AIREDALE Hospital's midwifery-led maternity unit has celebrated its first birthday.

Some of the first mums to give birth at the unit were invited back to help mark the milestone.

They were joined by midwives, plus expectant mothers due to give birth in the next couple of months.

The event included talks fromJulie Hinchliffe, interim head of midwifery, student midwives and labour ward co-ordinator Sherrylynne Babolcsay, who spoke about the increased use of water in labour and birth over the past year.

Guests included Jacque Gerrard, the Royal College of Midwives director for England.

She said: “It was great to look around the facilities on offer at Airedale and to meet some of the midwives and mums.

"The emphasis on midwife-led care here fits in nicely with the Royal College of Midwives' Better Births campaign, which focuses on the promotion of normality for all women.

"Many congratulations to all the team for reaching this first milestone and long may their success in the unit continue.”

The unit – officially opened in July last year by BBC Look North weather presenter Lisa Gallagher and Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives – includes four birthing suites with private decked patio areas, en-suite wet room facilities and state-of-the-art birthing equipment. Two of the suites have large pools for water births or support during labour.