What's possible will depend on your needs and what facilities are available where you live. There are three main places to consider when having your baby.
This is where people usually tend to imagine births to take place - having your baby in hospital. For certain birth situations, this is the right place, especially if you have a medical condition or complications during your pregnancy. All the equipment and expertise are on hand to help you, should you need it. You will also have available to you other pain relief options, that are not on offer in other birth settings, such as having an epidural. Even in a labour ward, midwives will support women to have as natural a labour as possible.
(this is also sometimes called a birth unit, a midwife-led centre, or community maternity unit). This option is open to women whose pregnancies have been straightforward and labour is expected to proceed without any concerns. Your local birth centre may be attached to a hospital or may be an independent facility in its own right. Most birth centres offer homely surroundings and in many instances the midwives may be trained in other areas such as hypnobirthing, massage and aromatherapy. Should complications arise during labour, your midwives will recommend for you to be transferred to the local hospital.
Having your baby at home is an option that is fully supported in many communities. For women who have had no complications in pregnancy, they may opt for this birth place. In a home birth a midwife would come to you during labour and would stay with you once you are in established labour. A second midwife would be present at the end of your labour, before your baby's birth. They would ensure that your baby is settling well in their first few hours after birth.
Should complications arise in a home birth, your caregivers would suggest for you to be transferred to the local hospital for medical assistance.
In your home you can have more family members witness the birth of your baby, than you could do in other birth places. Many women choose a home birth because they feel more comfortable and confident being in their own surroundings.
Parents-to-be need to consider carefully, what they want from their birth experience and take into consideration the circumstances around their pregnancy and the health of mum and baby. Taking through your ideas with your midwife or your antenatal teachers will help you come to a decision that feels right for you.
Birth Places close to Magical Baby Moments:
Queen's Hospital Labour Ward
Queen's Hospital Birth Centre
Basildon University Hospital Maternity Unit
Basildon University Hospital Midwife-led Birthing Unit
Newham General Hospital
Newham Birth Centre
Barkantine Birth Centre