Published on: 13 November 2019

The midwifery-led birthing centre at South Tyneside District Hospital has celebrated its 50th birth since opening in the summer.
Grace Tracey Duke was born at 8.41pm on Saturday, November 2nd, weighing 6lb 3oz. She is the first child for Chelsea Duke, 18, of Whitburn, and her partner, Cameron, 19.

Delighted Chelsea, who had a water birth, said: “It was a really calm experience and the staff were lovely. Cameron was there and he also thought it was fantastic. Grace is doing great and we’re over the moon.”
Jacqui Ramshaw, midwife and manager of the centre, said: "We're thrilled to have had our 50th birth in our new centre and wish Chelsea, Cameron and Grace all the very best for the future. 

“The feedback we’re getting from our new parents is overwhelmingly positive; they say they love the relaxing environment and appreciate the support and care of our midwifery team. Water births are proving particularly popular, with our number currently running at around three times the national average.”

The opening of the midwifery-led birthing centre in August has meant more choice on where to give birth for local women across South Tyneside and Sunderland.
Women who have a low-risk pregnancy which is problem-free have the option of:

  • Giving birth at the midwifery-led birthing centre at South Tyneside District Hospital
  • Giving birth under midwifery-led care at Sunderland Royal Hospital, which is within the consultant-led maternity unit
  • Giving birth at another maternity unit of their choice in the region
  • Giving birth at home

Women who have a high risk pregnancy, for example, if they are expecting twins, if their baby is in the breech position, or if they have experienced complications in this or a previous pregnancy, are advised to give birth in the consultant-led unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital. The majority of all antenatal and postnatal care continues to be provided locally.

Sheila Ford, Head of Midwifery for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very proud of our maternity team at Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital who provide high quality, compassionate care for women and their families. Our aim in opening the new midwifery-led birthing centre was to build upon a much valued service by offering more choice on where to give birth.”

To arrange a visit to the midwifery-led birthing centre at South Tyneside District Hospital, contact 0191 4041033, or you can drop in, although it’s best to ring this number first to check how busy it is.