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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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