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Choosing where to have your baby

Your midwife will help you to make an informed choice as to the best place for you to give birth. This will be discussed with you after review of:

  • Your medical and pregnancy history
  • Your family situation
  • Your wishes

Women with no health concerns are suitable for midwife led care at the following places:

  • Home
  • St Marys Birth Centre
  • Orchard Birth Centre, Leicester Royal infirmary
  • Meadow Birth Centre, Leicester General Hospital

If you want to have your baby at home or at St Mary’s Birth Centre, but have been advised to have your baby in the hospital, you will be offered an appointment to discuss this further.

Home Birth

Currently, about 3 out of a 100 women and birthing people choose to have a home birth in Leicestershire.

Home birth is nationally supported for women and birthing people with no risk factors between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy (NICE 2014).

What you need to know about home births

  • You are more likely to have a vaginal birth at home than if you were at hospital
  • Leicester’s Hospitals have a dedicated home birth team offering a 24 hour service
  • The team support women and birthing people choosing to birth at home throughout their pregnancy, birth and after birth
  • A risk assessment is done at 36 weeks to make sure a home birth remains a suitable choice
  • Two midwives will normally be with you to support you during labour and at the birth of your baby
  • They leave about two hours after the birth
  • The midwives on the homebirth team carry a range of equipment to help you give birth at home, including gas and air (Entonox)
  • If you wish to use a birthing pool or TENS machine, you can supply this yourself or these can be borrowed from the home birth team for a donation
  • For more information about homebirths please see their Facebook page (University Hospitals of Leicester home birth team) or call the home birth team on 0116 2583425

St Mary’s Birth Centre

St Mary’s Birth centre is a midwifery led centre based in Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire. It offers a 24/7 service for labour and postnatal care.

It is staffed by midwives, maternity care assistants and maternity support workers and is suitable for women and birthing people who are having midwifery-led care.

St Mary’s Birth Centre is available to all pregnant people, even if you are not booked for care at Leicester’s Hospitals.

What you need to know about St Mary’s Birth Centre

  • The birth centre has a birthing pool in both of its labour rooms, whilst beanbags, stools and mats are also available
  • There are a range of pain relief choices available. These include gas and air (Entonox) and the pethidine injection.  Women and birthing people’s birth plans are supported to include the use of TEN’s
  • Should you need more support during the labour or birth, you can be transferred to a consultant led unit (either Leicester or Nottingham – depending on the hospital you booked at)
  • The birth centre offers breast feeding support in the postnatal period. This is available on the postnatal ward, the daily postnatal clinic or over the phone
  • St Mary’s has free parking right outside the door. It is easily accessible from all parts of the city and county.

If you have your baby in any hospital, you can ask to go to St Mary’s Birth Centre after the birth of your baby. You can do this when both you and your baby are stable and ready to go home. This can help with support in the early days.

If you are interested in having your baby at St Mary’s Birth Centre you can talk about this with your midwife or ring the Birth Centre on 01664 854854. A risk assessment is carried out at 36 weeks of pregnancy to talk about having your baby St Mary’s in more detail.

Check out the St Mary’s social media pages for more information:

Phone: 01664 854 854

Address:
St Mary’s Birth Centre
Thorpe Road
Melton Mowbray
Leicestershire LE13 1SJ

Orchard Birth Centre, Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) and Meadow Birth Centre, Leicester General Hospital (LGH)

The birth centres are staffed by midwives with Maternity Care Assistant support staff. The facilities include:

  • Birthing pools
  • birth balls
  • birth mats
  • low lighting

What you need to know about Orchard Birth Centre and Meadow Birth Centre

  • The birth centres are based in the hospital.
  • There is access to consultant led care (Delivery Suite) and epidural drugs if you you want them. You would need to move to the delivery suite if this is the case.
  • The birth centres are close to the Delivery Suite.
  • The birth centres are part of the Delivery Suite, but separately staffed.
  • The midwives work a rota system so you may see more than one midwife during your stay
  • Meadows Birth Centre at the Leicester General Hospital has four birth rooms: Two of the rooms have birthing pools and one of the rooms has an en-suite bathroom
  • Orchard Birth Centre at the Leicester Royal Infirmary has six birth rooms: Two of the rooms have birthing pools and two have en-suite bathrooms.

