Belford Hospital, Fort William


Freestanding Birth Centre

The 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

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 a dedicated area where women can keep active
    • 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 delivery suite/birthing room
  • Transfer details
  • Birthing rooms
    • 1 Birthing room(s)
    • 1 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 1 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • The limit depends on the individual circumstances
    • You can have the following number of birth partners with you during labour: 0

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
    • Partners can stay in a room with you on a reclining chair
  • 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 6-12 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 4.

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.

There is continuity of planned care for antenatal, postnatal and also intrapartum care if booking locally. If OOH then the on-call midwife is in attendance, and if on leave any midwife in the team.

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
    • Age of 16 and above
    • Between 37 and 41+4 weeks pregnant
    • Maximum of 4 previous babies
  • Catchment area
    • Women who live within the catchment area: Lochaber, Small Isles, Knoydart Peninsula and Invernessshire
    • 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: you will be given as much support as possible during your pregnancy.
    • Hearing problems: you will be given as much support as possible during your pregnancy.
    • Sight problems: you will be given as much support as possible during your pregnancy.
    • Learning disabilities: you will being looked after by specialist workers and provided with a plan of care.
    • Autism spectrum: you will being looked after by specialist workers and provided with a plan of care.
  • Interpreting service
    • A translator will be booked if possible
    • you will be given as much support as possible during your pregnancy.
  • Specialist midwifery teams
    • Infant feeding
    • Antenatal Screen an Diabetes support in tertiary centre, safegaurding by Child Protection Officer; Mental health by Perinatal Mental Health Nurse.

General information

  • Tours
    • Telephone the unit to book a tour
  • Non-NHS Care
    • Private maternity care isn't available here.
  • Food for partners out-of-hours
    • Vending machine
    • 24h use of kitchen facilities
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  • Contact information
  • How to book once you're pregnant
    Contact your local midwives
    Via your GP
    Book directly from 6 weeks of pregnancy
    • Booking phone number: 0139 770 0371
    • If in labour call: 0139 770 0371
  • Outside space
    • There is no outside space available for women in labour
  • Visiting information
    • Not applicable - No private rooms
    • At midwives discretion.
  • Car parking for women in labour
    • There are a limited number of spaces but there is a large car park just across the road. Free from November - May.
    • No special arrangements
  • Parking
    • Free parking
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