First babies born at Bristol hospital in its 105-year history
THE first babies have been born at a Kingswood hospital more than 105 years after it first opened.
Stanley Rutter was the first baby born in the birth centre at Cossham Hospital a day after it opened while Freya Ware was the first girl born just days later.
Bristol's first standalone midwife-led birth centre opened on January 28 after a £19 million refurbishment of the memorial hospital, which originally opened in 1907. In the month since it opened 39 babies have been born at the centre.
The first babies were invited back to Cossham where the League of Friends presented them with Bristol Blue Glass goblets to commemorate their place in the hospital's history.
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Laura Caseley, of Brislington, liked the idea of having her first child Stanley at a birth centre because she saw it as a "nice step" between a hospital birth and a home birth.
"When I went into labour on the day it opened I thought it was meant to be," the financial adviser said.
"One of my friends told me about it because she was hoping to give birth here and when I found out I was pregnant it sounded really nice to me. One of the main things that won me over was that your partner could stay."
Her partner, Carl Rutter, 37, said: "It's really nice because I could stay in here with Laura and that is a lot more relaxing and made it better all round."
Ms Caseley, 30, said that it was "really exciting" that Stanley, who weighed 5lb 13oz when he was born, was the first baby born at Cossham.
"It is nice for him to be part of the history of the hospital."
Andrea Summers, of Bishopston, was not sure whether she would give birth to her first child Freya at Cossham or at home.
"We knew that she would be born right on the cusp of the opening and otherwise I was going to have a home birth," the chartered surveyor said.
"I can't recommend it enough really. It was very relaxed, didn't feel rushed and the facilities are fantastic."
Freya was born at 4.30am on February 3, weighing 6lb 3oz.
"The fact that my partner Michael could stay made a big difference rather than him being sent home overnight.
"And it is just lovely that she was the first girl born here, something that she will remember."
Yvonne Creed, midwife manager at the birth centre, worked at Cossham in the 80s and is delighted to be working in the hospital again now it has been given its new lease of life.
"We have had tremendous feedback, lots of lovely emails and lots of postings on the Birth Centre Bristol website just thanking us," she said.
"It is lovely to have the premises and it is nice to be able to look after uncomplicated, fit, well women in a lovely, relaxed environment. All the statistics show that if you look after suitable women in this sort of environment then the outcomes are wonderful.
"It has been really busy and we are delighted with the interest we have had not only from north Bristol women but from all around."