Pregnancy App Article: "Planning ahead: Where to give birth"

Week 27
Where should you give birth?
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Still considering your options for birth, location-wise? If it is your first pregnancy and you don’t feel confident enough for a home birth, you might prefer the option of a stand-alone midwifery unit, otherwise known as a birth centre. They are NHS run, entirely by midwives, and you can apply directly. The set-up is more intimate than that of a large hospital – they aim for a home-from-home atmosphere – and, because there are fewer midwives, the care may be more personal.

Epidurals and Caesarean sections are not available at these centres, so it is only an option for low-risk pregnancies, when everything is looking straightforward. Should complications arise, you may need to be transferred in an emergency. So if you fancy lying in bed with a menu of chocolates and hardcore drugs, this is not the option for you.
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I gave birth at our local midwife-led maternity unit which is attached to the hospital. This is the default option in our area for low-risk pregnancies, and this was ideal for me as I was keen to have as little intervention as possible and so wanted to avoid a full-on hospital labour ward.
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My first midwife said ask for a home birth, you can always change your mind. You can't change your mind and have a supported home birth once you've decided to have a hospital delivery.
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When I got pregnant I had the choice of about five different hospitals and was told I could have a look round them but I already knew I wanted the one that was closest to my family. So I think you can choose what you want really. You never know what can happen and I feel the hospital is the best place to be for both you and the baby
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I know each hospital is different, and services differ by area, but I would say really research what's available to you locally, and don't automatically be put off anything NHS-related, as there are a lot of fab facilities available. Equally if you're really keen on a home birth, go for it - you'll likely find your midwife is very supportive and will help you think about logistics etc.
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