Choosing Where to Have Your Baby
Mendip Birth Centre, Southmead Hospital, Southmead Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol BS10 5NB.
Mendip Birth Centre is a midwife-led Unit situated along the corridor from the Central Delivery Suite at Southmead Hospital, providing a quiet and tranquil environment for labour and birth. The Mendip Birth Centre is suitable if you are healthy, and your pregnancy has been straightforward.
Mendip Birth Centre can also support women who would not be eligible to birth at home or in Cossham Birth Centre but would still like to benefit from the Birth Centre environment. Individualised birth plans are developed with your own medical needs being considered. If you feel this is something you would like to explore please ask your community midwife for further details.
All the midwives working in the centre have a strong philosophy of women centred care and will support you to have an uncomplicated labour and birth.
Facilities at Mendip Birth Centre have been designed to provide comfort and support in labour and include:
- Three birthing rooms with floor mats 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
- En-suite facilities
- A Double bed in all birth rooms rooms
- Partners can stay overnight
- CD player
- A kitchen is available for your use
- Free WiFi
- Free car parking for all women, and their partners, in active labour. (Further details below).
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.
A study about place of birth supports healthy women with straightforward pregnancies choosing to give birth in an alongside unit such as Mendip Birth Centre. It showed that these women are more likely to have a "normal birth". And are less likely to have medical interventions such as:
- An intravenous infusion to help with progress of labour
- An Epidural
- A forceps delivery
- A Caesarean section.
What pain management options are available?
- Birth pool
- Entonox (gas and air)
The midwives at Mendip Birth Centre are not be able to provide:
- Epidural pain management
- Induction of labour (starting contractions off) or a drip to speed up your labour
- Assisted delivery with forceps or ventouse
- Caesarean Birth.
What happens in an emergency?
Mendip 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 Mendip Birth Centre need medical treatment they will need to be transferred to the nearby Central Delivery Suite.
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.
Please use the main maternity reception to enter and exit our Maternity Services at Southmead, including AAU and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
- Upon arrival, you will be asked to sign in and given a lanyard.
- If you are a visitor, we kindly request you wear your lanyard at all times.
- Please keep noise in this area, and within the wards, to a minimum.
- When leaving, please ensure you sign yourself out and return your lanyard.
However, please use the Central Delivery Suite entrance if:
- You are in labour and are planning on birthing at either Mendip Birth Centre or the Central Delivery Suite. If your birth partner needs to move the car, get bags etc after your arrival, they will be allowed out of this door for that purpose.
- You are having scans on the Central Delivery Suite including fetal medicine scans.
- You are having treatment on CDS including ECVs.
Entry and exit from any other route is not permitted without speaking to a member of staff. We appreciate your co-operation.
How do I get free car parking?
How it works:
- The details of the car and the surname of the woman in labour will be taken by the receptionist
- A form will need to be completed and submitted to the parking office
- The car must be parked in the car park near the Central Delivery Suite entrance to qualify for free parking
- Only one registration per couple i.e. the partner’s car or a nominated car if the partner does not have one.
Mendip Birth Centre Tours
Mum-to-be plus one can book a tour of the Mendip Birth Centre and Central Delivery Suite at Southmead Hospital Bristol. Tours run on Saturday and Sunday mornings and are presented by maternity volunteers. To book your place please contact 0117 4146894.
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)
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 / NICU)
Telephone: 0117 4146901
Southmead Hospital Switchboard: 0117 9505050