Bedford Hospital

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust

Alongside Birth Centre

The Acorn Suite

Contact & visitor information

A birth centre is a more homely environment, where the focus is on birth without medical intervention.

a medium unit


births from Apr 2017 to Apr 2018



Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Special Care Unit (SCU)

Pain-relief options

  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Diamorphine
  • Meptid
  • Morphine sulphate (Oramorph)
  • Pethidine
  • Remifentanil
  • Sterile water injections
  • Epidural
  • Birth pool
Find out more about pain relief during labour

Having a baby here

During labour and birth

  • If you arrive in the early stages of labour
    • You'll be seen by a midwife who will check the progress of your labour
    • You'll be encouraged to go home
    • There's an area where you can be assessed
    • You can have a bath or use a birth pool if available
    • You can be admitted to the antenatal ward
  • Birthing rooms
    • 3 Birthing room(s)
    • 2 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 2 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • It is requested that your main two birthing partners don't swap with other friends/members of the family during labour.
    • The limit on number of birth supporters is strict
    • You can have the following number of birth partners with you during labour: 2

Birth facilities

  • Aromatherapy service
  • Bean bags
  • Birth balls
  • Birth mats
  • Birthing couch
  • Dimmable lighting
  • iPod dock
  • Reclining chair
  • Supporting rope or sling
  • TENS machine
  • Hypnobirthing
  • Birthing stools
  • TV
  • Rocking chair

After you've given birth

  • Private postnatal rooms
    • Amenity rooms are available.
    • £120
  • Provision for partners staying overnight
    • Partners can stay in a room with you on a reclining chair
    • Partners can stay in a room with you on a camp bed/sofa
  • Your stay after you've given birth
    • After you have given birth you'll be transferred to a bed in the postnatal area
    • Women who've had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 6-24 hours after the birth
    • If you're transferred to the labour ward during the birth you can't come back to the birth centre postnatally
  • Contact & visitor information

How many midwives will I meet?

The maximum number of different midwives you're likely to see for antenatal appointments is 4 and for postnatal appointments it's 3.

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born, but different midwives when you're in labour.

If you are live outside the hospital catchment area and at low risk of complications, you will be looked after by the Community Midwives attached to your own GP surgery.

Find out about the benefits of knowing your midwife


* We’ve adjusted the data where it’s based on a small number of women to ensure confidentiality
Compared to the national average, women were:
    What is your situation?

    Is this your first birth?

    Have you had a caesarean for a previous birth?

    Are you at a higher risk of complications?

    Clear answers

    Is this the best unit for you?

    Find out more about your local options and where you want to give birth

    Use our tool to find out

    Who can give birth here?

    • This birth centre/midwife-led unit is the default option for low risk women at this hospital
    • Eligibility
      • Baby must be head down
      • You can discuss having your baby here, even if you don't fit the following criteria.
      • Can be Group B Strep positive
      • Straightforward pregnancy
      • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
      • BMI between 19 and 30.0
      • Aged between 18 and 39 years old
      • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 3 previous babies
      • Iron level above 105g
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area: North and Mid Bedfordshire
      • You can give birth here even if you don't live in the catchment area

    Support services

    • Accessibility
      • Wheelchair access to the wards and delivery suite
      • Limited mobility: Fully disabled access in the unit, with fully accessible shower rooms.
      • Hearing problems: Sign language support.
      • Sight problems: Staff will support you depending on your circumstances.
      • Learning disabilities: You can use an advocacy service. Family member to stay overnight if requested.
      • Autism spectrum: If appropriate a single room (if available) may be used with a family member to stay overnight if required.
    • Interpreting service
      • Service provided by LanguageLine. A 3 way interpreter telephone is available for use with LanguageLine.
      • Leaflets/information available in many languages.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Teenage pregnancy
      • Vulnerable women
      • Birth after caesarean; Listening service

    Women's experiences

    Reviews of this hospital

    Source: Care Opinion
    • Maternity care

      Last year I gave birth to my 2nd son (my first was born up north so this was my first experience at Bedford Hospital) the midwifes were excellent and very supportive. My labour and delivery went...

      by Anonymous, 19 May 2019

      Read on Care Opinion
    • Ruined my first birth experience

      Went in with reduced movement and was treated like I was wasting their time. Attached to a machine and wasn’t even told anything. My mum had to ask and the midwife was very patronising and said...

      by Anonymous, 09 Apr 2019

      Read on Care Opinion
    Source: CQC

    Care Quality Commission (CQC) Maternity Services Survey 2015

    Scores are for the NHS Trust that this hospital is part of.

    • Labour and birth

    • Staff

    • Care in hospital after birth

    • Labour and birth


      About the same compared with other trusts

    • Staff


      About the same compared with other trusts

    • Care in hospital after birth


      About the same compared with other trusts

    General information

    • Tours
    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Breastfeeding accreditation
    • Neonatal care
      • Special care unit (SCU) provides neonatal care for babies in the local area who need extra support but who don't require high dependency care.
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • There is a snacks machine available in the lobby area
      • Vending machine
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    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      Via your GP
      • Booking phone number: 01234 795812
      • If in labour call: 01234 355122 ext 6123
    • Outside space
      • Outside space is available for women in labour
      • Gardens
    • Visiting information
      • Between 7am-9pm for partner; other visitors 2-8pm
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • After you have been dropped off your car can be parked in the barrier car park
      • Drop off outside entrance maximum 30 minutes stay
    • Parking
      • Pay and display car parks. A weekly (longer stay) permit is available from the parking kiosk
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