Having your baby at home
We have a dedicated team to support women interested in birthing their baby at home. If you are having a normal, healthy pregnancy and want to have your baby in a place that’s safe, comfortable and convenient, homebirth may be a great option for you.
A named midwife will care for you throughout your pregnancy, during your birth and labour in your own home. You will get to know your midwife really well, and you’ll also meet the three other members of the team during your pregnancy. Your midwife will schedule your appointments at times to suit you and the only time you’ll routinely need to go to the hospital is for your scans.
Frequently asked questions
Isn’t it safer to give birth in a hospital?
Actually no, evidence from the Birthplace Study shows that for women having their second or subsequent baby, home is the safest place for women and babies. It is associated with lower rates of intervention like episiotomy (a small cut to the perineum at the time of birth) and instrumental birth. For first time mothers there is a slightly higher risk of serious injury to the baby. This risk is still very small, at 9 per 1000 babies.
What happens if there is an emergency?
Few emergencies in childbirth are immediately life threatening. Your midwife is trained to respond to these. If we agree the safest thing is to transfer you to hospital, we will call an ambulance
What about the mess?
Despite what you’ve seen on TV, there’s really not much mess. We’ll help you prepare your birth space to avoid any accidents on sofas or carpets and of course we’ll clean up before we leave.
What if I can’t cope with the pain?
No problem, we have plenty of strategies. Lots of women like to use a pool and we can lend one to you. We also carry gas and air (Entonox) and support alternative therapies. If you need an epidural in labour then we will arrange this for you at the hospital.
What if I just change my mind when labour starts?
Nothing is set in stone! When you go into labour we’ll come and visit you at home to see how you’re doing. At this stage you can decide whether to stay put or head into the birth centre or hospital.
What if I’m already half way through my pregnancy?
That’s fine, you can come to us at any time. Women who start their care with us early on probably get the greatest benefit as we have more time together. You can contact us whenever you want.
What if I have a medical problem or previous difficult birth?
You are not alone in this as very few women have no medical history or ‘problems’. Get in touch so we can talk about this and make a plan that is both safe and meets your needs.
Find out more
To meet the homebirth midwives, other families planning to birth at home and those that have recently done so, head to our Instagram page @thhomebirth to find out about our monthly meetings, which are held virtually on the first Friday of every month.
You can email us or contact us via the Barkantine Birth Centre on 0207 791 8000. We also have a self-referral form which you can send to us via email or give to your community midwife.