Our facilities and units
You can choose where you give birth to your baby. Your options include care led by a specialist doctor called an obstetrician in one of our delivery suites; care led by a midwife at one of our birthing centres; or, giving birth at home with our midwives.
You can choose where you give birth to your baby. Your options include the delivery suites, the birth centre, or giving birth at home. Speak with your midwife to find out which might be the best choice for you and your baby.
Facilities to support you during pregnancy:
The delivery suite is an appropriate choice for you if you have a complex pregnancy or would like the option of having an epidural, which is a form of pain relief. The midwife will provide you with one-to-one care along with support from our multidisciplinary team, including obstetricians and the senior midwives.
Our rooms have been designed to be as comfortable as possible. Features include one-way glass windows, to provide natural light while still being private, and equipment to encourage you to move around in labour such as birthing balls and peanut balls.
There are two theatres for emergency surgery, and some rooms have pools, if you wish to have a water birth. All facilities are available at both St Mary’s Hospital and Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital.
Find out more about our delivery suites.
The midwife-led birth centre are ideal if you have a straightforward pregnancy and would like to give birth without using medication. The beautifully designed rooms have birth pools, soft lighting, birthing beds, birth slings and bean bags to support your comfort and help your birthing progress. After your baby is born you can stay in a room with a double bed before going home from the birth centre.
Our birth preparation classes will give you all the information and help you need to get ready for your labour in the birth centre. You will learn about how your body works during each stage of labour and what to do. You will also learn about the different pain relief choices including water births, gas and air and a drug called pethidine; epidurals cannot be given in the birth centre.
Should any complications come up, or you change your mind and want an epidural, the birth centre midwives will take you to the nearby delivery suite. Emergency equipment is available if needed to support you and your baby, but it is stored away to keep the room relaxing and homely.
Find out more about our birth centre.
Giving birth at home is another option if you have a straightforward pregnancy and would prefer to have your baby at home. You will receive care during pregnancy and birth from our home birth midwives. The home birth team provide a 24-hour service and your midwife will be there to support you during your labour.
For more information about our home birth service watch our home birth question and answer video.
Find out more about our home birth team.
What is the MDAU?
The Maternity Day Assessment Unit (MDAU) is useful if you are having complications during pregnancy and may need more monitoring. The MDAU is also available if you are worried about your baby's movement or are feeling uncomfortable during pregnancy, such as pelvic girdle pain and lower back pain.
Why do we have an MDAU?
We have an MDAU so we can make sure people who have complications in pregnancy get the care and support they need.
When do you go the MDAU?
There are lots of reasons you may visit the MDAU. A midwife or GP may send you to the MDAU if there are concerns about baby movements or growth. You may go for additional monitoring of the baby or to help with iron levels and blood pressure tests.
Where is the MDAU?
MDAU at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea is temporarily located on Hammersmith Hospital Area D, Ground Floor in the David Harvey Unit. MDAU at St Mary’s is located on the First Floor of the Clarence Memorial Wing.
How can I contact the MDAU?
Your GP, midwife or doctor can send you to the MDAU for an appointment.
If at any time you have concerns about you or your baby's wellbeing, please call the maternity helpline on 020 3312 6135.
The MDAU is open from Monday-Friday 08:00- 18:00. Outside of these hours you will be transferred to the maternity triage unit on the site where you are booked to speak to a midwife.
What will happen once I arrive at the MDAU?
When you arrive at MDAU, please let a member of staff know.
A midwife will ask you about your concerns and carry out a few health checks such as measuring your blood pressure – they will then decide what to do next, this is called triage. We aim to do this within 15 minutes, but at busy times and/or if there is an emergency, the wait may be longer.
The triage system means we can help people with the most serious conditions first so that everyone is safe, it is not based on arrival time. Your patience is appreciated.For more information on the MDAU please watch the video below.
We are proud of the quality of the maternity care we provide both before, during and after birth.
Read on to learn more about what is available to families who are registered to our maternity services:
Fetal medicine unit
What is the fetal medicine unit?
If you have had complications and previous pregnancies, your midwife or GP may assess whether you need to be referred to The Centre for Fetal Care.
We are recognised for subspecialty training by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The Centre for Fetal Care is a specialist centre and one of a select number of units in the UK performing diagnostic tests such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS), as well laser treatment in cases of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in-utero blood transfusions for fetal anaemia, and other fetal therapies.
We hope you never need the support of our fetal medicine but, if it were necessary, our specialist unit is one of only a handful of units in the UK to perform advanced treatments for babies still in the womb.
Why do we have a fetal medicine unit?
If your pregnancy has been complicated by concerns about your fetus, fetal wellbeing, or complications in previous pregnancies, you may be referred by your midwife or GP to the Fetal Medicine Unit.
The service can support you if:
- You've had a high-risk first trimester screening
- You have fetal abnormalities identified on routine ultrasound scans, for example with the baby's brain, heart, lungs or abdomen, or a cleft palate
- Complex multiple pregnancies
- You have a baby that need support with their growth
- You’ve had complications in previous pregnancies or a family history of inherited problems
When do you go to the fetal medicine unit?
A member of our medical team will refer you to the unit if you need the service.
Where is the fetal medicine unit?
The service is based at the Centre for Fetal Care (CFC) at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital.
Neonatal intensive care units: The neonatal unit provides all levels of medical care. There are two main areas; intensive care for very sick newborns who need constant care, and high dependency and special care for newborns who need more monitoring than they would receive on a general ward.
Having a child in the neonatal unit is difficult for any parent but we have everything in place to give your child the very best care possible while also offering you support and advice.
Register for our maternity services.
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