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NHS Highland welcomes first baby to be born in Wick's new midwifery unit

By Jean Gunn

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Baby Pippa with mum Adele, dad James and big brother William.
Baby Pippa with mum Adele, dad James and big brother William.

Christmas saw a special delivery at the new Community Midwifery Unit at Caithness General Hospital with the arrival of – Pippa Morgan Lynch –the first baby to be born there since the opening.

Pippa, weighing in at 7lb 4oz, was born on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, and is the second child for Adele and James Lynch, who live in Thurso.

NHS Highland's deputy director of midwifery Mary Burnside said: "We're very pleased with our new unit at Caithness General and just delighted that we were able to welcome the first baby born in the unit since it opened. Huge congratulations to the family on their new arrival."

Mum Adele (31), who works in the pension office for Equiniti as well as supplying cakes to Johnstons of Thurso as Adelie Bakes, started having contractions about six o'clock in the morning and arrived at the midwifery unit in Wick around 11am.

She was taken into the new labour, delivery, postnatal and recovery (LDPR) room where everything had been prepared for her. "They had the room all calm and lovely," said Adele. "It was as nice as it could be, being in labour."

As it was her second child Adele knew she would have the chance to have her baby at the unit, which opened at the hospital in Wick last October, as long as her blood pressure was fine. She had discussed her birthing plans with her midwife.

"I never thought I would be the first one to use it," she said. "They said 'you could be the first' – both of us thought surely not as I was not due until the end of December. When they said we were the first we were very surprised."

Adele had chosen to use the new birthing bath complete with ambient lighting in the delivery suite and the couple's own selection of music playing. "It was really lovely when I walked in, the room was very calming – the midwives were amazing and they made us feel very comfortable and relaxed."

She explained that the birth did not actually occur in the bath as just before everything happened she had got out to allow checks to be made on her progress.

William enjoying Christmas with baby sister Pippa and the family pets – Norman, the dachshund and Nova the pointer.
William enjoying Christmas with baby sister Pippa and the family pets – Norman, the dachshund and Nova the pointer.

Pippa was born at 2.50pm and the family were home by 7pm that evening and able to introduce William, now three-years-old, to his baby sister before bed. "William is very delighted with her," said Adele. "He seems quite pleased and is enjoying his new role as a big brother."

Adele's due date was December 23, so Pippa arrived just one day early. "We honestly thought baby was going to arrive on Christmas Day," said mum.

She said it was a completely different experience to her first delivery when she had been in labour for a long time and had to go down in an ambulance to Raigmore late one night back at the beginning of January 2019, around the time of a big storm which had brought trees down.

Adele said it made a big difference not having to make the lengthy journey down the road to Inverness for the birth this time.

The couple have been in Caithness five years, moving up from Essex when James (34) got a job at Dounreay, he is now an independent radiation protection adviser.

Meanwhile Pippa is dong very well and settling in to a nice routine at home.

Related article: Local mums set to benefit from new Community Midwifery Unit at Caithness General

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