A new £318,000 home-to-home birthing centre at Epsom Hospital welcomed its first baby on the day it opened.

The centre, complete with birthing pools and en-suite bathrooms, has been designed so women who have had problem-free pregnancies can give birth naturally in a more relaxing environment, supported by midwives. 

It contains three separate rooms, two birthing pools, a communal kitchen, specially-made beanbag sofas and reclining chairs.

On its opening day last Monday, March 17, Phillipa Edwards gave birth to baby Olive Ruddy in one of the brand new pools at 4.23pm, helped by lead midwife Katie Hamilton and birth centre manager and lead midwife Denise Dinsdale.

Ms Edwards, from Epsom, said: "The birth centre is a very welcoming and reassuring place to be, and I loved the non-interfering but well-supported care I received in my labour and birth. 

"I would definitely recommend others to come and deliver their baby here."

Head of Midwifery Sally Sivas added: "This new birth centre is a huge boost to our trust and to the people of Epsom who are thinking of starting a family or adding to their brood.

"We are delighted to build upon the success of the birth centre at St Helier. 

"By opening our new and lovely midwife-led unit at Epsom we are increasing the choices for women on where and how they give birth."