Choosing Where to Have Your Baby
If you are healthy and your pregnancy is advancing normally, why not think about having your baby at home?
In your own home environment you will be able to relax and feel at ease, surrounded by whoever you wish as a birth partner/s. Its your home, your choice. The relaxed surrounds supports the natural process of labour and birthing, and women often find they need less pain management in their labour.
If you choose to have a home birth, we have a dedicated home birth midwife on duty, who will come to your home around 36 weeks to guide you in the practicalities of preparing your home. They are usually items you have in the home anyway, so don’t be concerned that there is any added cost. She will help you to decide which room you would like to birth in and the logistics to consider depending if you live, for example, in a flat. We will bring with us some essential items prior to the day, so we are fully prepared. Don’t worry about there being a mess, as midwives are very discreet and excellent at minimising any visual ‘mess’. The midwife will discuss any concerns you may have and answer your questions.
What pain management options are available?
Some women choose to hire a birth pool or a TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). You would be encouraged to remain mobile as you feel you can, to ensure your baby is in the optimal position. The Midwife will provide gas and air (entonox) should you need this, and support you in how to use this. Some Community Midwives can offer massage and aromatherapy.
What happens in an emergency?
Our community midwives are experienced in supporting you, giving dedicated 1:1 care at home and are trained to deal with emergencies. If the midwife has any concerns before, during or after the birth, with either you or your baby, your midwife will discuss these with you and explain and guide you through the next steps to take. If you require a transfer to hospital, this will be by ambulance and your midwife will stay with you and continue to support you for the journey.
What happens after the birth?
On birthing at home, your midwife will encourage you and your birth partner to have skin to skin with your baby, and encourage the building of a special bond. You will be supported in your chosen method of feeding your baby, and practical support and guidance given. If breastfeeding, we will ensure that you have the skills to feed your baby, and encourage you towards being independent and confident before we leave your home.
Your community midwife can answer any questions you may have and will be happy to discuss planning your homebirth with you.
For more information for you and and your partner on planning where to give birth visit:
www.nhs.uk (First baby)
www.nhs.uk (If you have given birth before)
Contact North Bristol NHS Trust Maternity
Antenatal Assessment Unit (Quantock Assessment Unit)
Telephone: 0117 4146906
Cossham Birth Centre, Kingswood
Telephone: 0117 4145150
Southmead Maternity Reception
Telephone: 0117 4146894
Mendip Birth Centre, Southmead
Telephone: 0117 4146900
Mendip Ward, Southmead (Postnatal / Transitional Care)
Telephone: 0117 4146901
Southmead Hospital Switchboard: 0117 9505050