Within Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire there are 4 places of birth which you can choose from dependent upon you and your baby’s individual needs. Each section provides information regarding place of birth and during reading you will get an idea of what is important to you about the place where you give birth.
If you feel you have a medical condition which may restrict your choice, speak to your midwife or ask if there is a birth options clinic available to discuss your choices. Ultimately the decision is yours to make and you should be supported in what you decide.
For more information, read NHS England’s leaflet ‘Your Choice, Where to Have Your First Baby’.
If you have a straightforward pregnancy, and both you and the baby are well, you might choose to give birth at home. In England and Wales, just over 1 in 50 pregnant women give birth at home.
Freestanding Midwifery units (FMU) are more comfortable and homely than a maternity unit in a hospital and are separate from a hospital, and do not have immediate obstetric, neonatal or anaesthetic care.
Alongside Midwifery units (AMU) or birth centres are more comfortable and homely than an obstetric unit (OU) in a hospital. They are part of a hospital maternity unit, where pregnancy (obstetric), newborn (neonatal) and anaesthetic care is available.
Most women give birth in Obstetric units (OU), and you’ll be looked after by midwives, but doctors will be available if you need their help.
You’ll still have choices about the kind of care you want. Your midwives and doctors will provide information about what your OU can offer, however the environment is more clinicial and less homely.
If a woman approaches childbirth feeling anxious or fearful this can cause her body to tense up during the birth and actually increase feelings of pain. This is commonly known as the ‘fear, tension, pain’ cycle. Preparing for birth (link to section) can give you ideas of what you can do antenaally to reduce this.
For more information on pain relief options go to the Labour Pains website.
Benefits of labouring or giving birth in water: