25 staff from same maternity unit give birth to 26 babies in one year

It looks like there could be something in the water at Darent Valley Hospital after 25 members of a maternity unit gave birth to 26 babies in just one year.

Among them were midwives and healthcare experts who united for a special photograph of the team ahead of International Day of the Midwife on Friday.

From February 2016 to April 2017 a total of 25 maternity staff gave birth to 16 girls and 10 boys – including a set of twins.

April was the busiest month for the team, with five staff members welcoming new additions to their families.

The smallest baby at birth was newborn Rosie, who weighed in at 4lb 9oz.

But Jacob – the maternity unit’s heaviest newborn – weighed at double Rosie’s weight at a bouncing 9lb 3oz.

The new arrivals have not ended for the team, with two more midwives pregnant and expecting their babies at the start of the summer.

Head of midwifery Deborah McAllion said: "The Maternity Department has seen an incredible baby boom amongst its staff and what a great idea to show off our 25 maternity staff who have had babies in the last 12 months (or soon to have their babies)! This is a great example that midwives will always practise what they preach! We are pleased and delighted to see so many of the maternity family arrive for photographs on the April 25 2017. There are also another two mums and three babies (including twins) that we would like to acknowledge."

"This idea was developed by Kelly Gray, a Delivery Suite Co-ordinator, whose baby Chloe was born on September 29 2016."

Kelly thought it was a great idea that all the midwives who have made mothers in the last year come together to celebrate their achievements.

Kelly also planned the photographic event to celebrate International Day of the Midwife. The day is when midwives across the globe are celebrating.

Since it was launched 14 years ago, IDM has been the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives.

"We are delighted that we have got so many proud mums/midwives/support workers and babies to show. Congratulations to all families! Friends, colleagues and managers look forward to seeing you all back at work very soon!"

Most of the mums gave birth in their own hospital at Darent Valley – safe in the knowledge their friends and colleagues would provide the best care possible.

Midwife Helen Jesshope chose a home birth.

She said: "I chose a homebirth because I was classed as having a low risk pregnancy and had had two births already at home. It was nice to be in our own environment and get in our own shower and bed after the birth."

"It was all calm and peaceful and I was very lucky to have my friend deliver Ruby. Of course I would support and encourage other low risk women to have a homebirth if that is their choice."

Some of the babies were born prematurely and needed additional support in the Special Care Baby Unit.

Midwife Lauren Smith said: "When our son was born at 33 weeks gestation, he needed extra support from the special care team at Darent Valley who were absolutely brilliant. They were caring, informative and empathetic. We cannot thank them enough for their support and help through that tough period."

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