Where to give birth
The choice you have about where to have your baby will depend on your needs and risks but our midwives will talk through this important decision with you.
It’s important to think carefully about what sort of care you want and where you would like to give birth. It’s helpful to think about what questions to ask the midwives about what sort of care you can expect.
The Birth Unit at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
The Birth Unit at our Women's Centre offers a calm and tranquil environment, designed to give a home-from-home feel and with your individual birth experience in mind.
Every room is different, with some having birthing pools and all featuring birth couches, mood lighting and the little details that make the difference. Once your baby is born, you and your partner can stay in the same room you gave birth in until you’re ready to leave.
You’ll have one-to-one care as you labour from one of our team of expert midwives. Our friendly staff will be on hand to make your birth experience the very best it can be for you and your family.
All rooms are equipped with private, en-suite facilities and you can also benefit from the use of aromatherapy; an innovative and effective method of relieving pain and a non-invasive, natural way to progress your labour.
Our midwives are passionate about helping you achieve the kind of natural delivery you would like. However, in the event that you need help from a doctor, need emergency assistance or would simply like an epidural, the hospital’s Delivery Suite is easily accessible on the floor below.
- Two birthing pools
- Aromatherapy service
- Seven en-suite ‘home-from-home’ birthing rooms, all equipped to support active, natural labour
- One-to-one midwife care
- Close proximity to Delivery Suite if intervention is required.
The Delivery Suite at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
On our Delivery Suite in the Women's Centre we have twelve en-suite delivery rooms, two obstetric theatres and three high dependency rooms. The delivery suite is a state-of-the-art facility, designed to provide the best possible service for women who require medical assistance during labour. Whether you are receiving consultant-led care and will need the help of a doctor to deliver your baby, or you would simply like an epidural as pain relief during labour, the Delivery Suite is equipped to meet your needs.
Midwives will be on hand to support you through your labour and you’ll have the reassurance that the very latest equipment is close at hand. Since June 2014, we have offered mobile monitoring to everyone to help you experience the benefits of active labour.
Here on Delivery Suite you will be offered the full range and choice of pain relief options, depending on your birth plan. A birthing pool room is available for pain relief and relaxation, and features the same mood lighting and individual touches that mums on our Birth Units enjoy.
Once you’ve had your baby, you’ll move to the Maternity Ward. Light, airy and modern, you’ll find the staff helpful and welcoming to you and your baby.
- State-of-the-art en-suite delivery rooms
- Pool room
- Mobile monitoring
- Theatres and recovery rooms
- High dependency rooms
- Midwife care
Cheltenham Aveta Birth Centre
Our birth centre in Cheltenham is run by midwives and has been specially designed to ensure your journey to parenthood is as smooth as possible.
All five en-suite rooms are equipped with the tools to promote a natural delivery, from birthing balls and cushions through to music and low lighting. The spacious, airy rooms have all the home comforts to create a sanctuary for your labour and birth.
The one-one-one attention from your midwife will ensure your journey to parenthood goes as smoothly as possible and your birth partner will feel at home in this intimate setting.
Each room is different, with some having birthing pools and all featuring birth couches, mood lighting and the little details that make the difference. Once your labour is over, you won’t be moved to a ward – you and your partner can get to know your baby.
Our midwives are fully trained to provide pain relief such as Entonox (gas and air) and Pethidine. If you wish to have an epidural you would need to transfer to our Delivery Suite at the Women's Centre, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
If you are considered to be at increased risk of complications, either at the beginning of your pregnancy as your pregnancy develops or during labour, your midwife or doctor may advise against giving birth in a midwifery-led unit.
- Birthing pools
- Aromatherapy service
- En-suite, ‘home-from-home’ birthing rooms, all equipped to support active, natural labour
Stroud Maternity Unit
Stroud Maternity Unit is a small midwife-led centre that’s home to about 300 births each year. At Stroud Maternity, the Birth Suite provides a home-from-home environment to help mothers feel as relaxed and calm as possible.
The team of experienced midwives are skilled at helping women to have an active birth and can advise on alternative forms of pain relief, including aromatherapy and the use of the birthing pool.
Our rooms have all been individually designed to create a comfortable and calm environment for you, your partner and your baby.
After you’ve had your baby, Stroud Maternity Unit also provides six beds where we offer women postnatal care and support. This is also available to mums who have given birth at other units.
- 2 Birthing Pool rooms
- 2 single en-suite rooms with facility for partners to stay overnight
- 6 postnatal beds
If you require an epidural or if there is an unexpected problem with you or your baby, you will be transferred to the Delivery Suite at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital's Women's Centre. Approximately 21% of women need to transfer from Stroud and this is more likely if it is your first baby. Depending on the time of day, this transfer may take time.
Giving birth at home
For many women giving birth to their baby in familiar surroundings, supported by family and with the added reassurance of home comforts is very important. In England, approximately one in 50 babies is born at home.
If your pregnancy is considered to be suitable for midwifery-led care and you are fit and healthy, research shows a home birth is just as safe as a hospital birth for your second or subsequent baby.
Our midwives can help you decide if a home birth is right for you and, if you wish, can help you deliver your baby in your own home.
They will provide all the equipment you need for a home birth, including some types of pain relief. If you need any help or your labour is not progressing as well as it should, your midwife will arrange for you to be transferred to hospital.
More information is available on the NHS Choices website.