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Where are you birthing your baby?

Updated: Apr 9

You may already know where you want to birth your baby, but what have you based this decision on? Is it based on the common assumption that the hospital is the safest?.... In this post we are going to explore this assumption further, as well as looking at what other options there are.


Home Birth

When many of us have been brought up to believe that birth should take place in a medical setting, this is sometimes seen as the ‘brave’ option. But did you know that for many women, birthing at home may be one of the safest options!? Dr Sara Wickham (author, educator, researcher and midwife) has an online hub of the latest evidence-based research on the safety of home birth which is definitely worth exploring.

Mid-wife Led Unit

These are ‘home-from-home’ units, where Midwives lead your care. These may be ‘freestanding’ units, or some are ‘alongside’ meaning they are attached to, or may actually be inside the hospital. Southend’s ‘New Beginnings’ MLBU is within the hospital itself and is actually next door to the Delivery Suite (which is consultant


Hospital Birth (Consultant Led Unit)

If you’re going to be induced, require other

intervention, or would like an epidural then this would take place in a consultant-led unit within a hospital. However, there are medical pain relief options available in both a mid-wife led unit and a home birth as well, so please discuss these with your midwife- as these may differ depending on the area you live in- this is also in

addition to the non-medical plain relief options also available

to you in every setting.

Did you know that?...

  • You can have a home-birth even if you are high-risk.

  • If you choose to birth in hospital, you can choose which hospital.

  • You can give birth in a mid-wife led unit, even if you are high-risk – Mid-wife led units often have admission criteria, saying that ‘high-risk’ pregnancies can’t use the centre. These are not legal rules, and cannot be applied in a blanket way. So please ask them to consider the risk on a case-by-case basis.

  • Only you have the right to decide where to give birth. No one can overturn this. This is the law.

All of the above bullet points were taken from, please visit their website for more information on your legal rights, especially if you have been told ‘you are not allowed to birth there’.

What’s best for you, may not be the same as what’s best for somebody else...

Ultimately, the best place for you to birth your baby, is where YOU will feel the safest. And only YOU can make that decision. Because the safer you feel, the more likely you are to have the ‘relaxation reponse’ activated, and we know from my hypnobirthing courses how important that is for a more comfortable, and possibly even shorter birth (the relationship between the effectiveness of the contracting muscles in the Uterus, and our complex cocktail of birthing hormones, and how they are impeded when the ‘flight-or-fight’ response is activated).

If you think about how some people don’t do a poo for a whole week when they are on holiday, because their body is subconsciously uncomfortable releasing a poo somewhere new. How important then the birth place is to a mother, whose maternal instincts are even more heightened in labour, to feel comfortable releasing their baby into the world.

I hope the information above, along with the links to further information, helps you in making this important decision. But please do remember, if you are informed and have done your preparation, a positive birth experience is possible in all of these places. There are also things you can do in all of these settings, to set up an environment that will promote the release of Oxytocin- the queen of your birthing hormones.

If you would like any further support, or have any questions to what I discussed above, please do get in touch, or take a look at my one-day group Hypnobirthing & Antenatal Course.

Michelle x


Do you live in South or Mid-Essex?

If you do our local hospitals are Basildon Maternity Unit, Southend Maternity Unit, Broomfield Maternity Unity and the WJC Maternity Unit. You can watch online video tours of each of these on the Maternity Voice Partnership Instagram page or facebook page Where you will be able to see what facilities are available to you in each of these settings. Whether there are birthing pools, dimmable lights etc. The MVP also releases monthly infographics, where you can read the statistics for each birth -place, as well as the types of birth, and induction and intervention statistics.

Hypnobirthing & Antenatal Course Rayleigh

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