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Choosing where to have your baby

Our Maternity Services

 



Where to give birth

Giving birth is generally safe for you and your baby. Your midwife will guide you in making an informed choice as to the most appropriate place for you to give birth. Factors affecting this decision may include:

  • Your medical and pregnancy history
  • Your social circumstances
  • Choice of type of care
Women with no complicating factors are suitable for midwife led care at the following locations:
  • Home
  • St Marys Birth Centre (SMBC)
  • Orchard  Birth Centre , Leicester Royal infirmary (LRI) (OBC)
  • Meadow Birth Centre, Leicester General Hospital (LGH) (MBC)

Home Birth

Approximately 2% of women choose to have a home birth in Leicestershire.

If this is not your first baby having a home birth is particularly suitable because the rate of interventions is lower and the outcome for the baby is no different compared with a birth in the Obstetric Unit. If this is your first baby there is a small increase (4 more per 1,000 births) on the risk of an adverse outcome for the baby such as the baby having a serious medical problem compared with birth in any other setting.

The rate of spontaneous vaginal birth is higher at home than in a birth centre that is run alongside the Obstetric Unit (OBC or MBC).

Skilled community midwives provide this 24 hour service and plan this with you. A risk assessment is carried out at 36 weeks to ensure a home birth remains a suitable option.

The midwife comes to your home with equipment including entonox (gas and air) when you are in established labour and leaves approximately 2 hours after the birth. Pools can be hired privately for use in the home should you wish to have a water birth at home.

To find out more about having a home birth, please contact the team on: Tel. 0116 258 3425 or speak to your midwife.  To find out a little more, watch the video below and meet the gorgeous 'Harley' and family.

If this is your first baby, having your baby at St Mary's Birth Centre, Orchard Birth Centre or Meadows Birth Centre is suitable because the rate of interventions is lower and the outcome for the baby no different compared with an obstetric unit. 



St Mary's Birth Centre

St Mary’s Birth Centre is a stand alone midwife led unit situated in Melton Mowbray, to the east of the county, 17 miles from Leicester city centre.  Midwives, supported by maternity care assistants (MCA’s) provide an alternative to home birth. The benefits of giving birth in the centre include the availability of pools for a water birth, active birth and breast feeding support. Postnatal care is also available. 

In uncomplicated, low risk pregnancies we would not expect to have any problems with your baby, however should the unexpected arise there is no paediatric cover at St Mary's, necessitating transfer of your baby to Leicester Royal Infirmary for assessment and treatment if needed. 

If you are interested in having your baby at St Mary's Birth centre you can discuss this with your midwife or ring the Birth Centre for an informal tour on 01664 854854. 



Orchard Birth Centre, Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) & Meadow Birth Centre, Leicester General Hospital (LGH)

Staffed by midwives with MCA support staff, promoting water birth and active birth, the facilities include pools, birth balls, birth mats and low lighting. Situated within a consultant led unit, there is on site access to obstetric care and epidural facility; should this be necessary. This would require you to move to the delivery suite.

Since the Birth Centres are located in close proximity to Labour Wards, should there be a problem with your baby a Paediatrician or Nurse Practitioner will be available to assess and stabilise your baby. There are facilities to care for your baby if there are any complications with your baby’s health, however these facilities are different at LGH and LRI. The neonatal unit at LGH provides special care; this means that we may need to transfer your baby to LRI or another hospital in the region to provide intensive care should this be needed.

The Birth Centres are part of the delivery suite, but separately staffed. The midwives work a rota system so you may see more than one midwife during your stay.

Birth in an obstetric unit is associated with a higher rate of interventions such as instrumental vaginal birth, caesarean section and episiotomy compared with birth in other settings.



For shared care and consultant led care it is recommended that you give birth in hospital:

Delivery Suite LRI and LGH

Midwives and a consultant led team of doctors provide a 24 hour service which includes epidural, assisted birth including caesarean section and care when induction of labour is recommended.

There are facilities to care for your baby if there are any complications with your baby’s health, however these facilities are different at LGH and LRI. The neonatal unit at LGH provides special care, whereas the unit at LRI can deliver the whole range of care. This means that we may need to transfer your baby to LRI or another hospital in the region to provide intensive care should this be needed.

You are more likely to require continuous monitoring of the baby (CTG) and to have a fluid drip in your hand/arm during your labour, therefore movement can be restricted. Your labour may be more closely checked to ensure you and your baby’s wellbeing. The midwives work a rota system so you may well see more than one midwife during your stay.


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