A new midwife-led maternity unit is opening at Blackpool Victoria Hospital today.
The £680,000 unit features birthing rooms with state-of-the art facilities.
The unit will run independently but is alongside the delivery suite within the hospital’s Women and Children’s Unit.
The hospital says mums can chose to either have their babies at home; in the hospital delivery suite or in the new unit which is staffed by midwives but with less medical intervention during birth.
Maternity In the North West
There's been a huge shake-up of maternity services in Greater Manchester which could be extended to other parts of the region.
A hundred million pounds has been spent on new buildings and equipment, with maternity services being concentrated on eight hospitals, with specialist staff.
Health officials say it will be safer. But the new so-called supercentres are controversial, not least.
because it's meant the closure of four local maternity units. Here's Mel Barham with the first of our special reports.