Where should I have my baby?

We offer a range of options about where you can have your baby depending on your personal circumstances and your preferences.

At your first appointment with your midwife (the booking appointment), you be given advice about these options.

At any time during your pregnancy or labour, our Midwives will highlight any factors which are relevant to your decision about where to give birth.

They will explain and discuss these factors with you and advise you on options for care and the implications of any decision so you can make an informed choice.

You will be involved in all aspects of decision making and your wishes will be respected.

Sometimes women need extra support during labour such as the induction of labour or epidural pain relief.

On such occasions, you will be cared for and supported by our Obstetric Team of doctors and Midwives.

Our Obstetric Team provides 24 hour obstetric and anaesthetic cover and will monitor your baby intermittently or continuously as needed.

Medication and pain relief will be available if you need it and we will support you if you need an assisted delivery or a cesarean section.

If you have a more complex pregnancy, you will be recommended to have a hospital birth and you will be cared for by a specialist multidisciplinary team during your pregnancy and the birth of your child.

We also have a neonatal paediatric service based in our Special Care Baby Unit for babies who need extra assistance after they are born or are premature.

Birth place options

Home birth

If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you can choose to have your baby at home. This will be a relaxed environment for labour and birth and supports a normal childbirth philosophy.

Current research (NICE 2007) suggests that there is a higher likelihood of a normal birth with less intervention if you give birth at home or in a Midwife-led unit.

All our Community Midwives support home birth and will be happy to discuss this option with you.

They will identify any complications that may influence the need to change your chosen place of birth.

Please ask your Midwife about the Home Birth Support Group.

White Horse Birth Centre at Great Western Hospital

The White Horse Birth Centre at Great Western Hospital provides:

  • Four home from home birthing rooms all equipped to support natural labour including slings to support alternative positions
  • Two birthing pools
  • A quiet room for early labour
  • Individual midwifery care
  • An aromatherapy and massage service (in development).

The centre is close to our Obstetric Delivery Unit should you need medical care.

For more details please see White Horse Birth Centre.

Birth in the Delivery Suite at Great Western Hospital 

The Delivery Suite at Great Western Hospital provides a relaxed environment for labour and birth and support the philosophy of normal childbirth.

You will be supported by our team of community midwives throughout your pregnancy and by our Hospital Midwives for the birth of your child.

For more details please see the Delivery Suite at Great Western Hospital.

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