We provide a home birth service for women living within our catchment area.
If you decide to have a home birth, a community midwife will come to your home to look after you during labour until your baby is born. There are community midwives on call all day and all night, so the midwife will come when you are in labour.
Why might I consider a home birth?
- You think having a baby is a natural process and have confidence in your body’s ability to give birth
- You would like to labour and give birth in a familiar and private environment
- You would prefer to avoid having medical interventions
- You would like to have the chance to get to know your midwives before the birth
- You and your partner want to start your family life together at home, or perhaps you would like to have your other children nearby for the birth
If you are thinking about this, please let your midwife know as soon as possible. They will refer you to the team of midwives based either at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital or St Mary’s Hospital.
If you plan a home birth, you will have some of your antenatal appointments with the team of midwives who will be looking after you in labour. They will get to know you during your pregnancy and will also look after you in the days following the birth of your baby.
If you are healthy and having a straightforward pregnancy with a second or subsequent baby, planning to have your baby at home is particularly suitable for you. It is as safe for your baby as planning to give birth in the labour ward and you are also more likely to have a natural birth and less likely to have medical interventions such as an episiotomy, a caesarean or instrumental birth and a blood transfusion.
If you are healthy and having a straightforward pregnancy with your first baby, planning to have your baby at home is slightly less safe for your baby than planning a hospital birth. However, you are also more likely to have a natural birth and less likely to have medical interventions such as an episiotomy, a caesarean or instrumental birth and a blood transfusion.
If you are at increased risk of complications you are likely to be advised against a home birth and recommended to have your baby in a labour ward.
During your home birth, midwives will come to your home and look after you in labour. If there are complications and you need to see a doctor, or you need additional pain relief, you will be transferred to the labour ward. This will require a journey by road, usually by ambulance.
About 450 out of 1000 women will be transferred from home to hospital with a first baby and about 115 women out of 1000 will be transferred with a second or subsequent baby. The midwife caring for you at home will go with you to the labour ward to settle you in and provide a handover of care. Once you have been transferred, your postnatal care will be on the postnatal ward until you are transferred home again.
If you have any further questions, speak to your midwife first, who will then refer you to the appropriate team.
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