Owning Your Birth Space

When choosing your birth place, there are a few questions for you to explore;

  • How you feel about that chosen place

  • Discussions about it with your midwife

  • Any pregnancy and/or medical conditions you may have

Here's is a summary of places to birth your baby.  They are not exhaustive and it always comes down to how you feel about the place you choose.  If you have any medical conditions or complications during pregnancy then it's always best to discuss 'place of birth' with your midwife/health care professional.  Home birth and birth centres have a 'low risk' criteria and your midwife can discuss this with you.  

Ok, first up....



  • You are in your own surroundings

  • The more relaxed you are - the less invention you require

  • Midwives clean up everything up - but they never say no to a cuppa and a biscuit 

  • You don't need to go anywhere.  Just call your unit when you start experiencing signs of labour and the midwife will come and assess you

  • Occasionally, the unit will be busy and a midwife may not be available at that point, so you may be asked to come into the hospital/birth centre depending what stage of labour you are at.

  • If any complications arise during the labour, you may be advised to go into hospital.  Midwives are highly trained and will discuss their rationale for transferring you in.  There are home birth hospital guidelines in place to ensure the safety of you and your baby, the threshold for complications is much lower in the home environment.  This gives time to a calmer transfer into the delivery suite.


  • Similar to a home birth but you're in a hospital environment.

  • This is a 'Midwife Led' unit.  Research has shown that women who have a 'low risk' pregnancy will have lower rates of intervention when birthing at a 'Midwife Led Unit'

  • Hospitals do have a 'low risk' criteria for birthing here for the safety of you and your baby and the threshold for complications is much lower, giving you plenty of time to be transferred to hospital should the need arise.

  • There are no anaesthetists based here, meaning if you want/require stronger pain relief, you will need to transfer to the delivery suite


  • It is an 'Obstetric Led Unit'.  Meaning doctors for pregnancy as well as neonatologist are based here.  

  • The only place you can have an epidural

  • Once you are here, there is a time frame in place regarding your cervical dilation...0.5cm dilation per hour for first time mums, 1cm per hour for subsequent births.  Hence why more intervention may occur here

  • If you have a high risk pregnancy or should an emergency arise, Obstetricians / neonatologists are on hand

  • It doesn't have to be the 'clinical birth' that is often portrayed in film/tv.  Check out the amazing video below of what you can do (or probably better if it's your birthing partner/midwife who undertakes the moving) to really make the most of the room and use it as your own.


  • They can happen at any of these places

  • Great natural pain relief and no effect on your baby

  • Your baby's heart rate can be monitored in the pool so no need to get out

  • You do not have to birth your baby in there, you can just use it for labour.

  • It needs to be sieved and kept at 38degrees (usually done by the midwife and/or birthing partner)

  • It takes a while to fill up, if you're planning a water birth at home then it's a good idea to have a time trial run before the big day.

  • Recommended to enter the pool once your cervix are at least 5 cm dilated, any earlier can cause the contractions to slow down.

  • If you would like to see what a home water birth looks like, look at the video down below.  Please consider if you would actually like to view this and only do so when you are ready.  I find it absolutely beautiful  It's all very calm...but no pressure. 

My aim is to send in off into labour feeling confident and empowered about your choices. Should any of this trigger any negative feelings for you, please know you can speak to me about it or your midwife.  If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch and I'll be more than happy to help.

"All that is needed for the majority of labours to go well is a healthy, pregnant woman, who has loving support in labour, self-confidence and attendants with infinite patience" - Shelia Kitzinger

Maternal Sunshine Yoga

Seaford, UK

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