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Giving birth at home

If you have a straightforward pregnancy and both you and the baby are well, you might choose to give birth at home.

If you give birth at home, you’ll be supported by a midwife who will be with you while you’re in labour. If you need any help or your labour is not progressing as well as it should, your midwife will make arrangements for you to be transferred to hospital.

The advantages of giving birth at home include:

  • being in familiar surroundings where you may feel more relaxed and able to cope
  • you don’t have to interrupt your labour to go into hospital
  • you will not need to leave your other children, if you have any
  • you will not have to be separated from your partner after the birth
  • you are more likely to be looked after by a midwife who you have got to know during your pregnancy

There are some things you should think about if you’re considering a home birth:

  • you may need to transfer to a hospital if there are complications
  • epidurals are not available at home
  • your doctor or midwife may recommend that you give birth in hospital; for example if you are expecting twins, or if your baby is breech – your midwife or doctor will explain why they think a hospital birth is safer for you and your baby

Planning a home birth

Ask your midwife whether or not a home birth is suitable for you and your baby, or available to you. If it is, your midwife will arrange for members of the midwifery team to support and help you. Here are some questions you might want to ask:

  • How long would it take it I needed to be transferred to hospital?
  • Which hospital would I be transferred to?
  • Would a midwife be with me all the time?
  • How do I obtain a birthing pool?

For more information about home birth speak to your GP or Midwife.

Home birth information sessions

Expectant mothers who would like to find out more about having a home birth are invited to attend an information session hosted by midwives from York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. For more information click here.

In England, around one in every 50 babies is born at home.

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