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. You may be transferred to the delivery suite if you’ve chosen to give birth at the birth centre, or you are having a home birth, and experience complications.

St Marys birth centre

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. For more information watch the virtual tour

Why might I consider the delivery suite?

  • You are experiencing complications or have experienced complications in a previous pregnancy or labour 
  • You have a medical illness that complicates your pregnancy 
  • You are pregnant with twins or triplets 
  • Your baby is in the ‘breech’ position (bottom down) 
  • You are confident that you will want epidural pain relief during labour 
  • You are considering an epidural

The delivery suite is led by obstetricians who provide care in collaboration with midwives. You will have a midwife who will provide you with one-to-one care throughout pregnancy and during birth. Equipment and facilities are available to provide interventions such as continuous fetal heart rate monitoring, a caesarean or instrumental birth and blood transfusions. 

Consultant led care

If you require obstetric and anaesthetic input during labour and birth we will provide you with a consultant led delivery suite. Here your care will be managed by a consultant obstetrician (a doctor who specialises in delivering babies), working alongside a consultant anaesthetist (a doctor who specialise in pain relief) midwives and other members of the specialist team.

Medical staff that may care for you while in a consultant led delivery suite include:

  • Anaesthetist – a doctor who specialises in giving anaesthetic pain relief including epidurals. They also provide anaesthetics for Caesarean birth or other assisted birthing methods like forceps if needed.
  • Obstetrician – a doctor who specialises in managing complications in labour and birth.
  • Midwives – health professionals trained to support and care for people during labour and birth. They will monitor mother and baby during labour to make sure both are coping well. They will also give advice and support during the birth.

Midwifery support and care

While your care in a consultant led delivery suite is overseen by a consultant obstetrician, a midwife will be the main healthcare professional caring for you. They will be present throughout your labour and baby’s birth to provide support and advice, as well as monitoring the health of you and the baby.


Water births

If you are receiving consultant led care, you may still be able to use a birthing pool in the delivery suite. If this is of interest to you, please discuss further with your consultant.

Guidelines for visiting and infection prevention and control

To find out about our current visiting guidelines in the maternity wards, and recommendations regarding infection prevention and control (IPC) please visit the patient information page.

Frequently asked questions

What pain relief is available?   

The delivery suite offers several medical options for pain relief during labour, including gas and air, a diamorphine injection and an epidural.

Who can attend my labour?  

Visit our information for expecting parents page to read the most up to date guidance on who can support you during labour.

What if I experience complications? 

If you experience complications during labour, you will not need to be moved – you will have access to midwives, obstetricians, anaesthetists and neonatologists as well as any appropriate medical interventions.

What if I go into labour early?

If you go into labour early, go straight to the triage department, and you will be taken to the delivery suite. Even if you planned to give birth at home or in a birth centre, if you go into labour before 37 weeks, you will need to go to triage where a midwife and our multidisciplinary team will provide care for you during labour.

For more information, and to read the experiences of mothers who have given birth in our delivery suites, visit our Instagram page.  
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