Published on: 7 August 2019

DSC_5817.JPGMidwives in South Tyneside are celebrating the arrival of the first baby born in the town’s new midwifery-led birthing centre which opened on Monday (5 August).

The centre offers mams-to-be even more choice on where to give birth and a safe alternative to giving birth in a consultant-led hospital setting or at home.

23-year-old Abi Kennedy and Jack Bickley, also 23, from Biddick Hall, welcomed their new baby daughter – still to be named – at 4.57 am on Tuesday 6 August.  Weighing 8lb 7 ounces, baby ‘no name’ is Jack and Abi’s third child and she joins brother Mason (5) and sister Miyah (2).

Midwife Michelle Becke who has worked at the maternity unit at South Tyneside District Hospital for over 20 years safely delivered the baby in the early hours and came back to visit parents Abi and Jack and their new arrival at the hospital on Tuesday morning.

Mam Abi said: “This is my third baby born at South Tyneside hospital and the new birthing centre is so much more relaxing and a very calm environment.  I was given the choice of going to Sunderland but I said I would prefer to go to Shields if I could. The midwives were fantastic and the new environment is so much nicer.”

Proud dad Jack said: “The midwives were absolutely brilliant, especially Michelle – she was an absolute diamond and I can’t speak highly enough of her.  As soon as we came in they told us I was very welcome to stay overnight and everyone was very friendly.  I would totally recommend the new birthing centre to anyone, it was a fantastic experience, the midwives couldn’t do enough for us.”

All babies born in the new midwifery-led birthing centre in South Tyneside will be given a proud to be #BornInSouthTyneside baby grow as a keepsake from the hospital.

Throughout this week midwives are offering tours of the new midwifery-led birthing centre to expectant mams and their partners between the hours of 11am and 2pm – simply ring 0191 404 1033 to book.

With en-suite birthing rooms including a large room with a birthing pool and additional postnatal rooms, the centre offers women in labour a relaxed and homely environment. Partners are able to stay overnight and one-to-one midwifery support will be provided during labour by our team of experienced midwives. 

Midwife Jacqui Ramshaw and Manager of the new midwifery-led birthing centre said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome the first arrival in our new midwifery-led birthing centre and wish Abi, Jack and their new-born daughter all the very best for the future.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to come and visit our fantastic new facility to give us a call on 0191 404 1033 to arrange a visit and discuss the choices available to them. We want to support women to achieve a safe and natural labour and birth and our new birthing centre provides a very relaxing home from home environment.”

For more information about maternity services in South Tyneside and Sunderland visit Women who have a high risk pregnancy; for example if they are expecting twins, if their baby is in the breach position, or if they have experienced complications in this or a previous pregnancy, will be advised to give birth in the Trust’s consultant-led unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital which is rated amongst the best in the NHS.