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At home

Home births are a popular choice for some women who have an uncomplicated pregnancy. Approximately three to four per cent of women in our area opt for this because they want to have a non-medical experience in familiar, homely surroundings.

The 2011 “Birth Place in England Study” showed that home births were as safe as hospital births for second and subsequent babies but that there was a very small increase in problems for babies of first time mothers. Women having their babies at home have the highest chance of an uncomplicated birth and lower chance of needing a caesarean section or other medical assistance. They are also more likely to breastfeed successfully and be satisfied with their birth experience.

If your labour is progressing slowly, you require an epidural or there are complications, you will be transferred by ambulance to Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Please ensure that childcare arranagements will need to be in place in case of transfer. Journey time will depend on where you live.

Comments from parents

Rebecca had two home births. She said: “We always hoped that giving birth would be as positive an experience as possible and so when home was an option we thought why not…no pressure to go anywhere, we would be in familiar surroundings and still have access to entonox [gas and air] and a birthing pool1. We had one to one care from a very conscientious and caring midwife. There was never any compromise over mine or the baby’s safety and we never felt isolated as the home care continued for several days. When planning the birth of our second child we had no hesitation in wanting to be at home and feel fortunate that Noah and Bella were born into the environment they will grow up in.”

Please note: birthing pools for home use are not provided by the hospital.