MUMS and midwives celebrated with NHS bosses this afternoon to mark the reopening of the midwife-led birthing centre at Wycombe Hospital.

The unit has been closed for three months due to staff shortages.

Amanda Mansfield, the consultant midwife, told the Bucks Free Press that £100,000 has been invested in the unit, while her workforce is now back in place.

And she urged women to make use of the “modern, clean and safe” unit, which bosses have warned could be closed permanently unless it delivers at least 400 births a year.

Out of 5,676 births in Buckinghamshire last year, just 250 babies were delivered at Wycombe.

Doctor-led births now take place in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, meaning only low risk midwife-led births can happen at Wycombe.

Mrs Mansfield added: “If we get the message out in the right way, to the right women, in the right place, there's no reason why we can't be more than successful.”

Several mums who had given birth in the centre before it closed were there to support the reopening.

Sarah Smith, 33, from Amersham, gave birth to son Dylan in February when the unit “still had tinges of hospital”.

She said of the refurbishment: “It's a proper birthing centre now - less scary and very welcoming.”

An antenatal teacher from the National Childbirth Trust said the “homely and calming” feel would be help the centre succeed.

Serena Spencer-Jones, who works in Marlow, said: “We try and encourage mums to have a natural birth and that's all about the environment - this is going to be a wonderful resource.”

Another mum, Lucy Zaboklicka, 30, of West Wycombe Road, said: “I came along because I really want to support the centre. We were so worried when we read in the Bucks Free Press that it was closing over the summer."

She gave birth to son Noah at the centre in June and added: “We had such an amazing experience here we just wanted to make that known.”

Fran Beattie, 29, from Prestwood, had been due to give birth to daughter Isabel at the Wycombe centre in February, but had to be transferred to Stoke Mandeville “pretty much at the last minute”.

Despite that she plans to have another baby in Wycombe in a water birth, saying the experience at the midwife unit prior to transfer was “lovely”.

Wycombe's MP Steve Baker also attended and said: “I think we should be very proud of this unit, please just help make it a success.”

A statement from Buckinghamshire NHS Healthcare Trust said: "Despite local speculation around the future of services at Wycombe Hospital, the Trust remains committed to providing the midwife-led service at the hospital and want local women expecting a normal birth to know that they have this facility on their doorstep."