Update: New opening date for Cossham Birth Centre

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Cossham Birth Centre artist impressionCossham Birth Centre the first free-standing birth centre in the area is now taking bookings from healthy expectant mums due to give birth towards the end of January 2013. 

Bristol’s first stand-alone midwife-led birth centre will open in January 2013, offering a safe alternative to home or the traditional hospital based birth setting.

North Bristol NHS Trust is now taking bookings from healthy women with a straightforward pregnancy in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset who would like to give birth at Cossham Birth Centre - a non-medicalised, relaxed and family focused midwife led setting.  

Cossham Birth Centre will also accept bookings from women who live outside of this area, including a small number of GP surgeries in Wales including Chepstow and the surrounding area.

The birth centre is led by an experienced team of NHS midwives employed by North Bristol NHS Trust and promotes natural childbirth.

The birth centre is led by an experienced team of NHS midwives and promotes natural childbirth.

Facilities at the birth centre have been designed to provide comfort and support in labour, including:

  • Four en-suite birth rooms furnished with floor mats, cushions and birthing balls to support you in a natural labour and birth.
  • A water pool in each birth room, should you choose to relax in labour and/or give birth in water.
  • Complementary therapies including aromatherapy and massage, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), Entonox (gas and air), and Pethidine to help with labour.
  • A double bed in each room, so that your partner can stay with you and your baby after the birth.
  • Use of a communal kitchen and dining area where light snacks will be available.

The Cossham Birth Centre project grew from the Birth Centre Bristol campaign, started by midwives in 2001 to establish an NHS Birth Centre in the city.

Hundreds of women from across Bristol supported the campaign and a petition was presented to the local PCTs in 2005.

Cossham Birth Centre is part of an important drive to offer women more choice in where and how they can give birth and in promoting natural childbirth for women with uncomplicated pregnancies.

Rachel Fielding, Deputy Director of Midwifery at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “The philosophy at Cossham Birth Centre is to support the natural process of childbirth in safe, relaxed and homely surroundings. 

“In addition to the number of women choosing to have their babies at home supported by their community midwives, Cossham Birth Centre will further enhance the midwifery led services on offer in the local community – as well as for women who live in other parts of the region. 

 “We hope that the Birth Centre will also become a ‘hub’ of community based midwifery care, where women and their partners will be able to access antenatal and postnatal care and educational workshops on differing themes."

Women whose baby will be due towards the end of January 2013 and beyond, and would like to find out more about giving birth at Cossham Birth Centre can do so by speaking to their community midwife or contacting the Midwifery Office at Southmead Hospital on 0117 323 5319.

Cossham Birth Centre will be situated on the redeveloped Cossham Hospital site, located within five miles or 15 minutes of the Obstetric Unit at Southmead Hospital. 

Find out more about Cossham Birth Centre.