There is a wealth of information about birth on the Wessex Healthier Together website which will give you information about signs of labour, and what to bring with you to the hospital. You can also prepare with the new antenatal education sessions that can be booked via your Badgernet account.
Within Hampshire Hospitals we have a range of options for you to choose for birth. You will be given information about all the options and recommendations will be made for you about the safety of each place depending on your individual pregnancy and birth factors.
You can find out the chance of different birth outcomes based on your birthplace of choice using these links:
Information for healthy, low-risk women having their first baby can be found here.
Information for healthy low-risk women who have had a baby before can be found here.
For women known to have pre-existing medical complications, or who have developed concerns during pregnancy we usually recommend birth in an Obstetric Unit to allow access to specialist medical support - Obstetricians, Anaesthetists and Neonatalogists.
If you would like to discuss your birth option in more detail you can speak to one of our consultant Obstetricians or a Consultant Midwife who will be happy to support you to make an individual plan. We support a range of birth preferences including home birth, water birth and caesarean section for maternal requests.
We work hard to ensure you and your baby are safe on our wards. We have locked doors with video and swipe card access at the entrance to each ward so we can monitor who is coming onto and leaving the wards. Please don’t hold the door to allow anyone to follow you into a ward area.
All members of staff should be wearing a clearly visible trust identification badge which allows them to gain access to relevant areas of the hospital. Everyone else should use the buzzer system and gain access by speaking to a member of staff.
This booklet has been provided to help answer some of the questions you may have about how we listen to and monitor your baby’s heart.
You can read more about pain relief options in labour on the Wessex Healthier Together site.
In both of our main hospital sites, you have the options of Entonox, diamorphine and epidural pain relief. You may also find benefits from using water in the birthing pools.
In the community, you have the option of Entonox and water. On occasion diamorphine or pethidine can be obtained in preparation for birth.
We are also happy to support you to use TENS machines, however, you will need to provide these yourself.
Please visit the NHS Website for further information.
Caesarean birth may be recommended by your obstetrician in pregnancy due to a medical reason that means going through labour may not be the safest option, either for you or your baby – this is called planned or elective caesarean birth. We will usually schedule this for around 39-40 weeks unless complications mean it needs to be performed earlier. Information about caesarean birth at HHFT can be found in our patient information leaflet below.
Some women also choose a caesarean birth for other reasons (known as a maternal request for caesarean birth), and we support this choice, ensuring you have all the information you need. You will be under the care of an Obstetrician, and we may offer you the chance to discuss birth with a consultant midwife. Some women experiencing a fear of birth (known as tokophobia) also benefit from speaking to our Maternity Mental Health service to help manage their anxiety.
Please speak to your midwife or obstetrician if you are considering a planned caesarean birth. You can read more about the risks and benefits of both vaginal birth and caesarean birth here.
Two pools are available in Basingstoke, two in Winchester and one at Andover. These cannot be prebooked, however you can ask for one when you go into labour and call Labourline and they will ensure the midwives on the ward are aware of your request.
If you are at home you can still use a birthing pool, however it would be your responsibility for hiring this and filling and emptying. Your midwife will be able to discuss this with you.
Not all mothers are recommended to use water for labour and birth, and if you have been advised against it we can do an individual assessment for you to discuss the risks and benefits.