Mater midwifery unit sets delivery record with more than 300 babies in one year
More than 300 babies were delivered at the Midwifery Led Unit (MLU) in Belfast's Mater Hospital for the first time last year - a 13% increase.
The Belfast Health Trust said the 303 babies delivered last year is "a continuation of an upward trend in the number of births at the unit as more women choose midwifery-led care during labour".
The unit opened in 2013 and has increased the number of births in four of the past five years, with the total number of deliveries thus far at 1,298.
The MLU has a number of delivery rooms with en-suite facilities and birthing pools as well as access to reflexology and hypno-birthing services. It has facilities for partners to stay throughout labour to make mother and baby as comfortable as possible.
Expectant parents wishing to use the service are asked to self-refer online and can arrange a tour of the unit before making a decision.
Jasmine Callow, midwife sister at the MLU, said: "Exceeding 300 births in one year is an excellent achievement for a stand-alone unit and we are exceptionally proud of our staff for making this possible."