Where to give birth

Answer a few simple questions and discover whether birth in a labour ward, birth centre or at home would be best for you.

  1. 1Your birth experience
  2. 2Your situation
  3. 3Your results

Do you think you will want to use a birth pool?

Being in the water can help you cope with pain during labour. Evidence shows that women who use water are less likely to need an epidural, but the idea doesn’t appeal to everyone.

How important is it to you to have access to an epidural?

An epidural is a local anaesthetic injected into the spine. It gives very good pain relief, but can have side effects such as:

  • needing a tube (catheter) put in to empty your bladder
  • needing a drip to keep your labour going
  • increasing your chance of having an assisted delivery.

How important is it to you to give birth without medical interventions?

Medical interventions, such as having a caesarean or delivering with the help of forceps, can sometimes be necessary for the safety of you or your baby. Some people are very comfortable with this, but others actively try to reduce the chance of such interventions if at all possible.

Are you willing to plan for the possibility of being transferred during labour?

If you’re in a birth centre or at home, you may be moved to hospital during labour or once your baby is born if you or your baby needs extra care. This is called being transferred.