Where to have my baby

 Where to have your baby

There are many options of where to have your baby. When making your decision it is important to know what place of birth options are available in your area, what are your individual recommendations and what are your preferences.

Your midwife or obstetrician will talk to you about your personal recommendations based on your pregnancy, medial history, any previous pregnancies and healthy lifestyle.

You can choose to accept or decline recommendations, and have your baby wherever you choose, but it important that you have had the opportunity to access the best available evidence.

There are national guidelines, local guidelines, personal opinions, personal experiences, traditional practices, local and national audits and research, websites, social media groups, books, journals, conversations with others and a whole multitude of information available. Your health care providers (doctors and midwives) will base your recommendations on the best available scientific research but it is important to remember that there are limitations to the research available (for example scanning is a very useful tool, but it is not an exact science).

Therefore any decisions you make should be based on what is right for you, at the right time, after asking the right questions.

The information below aims to guide you through some factors that will help with your decision making.

 

* We encourage you to use the BRAIN analogy. When you are making decisions about your body, your baby, your health and your maternity care, please consider:

B the benefits. How will this benefit me or my baby?

R the risks. What risks are involved?

A the alternatives. What other options do I have?

I intuition. What is your gut feeling? You may also want to ask your health care provider about their intuition and ‘gut feeling’.

N nothing. What happens if I do nothing?

 

At ABUHB we do everything we can to keep you and your baby safe, and feel strongly that having a positive birth experience is not the ‘icing on the cake’ but an integral part of your birth

Put simply, we want you to have a good experience, we will advise you of how best to achieve that, but the decision is yours.

Please find attached the ‘Birth Place Decisions’ leaflet that provides further information about place of birth options

https://abuhb.nhs.wales/files/maternity/birthplacedecisionsabuhb-pdf/

There is also information on our website.

https://abuhb.nhs.wales/hospitals/a-z-hospital-services/maternity-services/maternity-services/where-will-my-baby-be-born/

We have:

one obstetric unit at the Grange University Hospital

one alongside midwifery unit (birth centre) at The Grange University Hospital

four freestanding midwifery units (birth centres) across local areas

a home birth service

Our alongside midwifery unit (birth centre) at the Grange University hospital (GUH)  opened in November 2020. 

All of the birth rooms are designed to make you feel safe, relaxed and calm. We have one birth pool available (as well as pools at all of our 4 freestanding birth centres) and all of the rooms are equipped with birthing balls, LED candles, free WiFi, birthing mats and soft furnishings.

As with all of our birth centres, the ethos is promoting natural (physiological birth) and mobilisation, upright positions, relaxations techniques, and much more are encouraged.

Alongside Maternity Unit.jpg

We have one obstetric unit which is at the Grange University hospital, newly opened in November 2020. Often know as the ‘main delivery unit’, ‘labour ward’, or ‘delivery suite’.  The obstetric led unit is the recommended place of birth for women who are following a pathway of consultant led care due to their medical history, previous pregnancy history, current pregnancy complications or potential underlying health problems. You will have one to one care with a midwife and the availability and input of an obstetrician. Here, epidural anaesthetic is available and assisted deliveries and caesarean sections can be performed if needed. All rooms are private with en-suite, and free WiFi.

Women who have hospital based induction of labour will have their babies within the obstetric unit. Please discuss this with your midwife or obstetrician. We also have maternity operating theatres.

If you choose an obstetric led unit but really want the relaxed setting of a birth unit, you can ask for the lights to be dimmed, fairy lights and LED candles, gentle music, a birthing ball and use hypnobirthing techniques. (photos of obstetric unit)

Obstetrics Unit GUH.jpg

All of our freestanding birth centres have relaxed environments, birthing pools, birthing balls, birth stools, floor mattresses and much more. Lighting is low, calm and welcoming. Our birth centres are staffed by experienced midwives who are passionate about supporting natural birth.

Please see our birth place decisions leaflet (above) which explores the benefits and risks of all areas. A freestanding birth centre is staffed by midwives so if you need an obstetrician (doctor), or if your baby needs the care of a neonatologist or the NICU, you would need to be transferred to the Grange University hospital.

Some of the main differences are the way your baby is monitored in labour, access to an obstetric team of doctors and access to certain medications (for example if you are diabetic and need to be on intravenous drugs these would need to be given on an obstetric unit- so if you choose a birth centre you would also be declining this medication). Equally, global, national and local evidence shows that women who choose birth in a birth centre are less likely to need pain relief, less likely to need intervention and more likely to achieve a physiological (natural) birth.

Please ask your midwife to talk to you about choosing birth at a freestanding midwifery led unit.

Our freestanding birth centres include:

Abergavenny birth centre at Nevill Hall hospital (picture - top right )

Newport birthing pod at the Royal Gwent (picture below)

Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr birth centre in Ystrad Mynach 

Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan birth pod in Ebbw Vale (picture bottom right)

Birthing pools are available at all of our midwifery units/ birth centres. should you wish to relax and or give birth in the water. Women who immerse in water require fewer drugs for pain relief and are more likely to have a quicker birth.

 We also encourage women to be as active as possible throughout birth with aids such as birthing balls, birthing stool and floor mats.​​​​​RGH Birth pod 3.jpg

Abergavenny Birth Centre.jpgYAB Birthing Centre.jpg

We are proud to have a well-established home birth service. There are many benefits of choosing home birth including feeling more relaxed in a familiar environment, being less likely to need intervention or pain relief than within a hospital environment, labour not being interrupted to travel to a hospital setting, guaranteed use of a birth pool if you choose to buy or hire one, more likely to be supported in labour by a midwife you know, the reassurance of being close to your other children and many more benefits.

This link to the NHS public health pages gives you more information on home births.

 

https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/labour-and-birth/preparing-for-the-birth/where-to-give-birth-the-options/

 

Your midwife will talk to you about planning a home birth and discuss possible reasons for transfer to a hospital setting, although rare, (please see the birth place decisions leaflet also in this unit) as well as all the benefits of a home birth and ways to optimise natural labour and birth.

Many women choose to hire or buy a birth pool, and there are many companies online.

 

ABUHB Maternity Services have an active Facebook page and a group called ABUHB Maternity Links and Resources group, where you can find ‘guides’ including more photographs and pictures of our birth areas. Please see our guide called ‘maternity information’ for positive affirmations and more information about hypnobirthing, how to support best positions for your baby, active birth and encouraging natural birth.

Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

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