Cossham Birth Centre

Choosing Where to Have Your Baby

Cossham Birth Centre, Cossham Hospital, Lodge Road, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 1LF

Cossham Birth Centre is an option for low risk women who have been assessed antenatally as suitable by their midwife.

Before arriving at Cossham Birth Centre, women in labour must telephone Mendip Birth Centre on 0117 414 6900 and speak to a midwife.

The Midwife on Mendip Birth Centre will support women to get their first choice of birth place where possible on a case by case basis; however, if the team are already occupied with a birth then women will be offered Mendip Birth Centre or Central Delivery Suite as an alternative. Conversations about this and suitable alternatives will have previously been discussed at the woman’s antenatal checks at 34 weeks and 36 weeks.

If a Cossham birth was appropriate and available the midwife would meet the woman and birth partner at the birth centre and open it. After the birth, at an agreed time but no longer than six hours, the mother and baby would be able to return home. The midwives would then ensure Cossham is left ready prepared for the next birth and then close the unit. If a mother and baby need to stay longer than six hours postnatally they will be transferred, by ambulance, to Southmead Maternity Unit.

Facilities at Cossham Birth Centre, Cossham Hospital, Kingswood, Bristol have been designed to provide comfort and support in labour and include:

  • Four en-suite birth rooms furnished with floor mats, cushions and birth balls to support you
  • A water pool in each birth room, should you wish to relax and/or give birth in water. Women who labour while immersed in water require fewer drugs for pain management, and are more likely to have a quicker labour
  • Entonox (gas and air), TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), aromatherapy and Pethidine pain management options  
  • A double bed in each room so your partner may stay with you and your baby after the birth
  • A bluetooth speaker for your own choice of music
  • Use of a communal kitchen with light snacks available.

In addition to the birth facilities, Cossham Birth Centre is a base for the local community midwives and a venue for antenatal clinics, classes, postnatal clinics and breastfeeding support groups.

Throughout labour the midwife will encourage, support and guide you, encouraging you to feel in control. We support your partners involvement at all times, and value their presence. You can have two birthing partners with you if you choose, and there are no restrictions on visiting following the birth of your baby.

A study "Birth Place" 2017 about place of birth supports healthy women with straightforward pregnancies choosing to give birth in a free-standing birth centre such as Cossham Birth Centre, Bristol. It showed that these women are more likely to have:

  • A "normal birth"
  • A water pool in labour

and are less likely to have medical interventions such as:

  • An intravenous infusion to help with progress of labour
  • A forceps delivery
  • A Caesarean section.

What pain management options are available?

  • Aromatherapy
  • TENS
  • Birth pool
  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Pethidine.

The midwives at Cossham Birth Centre are not be able to provide:

  • Epidural pain relief
  • Induction of labour (starting contractions off) if you require this
  • Assisted delivery with forceps or ventouse
  • Caesarean Section.

What happens in an emergency?

Cossham Birth Centre has the equipment available and the staff trained for initial care in emergency situations. However, the facilities for more intensive or longer term resuscitation are not available at midwife-led units and therefore if women or babies at Cossham Birth Centre need medical treatment they will need to be transferred to Southmead Hospital’s maternity unit by ambulance, a Midwife always accompanies you during a transfer to Southmead Hospital. The current transfer rate from Cossham Birth Centre is, on average, 30%, and the average transfer time is one hour – this is from the initial telephone call to arrival at Southmead Hospital. Your partner is given the option to accompany you on the journey.  Please call Cossham Birth Centre if you require specific details of transfer statistics.

What happens after the birth?

After the birth, we encourage a calm, quiet and gentle time for you and your partner, with skin to skin contact with your baby and support with feeding. One partner can stay with you. If everything has been straightforward with your birth and your baby is feeding well, the midwives will try to ensure that you can go home after six hours. If you are not able to go home after six hours, you will be transferred to Southmead Maternity Unit.

Cossham Birth Centre Tours

Mums-to-be and their families can book a tour of Cossham Birth Centre, Bristol. Tours run every Saturday and Sunday at 11am. To book your place, please contact email

Our Active Birth Workshops, for women who wish to give birth at Cossham, and are 35+ weeks, are run twice a month. To book your place please contact 0117 4145150.

For more information for you and your partner on planning where to give birth visit: (First baby) (If you have given birth before)