THE rebirth of the Hampshire Hospitals Maternity Centre in Andover this September has seen 21 babies bouncing into the wards.

The centre, formerly known as Andover Birth Centre, was relaunched with the introduction of the Domino system of births.

Mums to-be are assessed at home in labour and then move to the birth centre for delivery before going back home in the care of the community midwives, within four hours of giving birth.

The first mother to have a baby at the centre was Zoe Swetmore from Artists Way.

Zoe had already given birth to her first child Emily Jade at the centre three-and-a-half years ago.

“Emily came very quickly, I was 20 minutes in before I realised I was in labour, and I was only here for 15 minutes before she was born,” she said.

“I don’t think I would have got to Winchester.”

With the birth of her son Ethan, coming up to sevenweeks- old, at the centre she admitted that she was in no doubt that she wanted to return there again.

“It was a really good experience the first time round, I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” she added.

“I would like to thank the midwives, they were amazing, even before the birth.

“Some people aren’t lucky like me, they haven’t got the support of a partner and I think if they were to have a quick labour they would have to wait for an ambulance to take them to Winchester.

“I think if they have got the facilities here they should definitely use it.”

Sister Jo Fairhurst, the midwife who helped deliver Ethan, said that the centre is here to stay, the facilities in Andover are going to be improved and it could be open 24/7.

“Watch this space,” she said.

“This is here thanks to Mary Edwards our chief executive who is very supportive of community services.

“The dream is to have a one stop shop so that communication for all the services making things so much more linear.”