The Christmas and new year period was extra joyous for those in the Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit at Stevenage's Lister Hospital, as new life was welcomed into the world.

More than 4,500 babies are born at Lister Hospital every year, of which 91 were born between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day in 2023.

Ten babies were born on Christmas Eve, nine on Christmas Day, 13 on Boxing Day and eight on New Year’s Day.

Maddy and Aaron's third baby, Lexie, was born in the maternity-led unit (MLU) at 8.05am on Christmas Day.

They said: "The care and support we received on MLU was fantastic. We felt well-supported, the environment – and birthing pool experience – felt calm and safe, and we were home in time to enjoy Christmas dinner with our family."

Babies born over Christmas were gifted festive baby hats, and the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity donated an additional 60 gifts to families in the maternity unit during the festive period.

Amanda Rowley, director of midwifery, said: "It fills me with pride to see our maternity unit support thousands of women and birthing people each year, as they welcome new life to the world, and it is a joy for our wonderful midwives and maternity teams working over Christmas to celebrate those born during such a special time of year.

"On behalf of all of the maternity team at Lister Hospital, we would like to wish the families of those born in our services the very best, and I would like to thank our wonderful colleagues who worked over the Christmas and new year period – and throughout the year – to look after the families in our care."

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership also took part in Christmas celebrations, working alongside volunteers from Inner Wheel in Great Britain and Ireland to donate more than 100 gifts to staff on antenatal and postnatal wards, to show their appreciation for the support provided to women and birthing people during 2023.