We are booking birth place assessments for all ‘low risk’ pregnant people who are more than 34 weeks. Please speak to your community midwife or phone our birth centres directly to arrange a birth place assessment or to discuss out of hospital birth options.
A home-birth can be a wonderful way to bring your baby into the world. A planned birth at home means you can remain in your own familiar and comfortable surroundings during labour and after the arrival of your baby.
If you have had a baby before, research has shown that home-birth is just as safe as having your baby in a birth centre or hospital. There may be times when it becomes necessary to transfer you to the hospital (either for additional pain relief or because labour isn’t progressing as it should), this will be facilitated by an Ambulance. For first time mothers the chance of transfer to hospital and complications is slightly increased.
At Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust we currently achieve approximately 2.8% of women having a home-birth per year. The national average is 2.3%.
For more information regarding home-birth, you can read the national Birthplace Study-NCT here.
Who can have a home-birth?
Home-births are usually offered to women who have had a straightforward pregnancy, cared for by a midwife. There are many factors to deciding whether a home-birth is right for you and you should discuss this with your midwife.
Some women require additional care from a doctor during their pregnancies. This may mean that you are not considered suitable for a home-birth. All of your options can be discussed with either your midwife or if it is more appropriate, your doctor.
Benefits of home-birth
- Labour and birth in your own comfortable surroundings. You can also hire a birth pool to use
- Less medical interventions at home
- You are more likely to be looked after by a midwife you have met before
Things to consider for home-birth
- Limited pain relief options. Epidurals are not available at home
- The distance from your home to the hospital should you need to be transferred
There is lots of information regarding homebirths and other options on the NHS.uk website. Please discuss any questions with your midwife.