About Birth Centres
— What won’t you get in a Birth Centre?

There are no doctors at the Birth Centre since the service only caters for healthy mothers and babies. Likewise, there is no epidural service. If you or your baby should need a doctor at any time, or if problems arise such as your labour is not progressing as expected or you want an epidural, you are transferred to hospital care.

This means that you would have to be transferred to a consultant-led unit if:

  • You need strong pain relief during labour, such as an epidural.
  • You need help giving birth, such as forceps or ventouse.
  • You need to have your baby by Caesarean Section.
  • Your baby needs special care.

The Birth Centre does not replace the need for hospital-based maternity care. It offers an additional choice if you are in good health and you have no known medical or pregnancy problems. It is staffed and run by highly skilled midwives who provide the most appropriate care if you want to give birth normally and naturally with no, or minimal, intervention. All midwives are trained in life-support and resuscitation techniques and in managing emergencies. If you do get into difficulties during labour, your midwife will recognize the development of problems early and transfer you in good time. In this event you would make the trip to hospital by ambulance and your midwife would accompany you. You shouldn’t worry unnecessarily about being transferred to hospital as your midwife will be well used to this and will arrange a smooth transfer for you.

The most common reasons for hospital transfer during labour include:

  • Your labour is progressing too slowly.
  • There are concerns about your baby.
  • You need strong pain relief.

Once you are healthy and your pregnancy has progressed normally you can be assured that the Birth Centre offers a safe environment for you and your baby, as well as additional benefits compared with hospital care that help you to give your baby that extra special start in life.