Labour ward, midwife-led unit or homebirth? The best place for you to give birth is where YOU feel the most relaxed and safe! There are pros and cons to all 3 but if you are healthy and have no complications a lot of it comes down to personal preferences and circumstances.
Some women feel safest in a more medicalised environment, others are at their most relaxed at home locked in their downstairs loo, and for some it’s a bit of both: the birth centre. One person’s dream is another’s nightmare! You don’t have to decide until the last few weeks in pregnancy (for home birth by week 34) and you can always change your mind at the last minute. If you can, book a tour of the labour ward/birth centre with your birth partner so you can check out the environment for yourself and see where you feel most at ease. Lots of hospitals also have video tours on their websites.
If you are based in Hampshire, you can book a tour here from 30 weeks of pregnancy:
Where is/was right for you?
Brocklehurst P. (2011) Perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth for healthy women with low risk pregnancies: the Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study. BMJ 2011; 343:d7400
NHS Choices Where to give birth: The Options