Having your baby in a consultant led unit can mean a higher chance of interventions, such as using a medical instrument to help with delivery of the baby. There is also a high chance of having a caesarean section compared with birthing at home or at St Mary’s Birth Centre.

If there is a problem with your baby, a Neonatologist or Nurse Practitioner will be available to assess the well-being of your baby. There are facilities to care for your baby if there are any complications with your baby’s health but these facilities are different at Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary.

  • The neonatal unit at Leicester General Hospital provides special care
  • Leicester Royal Infirmary provides both special and intensive care

This means that your baby may need to be transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary or another hospital in the region to provide intensive care should this be needed.

Delivery Suite, Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital

If you are having shared care or consultant led care it is advised that you give birth in hospital. Midwives and a consultant led team of doctors provide a 24 hour service.

You will have choices about the kind of care you want, including pain relief, monitoring of your baby and environment. The midwives and doctors will discuss your birth preferences with you. You will be advised to have your baby on the Delivery Suite if your labour has been induced.

The maternity team on the delivery suites is led by

  • a senior midwife (midwifery coordinator),
  • consultant obstetrician and
  • consultant anaesthetist,

but there are many team members whom you may meet and receive care from. You may be advised to give birth on delivery suite because of problems in a previous or the current pregnancy, or due to medical issues. Sometimes you may need to or choose to transfer to the delivery suite during labour or even after birth because of concerns in the labour.

Some women and birthing people need close monitoring during pregnancy or around birth. The maternity team are able to manage most of this on Delivery Suite.

You will have a midwife looking after you who will provide most of your care. You will be reviewed by the maternity team when you arrive on Delivery Suite and on ward rounds, which happen in the morning and in the evening. The team will discuss your current situation and make a plan with you for your care. This is a chance to ask questions and discuss your care, but you can also ask your midwife in between these times.

On Delivery Suite, you will have direct access to doctors who can provide:

  • more specialist advice
  • epidurals
  • assist with your birth, including caesarean sections.

What you need to know about Delivery Suite, Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital

  • You will be able to use a TENS machine (however these are not provided by the hospital), gas and air, pethidine and epidurals.
  • The staff will respect your birth preferences, you can use birthing balls, have dimmed lighting etc in a similar way to the Birth Centres
  • If you are having your baby on Delivery Suite, you might need continuous monitoring of your baby. Your movement might be limited but there are machines that are wireless, which means you can walk around. Please let your midwife know if this is something you would like
  • The midwives work a rota system so you may well see more than one midwife during your stay
  • Both Delivery Suites have two operating theatres where we deliver babies by caesarean, forceps or ventouse, and do other necessary operations around the time of birth. If you need to go to theatre you may bring one birth partner with you

There are facilities to care for your baby if there are any complications with your baby’s health. The facilities are different at Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary.

  • The neonatal unit at Leicester General Hospital provides special care
  • The unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary can deliver more intensive care

This means that your baby may need to be transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary or another hospital in the region to provide intensive care should this be needed.

If there is a chance your baby might be born before 32 weeks, you will be asked to go to Leicester Royal Infirmary. This is because there is more specialist care available at the LRI neonatal unit.

Leicester General Hospital Delivery Suite

Address:
Leicester General Hospital,
Gwendolen Road,
Leicester,
LE5 4PW

Leicester Royal Infirmary Delivery Suite

Address:
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Infirmary Square
Leicester
LE1 5WW

ChatHealth Logo

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

Page last reviewed: 24-01-2024

Next review due: 24-01-2027