THE Griffith Base Hospital's newly renovated maternity ward was officially opened in the early hours of Monday morning when the first baby was born in the new birthing area.
Midwifery unit manager Angela Cregan said the little girl, who has yet to be named, and her mother were the first to make use of the rooms that had been upgraded as part of stage 1 of the $72,000 makeover project that finished on the weekend.
"The results of the upgrade are fantastic," Mrs Cregan said.
"The birthing area is much bigger and much less clinical, which makes women feel more comfortable."
The unit manager said to reduce pain during labour, large bathtubs had been put into the rooms; and to give families a more friendly environment, the waiting room had been upgraded.
"Everything is much lighter, relaxed and friendlier, so we can offer women a normal childbirth during which they will feel welcome and comfortable," she said.
Amanda Avery, 29, who gave birth to the first baby born in the new birthing room, said the makeover had made a "big difference".
"I had my first child here nearly two years ago this time it was much nicer and much more private," she said.
Stage 2 of the project is under way and will see two new ensuites added to rooms on the ward.