Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
What are the main things I need to consider when deciding where I want my baby to be born?
The main things to consider are:
- your safety
- the safety of your baby
- where you will feel most comfortable, confident, relaxed and in control of your delivery.
Can all women have a home delivery?
To ensure the safety of you and your baby, there are some rules to be met before you can have a home birth. These include that:
- you are expecting only one baby
- your labour starts between 37 weeks and 42 weeks of pregnancy
- you have had less than 5 previous pregnancies
- your baby is lying head down
- you have no medical problems or concerns
- you have had no problems with this or previous pregnancies
- you have good help and support from your family and friends at home.
What are the advantages of a home birth?
The advantages of a home birth are:
- giving birth in familiar surroundings
- it encourages freedom, comfort and a sense of control
- it reduces the need for artificial pain relief
- you will be free from hospital routine.
What are the disadvantages of a home birth?
The disadvantages of a home birth are:
- Complications: If any complications occur during your labour or delivery, it may be necessary for you to be moved to hospital. This may cause you added discomfort and anxiety, as well as causing a delay in receiving medical treatment.
Any concerns about safety should be discussed with your midwife.
- too many visitors. This can be very tiring (although the same could happen if you were in hospital)
- being tempted to get back to normal routine too quickly.
What plans need to be made if I want a home birth?
Your midwife will:
- discuss this as part of your birth plan
- visit you around the 36th week of your pregnancy to develop your plan of care and to prepare you, your family and home for your labour and delivery
- arrange delivery of equipment to your home, for example, gas and air and a home delivery pack
- talk to you about the types of pain relief available (see leaflet ‘Pain relief during childbirth’). Not all methods of pain relief described in the leaflet are available during a home birth, for example, the only injection for pain relief available to you will be pethidine.
If you get any prescribed drugs for your pain relief you are responsible for their safe keeping. Your midwife will advise you on the safe storage of Entonox (gas and air) cylinders if you need them.
Will my own midwife deliver my baby?
No, not always. It would depend if they were on duty and available. There will always be 2 midwives at your delivery. We cannot guarantee that you will know the midwives. In some cases, the midwives may need to change during your labour as they need to have breaks and work within safe time practices.
What should I do when I go into labour?
When you think you are in labour, you should telephone the Delivery Suite at your hospital. They will discuss what is happening and may arrange for a community midwife to visit you at home.
What if there is a problem during my labour or delivery?
If any problems arise during your pregnancy, your midwife may advise you to change your place of birth to the hospital and may seek consultant advice.
If any complications arise during labour, your midwife will discuss these with you and arrange for your immediate transfer to hospital, by ambulance. Your midwife will go with you to hospital. They may not be able to stay with you during the rest of your labour.
A Professional Midwifery Advocate (PMA) is available at all times for your midwife. They are there to help your midwife provide the safest level of care to you and your baby at all times.
University Hospital of North Tees
Telephone: 01642 624240
University Hospital of Hartlepool
Telephone: 01429 522876
Tees & North East Yorkshire Ambulance Service
Telephone: 01642 850888
North East Ambulance Service
Telephone: 0191 3864488
Further information is available from:
The Active Birth Centre
25 Bickerton Road
Telephone: 020 7482 5554
Third Foor West
2-6 Northburgh Street
Telephone: 020 7490 7639
The National Childbirth Trust
Telephone: 020 8992 8637
Association for Improvement in the Maternity Services (AIMS)
c/o Chair B Lawrence Beech
5 Ann’s Court
Telephone: 0870 765 1433
AIMS Home Birth Support Co-ordinator
Telephone: 0870 765 1447
- Tew, M (1990), Safer Childbirth? A critical history of maternity care, Chapman Hall, London.
- Olsen, O Jewell MD (2003) Home versus hospital birth (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane library, Issue 3, 2003. Update Software, Oxford.
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1231
Date for review: 16 September 2023