Where you have your baby can have an impact on your labour. In East Lancashire you can choose to have your baby in different settings, including giving birth at home, or at venues in Burnley, Blackburn and Rossendale. Women often choose to have their baby at home so that they feel comfortable and more relaxed in their own surroundings. Midwives provide your care, and bring equipment to you before your due date so that everything is ready when the time comes. At the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre in Burnley there is a midwifery led Birth Centre next to the consultant led unit. The Birth Centre offers you a home from home environment if you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy, and just as with a home birth, you will be cared for by midwives. The consultant led unit is just next door, and here the Central Birth Suite has doctors and facilities on hand if you need extra support or treatment, such as if you are expecting twins, have a complication in pregnancy or you have a medical problem.
There are midwifery led Birth Centres in Blackburn and Rossendale. These are situated away from the consultant unit, and are designed to be as much like home as possible, while offering expert support for mother, baby and family. A recent study in the UK revealed that low-risk women planning births at home or in midwifery units had significantly fewer interventions than women giving birth in obstetric units.
Make sure you look at them all and talk to your midwife and people who have used the different venues. Watch the video about the different birth options in east Lancashire, and check out this useful WHICH? site for more information. Here is another resource to help you to choose the best place for you, to have your baby.
The best place for you to have your baby is where you feel most relaxed and supported. Sometimes your individual circumstances may mean one place is more suitable for you than another. Think about what helps you to relax and how you can use familiar things wherever you are having your baby to help you to stay calm during labour.
The room where you have your baby is for your use, so don’t be afraid to change it to make it more comfortable for you. You may want to close the curtains, dim the lights, get some fresh air, have music playing or not, use a birth ball or floor mat. You can even bring things from home if that will help to relax you – cushions, blankets, bathrobe, pillows.
Use the things in your room to help you get into positions that will help make your birth easier – you don’t have to use the bed, you may decide you want to move around and use other things around the room to support you, letting gravity help your baby. For example, you may want to kneel up in a birth pool, leaning on the side while your partner massages your back. You may want to write down your preferences. For this reason we have produced a Birth Preferences Form (or Birth Plan).