Midwife led care

Picture of a nurse holding a baby NICE guidelines advise that planning to give birth at home or in a midwifery unit is the recommendation for women with straightforward pregnancies who have already had a baby.

For women with straightforward pregnancies who are expecting their first baby, it is advised that planning to give birth at home or in a midwifery unit is particularly suitable, but that there is a small increase in risk for the baby if they plan birth at home. A high probability of transferring to an obstetric unit during labour or immediately after birth. This is according to the findings of the birth place study in the UK. More information can be found here.

The advantages of having your baby at a birth centre or midwifery unit include:

  • Being in surroundings where you may feel more relaxed and able to cope with labour
  • You're more likely to be looked after by a midwife that you have got to know during your pregnancy
  • You will usually be able to be in the same room for your whole stay, with your partner
  • You are more likely to have a straightforward birth without medical interventions
  • If you decide to use a midwifery unit you will not be offered any surgical or anaesthetic care, such as an epidural or a caesarean section
  • If you need further care or if your labour is not progressing well, you can choose to be transferred to the nearest obstetric unit. This may be on the same site or may involve a journey by ambulance
  • Ask your midwife where you are likely to be transferred to if you do need more specialist care.
  • Remember, you can always revisit your options if you change your mind at any time during your pregnancy, even during labour. Please bring this to the attention of your midwife who will talk  you through your options
  • Ultimately, the best environment for you to have your baby in is one where you will feel safe, comfortable and relaxed.

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How to get help

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