Choosing where to give birth?
Where to have your baby?
There are many options to consider, and decisions to be made when making plans for your baby's or babies' birth. These decisions are individual to you and we would encourage you to discuss them with the people supporting you in your pregnancy including your midwife and other professionals caring for you.
Where might you feel most comfortable, confident and safe for birth? This will be influenced by your other birth preferences and advice from your midwife or obstetrician.
Who will you want around you? At the Jessop Wing for example you can have two birth partners on the consultant led unit (CLU) or midwifery led unit (MLU), or one in theatre, and at home it is up to you who you have present.
How are you hoping for or expecting your baby to be born? Think of your personal preferences and also recommendations based on your current pregnancy and medical history. This might include birthing at home, or on a Midwifery Led Unit, an induction of labour on the Consultant Led Unit or a caesarean section in theatre.
What might you want or need around you? Low lighting, your choice of music, a birthing pool, active birth equipment, access to pain relieving medications, specialist medical services.
Jessop Wing provides a base for our community midwives who provide the home birth service across the city. It also houses a Midwifery Led Unit with 3 newly refurbished pool rooms and other equipment designed to enable active and natural birth in a homely atmosphere. Down the corridor we have the Consultant Led Unit where women and birthing people requiring additional care or monitoring, or requesting an epidural would be cared for. Finally, the obstetric theatre is just across the corridor meaning that anyone choosing to have a caesarean either planned or emergency is looked after very closely by the same expert team of midwives, obstetrician and neonatologists.
Your community midwife will be talking through your birth options with you as part of your antenatal care, you might also consider taking antenatal classes to further explore different ideas for birth. If you are worried or frightened about birth or if your plans fall outside of the hospital recommendations your midwife may suggest discussing this in more detail to ensure that you have a detailed plan in place that makes you feel safe and confident.
Below are some carefully selected resources for you to explore if you are looking for further information on this and related topics, please see the following links:
Where to give birth: the options – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Which? - Where to give birth
Considering a caesarean birth - RCOG
The Birthplace cohort study: key findings | NPEU > Birthplace (ox.ac.uk)
Birthrights- Choice of place of birth
AIMS: Freebirth, unassisted childbirth and unassisted pregnancy