Midwife led birth centre vs. Hospital?

Hello ladies, I am 35+5 now, so been thinking a lot about birth and labour, which is probably normal :) Have you got any thoughts of where the best place to have your baby is?

We've got a beautiful birth centre in my town, Huddersfield, with water pools, which I'd really like, just by the hospital, which hasn't unfortunately got a neonatal unit. So in case of any complication, I'd need to be transferred to a hospital 20 mins away in Halifax.

My sister, who is an intensive care nurse back in Poland, where I'm from, keeps terrorizing me that the hospital is the ONLY WAY, as it may be too late if something goes wrong at centre.

Thanks for your advice x

9 Replies

  • Hi

    My opinion is if you're low risk I.E no complications to birth & baby a Midwife Led birth centre is excellent.

    I gave birth to my 2nd child in a midwife led birth unit, but the unit was also attached to my Local city hospital.

    The best thing about the birth centre/ unit to me was the fact I was in a nice, spacious room with my partner/ other half for support & there was always a member of staff/ midwife at hand whenever needed.


  • I would have liked a birth centre birth but from early I decided I'll stick with hospital just in case. Lucky I did as well as it all went wrong. However, if your pregnancy is going well and is low risk a birthing centre could be an amazing experience. Things could go a bit wrong but things can go just right so make the decision you believe is best for you and your baby :-) x

  • Yes, I agree with what has already been said about weighing up the risks. I had my first two babies in hospital, but this time around was persuaded that a birthing centre would be a good option. I had a look around and liked what I saw.

    I decided to go with the birthing centre and have a pool birth which worked out well. I turned up with the whole family with the idea being my daughters would be picked up by a friend who lived nearby. As it turned out I gave birth within 3/4 hour of arrival! It was very peaceful at the birthing centre and I had the ward all to myself afterwards.

    The only down side was that it took me nearly an hour to deliver the placenta. Had it taken any longer they would have had to transfer me 15 miles by ambulance as it could easily have given rise to an emergency situation.

    All in all it was a great experience, but a little unsure what I would choose next time given the extremely rapid birth ( but would definitely use a pool again).

  • Always thought I was more on the brave side :) however, regarding birth to my baby I want to consider all possibilities could happen and decided to do in hospital. Wish you all the best!

  • I have to say im with ur sister u never no what coukd happen we have a lovely birth centre but if anything went wrong it was a 40min transfer to the hospital with maternity ward even thou there is a hospital nxt door to the birth centre just with no mat ward very anoying! My labour had lots of unexpected complications so was glad I chose the hospital to be onest dnt no if just me when the pain started I wouldnt of cared where I was! I think there is no wring decision thou its whatever ur happy with this was just my choice x

  • I was low risk all the way through but measured big at 40 weeks so was sent to the city hospital to have my lil man even though he was only 7lb 12oz when born but I had to have stitches in theatre which I wouldn't of been able to have done at the midwifery unit so I'm glad really that I was at hospital, you really never no what will happen during birth or after so I would say better to be safe than sorry xxx

  • I went to a midwife led unit with my first baby, it was lovely and calm, the midwives let you get on with it and don't interfere too much, just checking progress as necessary. Unfortunately my lo was back to back and I had to be transferred to the hospital by ambulance as she was slow to progress. The hospital was about 15 minute drive away and the ambulance ran out of gas and air. I was fully dilated when I reached the hospital and gave birth naturally. It was the brilliant going to the midwife led unit, they were great and I felt well looked after, never left alone for long like some of the stories you hear in hospitals.

    I am going to have a home birth this time and am really looking forward to being in my own environment.

    Ultimately it's your decision, you have to weigh up how likely/unlikely it is you'll need the hospital facilities and how much you trust the staff to look after you. I wanted minimal interference, a relaxed and calm environment.

  • For low risk women you are more likely to have a straight forward birth if you go to a midwife led unit. Potential problems for the baby are likely to be picked up during labour and you will be transferred before birth. Why not go and see it and ask the questions that are worrying you?

  • I was low risk all through my pregnancy & I really wanted a water birth. There was a birth centre only a few miles from my house but the nearby hospital had no maternity unit so any complications would have meant a 25 minute ambulance journey down the motorway. Even though it was the closest I couldnt risk it. The worry of something going wrong outweighed the benefit of being in a birth centre down the road. So I went to the birth centre which was attached to the hospital 25 mins away. And I'm glad I did as my baby's head was facing sideways and I couldn't push him out so I ended up having a forceps delivery in the hospital after being in the birth pool for 2 hours. I literally walked through some double doors into the hospital & was hooked up to a monitor within 5 minutes. If I had the choice I would do the same again. If it's your first baby you can't predict what will happen & it's better safe than sorry.

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