Cossham Birth Centre FAQs

Cossham Birth Centre reopened on Monday 21 October 2019 under an “Open on Arrival” model for labouring women, which applies day and night. This means the centre will be opened specifically for a birth and closed afterwards.

Can I just turn up at Cossham?

You must always call us on 0117 4145150 before planning to attend Cossham Birth Centre in labour. This allows us to assess and support you by phone to ensure you are ready to attend the birth centre and it also allows us to assess capacity to ensure there is a midwife ready to welcome you on your arrival.

Can I stay at Cossham - how quickly will I be expected to leave?

Following your birth, you can stay at Cossham Birth Centre for between 6 and 24 hours, and then be discharged home. If there are any concerns with you or your baby, you will be transferred by ambulance to Southmead Maternity Unit.

Can I tour Cossham before I go there to give birth?

Yes, when you see the midwife at 34 weeks, at Cossham Birth Centre, she will give you a tour then. You can also view our Cossham Birth Centre Virtual Tour.

Where will I be transferred if things don’t go to plan? How long will that take? Who will come with me?

You will be transferred to Central Delivery Suite (CDS) at Southmead Maternity Uniy if your midwife has concerns. The journey can take up to an hour; this is timed from making the initial call to the ambulance crew, right through to arrival on CDS. The actual journey from Cossham to Southmead takes about 15 minutes. One of the Cossham Team midwives will go with you.

Why is Cossham a good option for me if both St Michaels and Southmead have birthing centres?

The Birthplace study, 2017, findings, showed that:
‘Midwifery units appear to be safe for the baby and offer benefits for the mother. Planned births in a Free standing unit had significantly fewer interventions and more normal births than women who planned birth in an obstetric unit’.

It is a matter of choice for you to make, you may consider it more conveniently situated to your home, or would like a quieter more homely environment et., however, what is important is that you understand the difference  between a free standing and an alongside birth centre.

All this will be explained to you in more detail when you attend your 34 week antenatal appointment with you midwife.

What happens if Cossham Birth Centre is full when I call?

It is unusual for Cossham to be unable to accommodate someone booked to give birth with us, but at peak times it may be possible that we need to divert you.

In this case we would divert you to Mendip Birth Centre, our co-located midwife led birth centre at Southmead, which shares the same passion and commitment to woman centred care than we have here at Cossham. Find out more information on birthing at /node/8135