THE wonders of becoming a dad are set to become even more significant for proud fathers in the Hartlepool and East Durham area.
The birthing centre at the University Hospital of Hartlepool has launched a new scheme where dads can spend the first night with their newborn.
Mum Courtney Hall, 23 and her partner Tom Collins, 21 have become the first couple to benefit from the overnight facilities.
First-time mum Courtney, from the Throston area of Hartlepool, gave birth to her beautiful daughter Tilly Grace on October 24.
She weighed in at a healthy 7lb 6oz.
Courtney said: “I really wanted to have my baby at the birthing centre, not only because it is local, but because the facilities are fantastic.
“I feel really lucky to have had such a good experience and being able to spend the first night here together made the whole experience really special.
“Giving birth here was fantastic. The staff are lovely. They are really supportive and the atmosphere is really relaxing. I’d highly recommend it to anyone.”
Partner Tom, who works at Wilton Engineering said: “I was surprised to hear that I could stay with Courtney and Tilly for the night.
“It meant that Tilly could hear my voice from day one. It was a chance for us both to ask questions, get advice and for me to support Courtney.”
Midwife Anita Scott said: “It is excellent news for parents that we can offer this facility for the first night. Dads who stay overnight can spend precious time bonding with their baby and support mum.
“Mums like Courtney really appreciate the support of their partner and this can make all the difference.
“We have two sofa beds within the rooms, so when it’s possible we’re giving dads the option to stay.”
Delivery suite manager Judith Lambert said: “We are extremely proud of the staff and facilities we have here at the birthing centre.
“This new initiative is unique to the birthing centre in Hartlepool.
“We’ve seen almost 1,500 births over the last four and a half years here and we’re continuing to receive fantastic reviews from new parents.”
The midwife-led centre provides a relaxed home from home environment with support from midwifery assistants.
The midwives provide a wide range of choice of delivery for women with uncomplicated and low risk pregnancies.
These are women who are fit and healthy and do not have a history of any health problems.
Women can speak to their community midwife if they’re interested in coming to the centre, which has four delivery rooms – one with a birthing pool and another with a range of special birthing equipment - which allows women to stay upright and supported during labour.
People are choosing to come to the birthing centre from Hartlepool, Stockton, areas of Durham and further afield.