Deciding where to have your baby can depend on many variables: where you live, past medical history, your age, previous problems in pregnancy and family history.
Where should I have my baby?
It is important to think about what sort of care and where you would prefer to give birth. Speak to your GP or midwife for information local to you and consider the following:
- Hospital - have specialist doctors, consultant obstetricians, midwives etc. If there is more than one hospital in your area then you can choose which one.
- At home - giving birth in your own home can provide more privacy and comfort and you are more likely to know you midwife that will be with you during the delivery.
- In a GP or Midwife led unit - these units are attached to a hospital. Community midwifes manage these units and you may get to know the staff that could delivery your baby. These units are ideal for women who are likely to have a normal delivery and have no complications during their pregnancy.
How to arrange your antenatal care
See your GP as soon as have a positive pregnancy test. You can then discuss all the options available to you and research the local hospitals and services available in your area.
Some women when reviewing their local hospitals not only consider what facilities the hospital has but the rates of caesarean section, episiotomy, epidurals etc,
How long will I stay in hospital?
It all depends on the type of delivery you have. It varies from several hours to 3 days, if you had a normal delivery, and you can expect to stay in hospital for 4 - 5 days if you have a caesarean section.
Choosing a private hospital
Ensure that the hospital provides all the necessary facilities you require and most importantly has a team of obstetricians, anesthetists, midwives and paediatricians present in the hospital at all times. Never forget that safety remains the most important factor in making your decision.
Questions you may wish to ask about a hospital
- Where will I go for my antenatal care?
- Who will I see and how many times?
- Will I receive midwifery led care?
- Can I see only female doctors and nurses?
- Can I look around the maternity unit and labour ward?
- What antenatal classes are provided?
- Who and how many people can I have with me during labour?
- What pain relief options during labour do you have available?
- What facilities are available for premature, or sick babies?
- Where will I be cared for after giving birth?
It is also advisable to make a birth plan, a record of what you would like to happen during labour. Discuss this with your midwife over a number of visits, and be flexible with any decisions you make as not situations and circumstances can change.
For more information
Where to have my baby
How to make a birth plan
Comment choisir sa maternité ?
Elegir la maternidad: la seguridad ante todo
Die Wahl der Entbindungsstation