Midwives and other staff at a Northumberland hospital maternity unit are currently in the midst of a baby boom.
Although unusually, this boom involves themselves, as seven midwives, a consultant and a secretary at Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington are pregnant or have recently given birth.
Most of them will give birth at their workplace, and many have already visited the unit in a personal capacity.
Head of midwifery at Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust, Janice McNichol, said: “Given the nature of our workforce it’s not uncommon to have one or two of our staff who have just given birth or are pregnant at the same time, however to have so many at once is somewhat unusual.
“It’s great that the majority of them are having their babies with us and that is because they have total confidence in the skills of their colleagues and know they will receive the highest quality of care.”
Midwives Amanda Johnson, Suzanne Whittaker and Sarah Scott gave birth recently, but Jenny Gregory, Laura Radford, Louise Slater and Paula Hawkin, consultant Elaine Simpson and secretary Joanne Linley are expecting to give birth in the summer.
Eleven weeks ago, Mrs Johnson’s best friend delivered her baby, named Haydon, at the unit.
Mrs Johnson, 38, said: “I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else to give birth. I know everyone there and I knew that I would be well looked after.”
A spokesperson for the trust said service levels would not be affected and that plans have already been made to cover the staff’s maternity leave.