GRATEFUL parents have said a Christmas thank you to the dedicated team who helped them become mums and dads.
The birthing centre at the University Hospital of Hartlepool held a Christmas party to welcome back the parents of some of the near 1,500 children born there.
Mince pies, snacks and festive music greeted families as they enjoyed three hours of fun at the centre which first opened in 2008.
Among them was Mikeila Patterson, 30, from Saltaire Terrace, in Greatham, whose son Jacob Knight, aged seven months, was born at the centre, weighing 7lb 13ozs on May 14 this year.
She delivered Jacob just 15 minutes after arriving in the delivery suite.
Mikeila, who is also mum to 10-year-old Jessica Patterson, said: “I was the only expectant mum in the centre at the time but I never felt alone. The staff were brilliant.”
The mum-of-two, whose partner Martin Knight, 30, works as a door salesman, added: “I have nothing but praise for the people here.”
There to help the parents celebrate the season were staff including birthing centre and delivery suite manager Judith Lambert, midwife Tricia Waller and healthcare assistant Carol Whitworth who helped to deliver Jacob.
Carol, who has worked at the hospital for 17 years, said: “I love the job. It is lovely, especially here as this place is so relaxing.
“When you see the mums and dads faces after they have had their baby, that’s lovely. They are so overjoyed.”
Judith said: “This place has a lovely homely feel to it.”
The birthing centre proves a wide range of choice of delivery for women with uncomplicated and low risk pregnancies who do not have a history of problems and are fit and healthy.