Choosing where to have your baby

Having a baby is an important event for women and their families. We aim to ensure that the whole childbirth experience is comfortable and relaxed.

If you are healthy and your pregnancy is straightforward the evidence says you should give birth at home or in a birth centre. Giving birth at home or in a birth centre is as safe for your baby as giving birth in hospital. Giving birth at home or in a birth centre also has many benefits for you.

You’re significantly less likely to have:

  • an emergency Caesarean section
  • ventouse or forceps delivery
  • an episiotomy
  • blood transfusion.

You’re significantly more likely to have:

  • a normal birth
  • to be able to use water for labour and birth
  • have a better birth experience.

To find out more talk to our midwives or visit the Which? Birth Choice website.

Where can I have my baby?

Evidence says that if you are healthy and your pregnancy has been uncomplicated, you should plan to give birth at home or in a birth centre.

At the Royal Free London we have three birth centres, the Barnet Birth Centre, the Edgware Birth Centre and the Heath Birth Centre. If you are planning to give birth in a birth centre, you can discuss which birth centre is most appropriate with your midwife.

Women or babies experiencing complications during pregnancy or labour, or women who have medical problems requiring specialist care, are advised to give birth in a consultant-led delivery suite. At the Royal Free London we have two consultant-led delivery suites, one at Barnet Hospital and one at the Royal Free Hospital. You can discuss which suite is most appropriate with your midwife.