit was introduced five times more women have chosen to give birth in a community setting.

Divisional director of nursing and midwifery, Debbie Edwards told the Globe: “It’s great to see so many people celebrating this ground-breaking year for maternity care in Wirral.

"This facility is a fantastic example of how we are working collaboratively with the local authority and how we are giving women more choice about where they give birth.

"The Highfield Midwives get to know their women very well, which helps them to build trust and better understand their needs.

"This approach has informed our plans for other areas of maternity care and I’m very proud of our staff and the progress we are making.”

The Highfield Midwives were part of a local response to recommendations made by the 2016 National Maternity Review, ‘Better Births’.

Soon WUTH will implement similar models for other areas of maternity care, such as elective caesareans and other hospital births.

Catherine McClennan, programme director for the Improving Me Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services Partnership said: “I am so proud of the Highfield Midwives for the care they have provided in the Seacombe Birth Centre and in the local community.

"A year ago we had a great event to celebrate the opening of the centre and to be celebrating 66 births is incredible.

"This model of care is a clearly what women and families want and I am really grateful for the Support from WUTH, Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group and Wirral Council.

"I would like to thank for the local community for embracing this opportunity to work together with our health care teams to improve maternity care and ensure that Seacombe is here to stay.’’