If you plan a home birth, you might end up transferring to the labour ward. This is only rarely an emergency scenario, but the transfer is likely to be in an ambulance. You may be transferred because:
- you want extra pain relief, such as an epidural, which isn’t available at home
- your labour is progressing slowly and you agree that you would like it speeded up artificially
- you or the baby is not coping well with labour (or immediately after the birth) and it would be safer for you to be in hospital.
For women at low risk of complications planning a home birth in England, on average about 45 in 100 (45%) first-time mothers transfer from their home during labour or soon after the birth, and about 12 out of 100 (12%) women having a second or later baby will do so.
0.6% of women who planned to have a home birth with midwives from this hospital had to transfer during labour or shortly after their baby was born
You will be transferred to a local hospital, but be aware it may not be the nearest one to where you live. This is because you’re generally transferred to the hospital where the community midwives are based. Your midwife will usually come with you to the hospital and then you will be looked after by the midwives that work on the labour ward.Find out more about what will happen if you need to be moved to hospital during a home birth