Preparing for the birth of your baby.

Choice of place of birth.

Every woman has the right to choose where to give birth. This is an individual decision that will differ between families, so it is important to choose what is best for you and your family.

You can choose to have your baby:

  • at Home – Homebirth
  • in a stand-alone Midwifery led Birth Centre
  • in a midwifery led Birth Centre alongside an obstetric unit
  • in a hospital Obstetric unit

These options can be discussed in more detail with your community midwife at any antenatal appointment,  and you can also find out more about local maternity units in Greater Manchester & Eastern Cheshire.


Water birth.

Water birth refers to giving birth to your baby whilst in the birthing pool.  Your baby is born under the water and guided or slowly lifted to the surface by you or your midwife, so that the first breath is not stimulated until the baby is out of the water.


Preparing for the birth: What to pack in your bag

As you start getting ready for the birth of your baby, one thing you might want to think about is what to pack in your bag for the birth. Even if you aren’t planning to go to the hospital or maternity unit for birth, it’s always good to be prepared in case you need anything in a hurry.

The video below will provide some ideas about what to pack in your bag as you prepare for the birth of your baby.


Below is a useful planning guide for packing your bag:

Guide to packing your bag

Pelvic floor exercises.

Starting to think about infant feeding.

Deciding how to feed your baby is a decision that can be influenced by many different events and experiences. We want you to have the opportunity to discuss the various options available so that the decision you make is based on the best available information (rather than hearsay) and is a decision you feel comfortable and happy with.

It’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to feed your baby. But you do not have to make up your mind until your baby is born.

Infant feeding

Skin-to-skin contact

Consider having skin-to-skin on your birth plan. Skin-to-skin means holding your baby naked or dressed only in a nappy against your skin, usually under your top or under a blanket. 

There is growing evidence that shows that there are numerous benefits for mother and baby when engaged in skin-to-skin contact such as:

  • It helps to regulate your baby’s body temperature
  • It helps to stabilise your baby’s heart rate and breathing
  • It help to calm your baby and minimises stress
  • It helps to support your baby’s immune system by the passage of your own beneficial skin bacteria
  • It helps to initiate breastfeeding