Where to Give Birth

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During your pregnancy, you will need to decide where you would like to give birth. Across Suffolk and north east Essex, we havethree hospitals and one midwife-led unit that all have maternity teams ready to care for you and your baby. Another option you may wish to explore is giving birth at home. Each maternity unit offers a community midwifery team who are trained to offer support in a homebirth environment.

Researching what options are available locally will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. Sometimes your existing health and the health of your baby will have an impact on your choices. However, if you and your baby are healthy and it’s your first pregnancy or previous pregnancies have gone well, all options should be available to you.
During your first midwife appointment (the booking appointment), your midwife will ask you lots of questions about your general health and any previous pregnancies and births. The information you provide will enable your midwife to build a care plan with you that focuses on the safest options for you and your baby, your wishes, and birth preferences.

Things to Consider

It’s important to consider what type of birth you want. This will help you decide the best place to birth. You may wish to ask yourself:
Would I feel more comfortable at home?
Does the presence of doctors make me feel more confident?
What type of pain management if needed, have I considered?
Would I like a water birth?
Location of maternity unit from my home, how long would it take you to get there during busy times, especially if this is not my first baby?
Do I, or my baby need extra care or monitoring? This additional care is offered in an obstetric-led unit.

Your Birth Preferences

Education and knowledge about your options for labour and birth are essential to having the experience you want. You may have started to think about what matters to you early on in your pregnancy or perhaps you are only just considering your options close to your baby’s arrival. Everyone is different, the important thing is you feel empowered to have the birth you want, and you feel confident to speak with your midwife/obstetrician about your choices.

Everyone will experience a different pregnancy and birth journey, all with individual and unique outcomes. Writing your birth preferences down and sharing them with your midwife/obstetrician throughout your pregnancy will ensure that your care is personalised to your wishes and needs.


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