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Labour and birth

Choosing a place to give birth is important for both you and your baby and this will be part of your discussions with your midwife and/or consultant throughout your pregnancy.

The leaflet 'Birth place decisions' answers some of the questions you may have about the differences between a hospital birth, birth in a midwifery-led unit and a home birth. The information in the leaflet is based on the largest study of birth outcomes in various settings prior to August 2019.

We recommend that, if: 

  • you are healthy and well
  • you have no medical conditions (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)
  • you are pregnant with one baby only
  • your baby is growing normally
  • you have given birth before and there were no complications (such as Caesarean section)
  • your pregnancy is between 37 and 42 weeks

Then the best place for you to give birth would be in a midwifery-led unit or in your own home.

According to the Birthplace study and further evidence referred to in the Birth place decisions leaflet, giving birth in a midwifery-led setting reduces the need for unnecessary medical intervention for women who meet these criteria and is safe for babies.

The NHS website offers a useful guide on what to pack in your bag when you go into hospital or a midwifery-led unit to give birth, and also information about the extra items you will need if you choose to give birth at home.

It is useful to understand the choices available to you throughout labour and birth. It is helpful to think about your ideal labour or birth would be and write down your key preferences and share with the midwife caring for you in labour.

Although the midwife caring for you in labour will discuss your choices with you, you will also need to consider that your labour or birth may not go as planned.  Think about what you would like if you have a different type of birth than you had anticipated, for example types of pain relief, pool not being available through to a Caesarean birth.

Use the Mum & Baby app Labour and Birth section for more information.

  • Breathing exercises and movement in labour
  • Tips from other mums on labour and childbirth
  • Tips for partners during labour

We have various leaflets on the induction and labour which can be found here. 

Please take a look through our welcome pack.

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