Fifteen maternity ward staff have babies in the space of a year

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Media captionEleven Ipswich Hospital midwives and six support staff have been pregnant this year

Midwives at a Suffolk hospital have gone from delivering babies to having their own - with 15 giving birth in the last nine months and two more due.

It started in February when Ipswich Hospital midwife Adele Catling gave birth to Seth.

During the summer five babies were born within 10 days.

Midwife Sarah Goddard, who gave birth to Arthur eight months ago, said a myth had spread that a "blue chair" on the ward was to blame.

"We must have all sat on it," the 35-year-old said.

Ms Goddard was the third member of staff to give birth this year.

"Then more and more kept coming," she said. "We like to practice what we preach."

Christine Colbourne, head of midwifery, said she qualified as a midwife in 1982 and although she had seen "flurries" of births since she had never known such a run.

"It's been a constant stream of people coming to tell us that they were pregnant," she said.

"Fortunately we're going through a bit of a lull now."

Image caption Five of the babies were born in the space of 10 days

Ms Colbourne said it had been a "really exciting" time, but admitted that the absences had taken their toll.

"Having so many off at one time does have an impact on resources and it has been a struggle, but we manage," she said.

The hospital employs 157 midwives and 42 midwifery staff.

Midwife Victoria Gosnay, 31, said it was a special feeling having her colleagues deliver her baby, Oscar, six months ago.

"It's been good to see things from the other side of the fence," she said.

"It's become a running joke - who is going to be pregnant next."

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