Saint Mary’s Hospital supports women to make the right choice for you in terms of the best place to have your baby. When making this decision, you should discuss the options with your partner and midwife, and for some women, discussion with your doctor might also be helpful.
Some women choose to have their baby at home as this can feel like the most natural option. For women who are fit and well who have had a healthy pregnancy, this is a safe option, particularly for women who have had babies before.
A large study, called Birthplace, was recently conducted in the UK and found that the risks of complications in baby was low in babies born at home at 4.3 in 1000 births. However, this study did show that for women having their first baby, there were more complications at 9.3 in 1000 compared to having a first baby in hospital of 5.3 in 1000.
The advantages of giving birth at home are that the home environment can be more relaxing and there is a lower risk of needing additional interventions such as forceps or a Caesarean section. The pain relief options at home include water, massage, TENS and entonox (gas and air).
On occasions, transfer into hospital might be needed. For women in labour for the first time, this chance is about 45% but the chance is lower for women having a second or subsequent baby at 12% (where the previous baby was born naturally).
If you are thinking of having your baby at home, please discuss this with your midwife and doctor.
Alongside Midwifery Led Unit: Saint Mary’s Midwifery Led Unit
Saint Mary’s Hospital has a Midwifery Led Unit on the third floor, which is closely located to the Consultant Led Unit. If you have had a straightforward pregnancy, this will be the usual place to plan to give birth.
Consultant led Delivery Unit at Saint Mary’s Hospital
If you have had any complications during pregnancy, or in previous pregnancies, it would be recommended that you give birth in the Consultant Led Unit.