Bridgwater Community Hospital

Taunton And Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Freestanding Birth Centre

The Mary Stanley Midwifery Unit

Contact & visitor information

Freestanding birth centres are not on the same site as a hospital, so your care is led by midwives. If you need the assistance of a doctor you’ll be transferred to a labour ward at a hospital.

a very small unit


births from Apr 2017 to Apr 2018



Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Neonatal care unit
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Orchard Team midwives have been in operation since April 2018 caseloading homebirth and FMU services.

Pain-relief options

  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Diamorphine
  • Meptid
  • Morphine sulphate (Oramorph)
  • Pethidine
  • Remifentanil
  • Sterile water injections
  • Epidural
  • Birth pool
  • Other: Aromatherapy
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
    • You can have a bath or use a birth pool if available
    • You can be admitted to the delivery suite/birthing room
    • Women can choose to have a home assessment before coming to the birth unit.
  • Transfer details
  • Birthing rooms
    • 2 Birthing room(s)
    • 2 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 2 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • There are no restrictions on how many birth partners you can have.

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 not available.
  • Provision for partners staying overnight
    • There is no overnight stay for mothers or partners.
  • Your stay after you've given birth
    • You'll be able to stay in the same room throughout your stay
    • Women who've had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 0-4 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 6 and for postnatal appointments it's 6.

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

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

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy, during labour and after your baby is born.

You will have a named midwife who works as part of a small team of midwives, using a caseloading model of care. You may through the pregnancy meet more than one midwife but they will be part of your team and these will be the same staff who look after you in labour and during the postnatal period.If you are from out of area, you can of course continue to have care with midwifery services closer to your home address but you can be still book to have your baby at our birthing centres.

Find out about the benefits of knowing your midwife

Who can give birth here?

  • Eligibility
    • Baby must be head down
    • You can discuss having your baby here, even if you don't fit the following criteria.
    • Straightforward pregnancy
    • Straightforward previous pregnancies
    • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
    • BMI between 18 and 35.0
    • Aged between 16 and 40 years old
    • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
    • Maximum of 4 previous babies
  • Catchment area
    • Women who live within the catchment area: TA1-11, TA21-24, BA5-6, BA16.
    • 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: lift access.
    • Hearing problems: British sign language through interpreting services.
    • Sight problems: we review case by case as to specific individual needs.
    • Learning disabilities: specialist visual cards from Juniper team on a needs basis.
    • Autism spectrum: individualised to women's needs.
  • Interpreting service
    • You can use the translation line by phone or face to face. Can be arranged with suitable notice.
    • leaflets in different languages can be made available and are on links on the HANDi Maternity App,
  • Specialist midwifery teams
    • Antenatal Screening
    • Bereavement
    • Diabetes
    • Infant feeding
    • Perinatal mental health
    • Substance misuse
    • Teenage pregnancy
    • Vulnerable women
    • Smoking cessation, tongue-tie in babies.

Women's experiences

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

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  • Contact information
  • How to book once you're pregnant
    Via your GP
    Book directly from 8 weeks of pregnancy
    • Booking phone number: 01278 436774
    • If in labour call: 01823 342059
  • Outside space
    • Outside space is available for women in labour
    • There is a veranda.
  • Visiting information
    • Not applicable - No private rooms
    • Open visiting
  • Car parking for women in labour
    • There is plenty of free parking.
    • Parking spaces at the maternity unit
  • Parking
    • Free
  • Temporary closures
    • Number of times this unit was closed between Apr 2015 - Apr 2016: 1
    • Reason for closure: due to increased workload in the hospital in Taunton
    • If this unit is closed when you go into labour you'll be asked to go to an alternative unit: Bracken Birth Centre
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