Home birth

If you plan to have your baby at home please talk to your community midwife to discuss your birthing plan. During a home birth, a midwife will stay with you once you are in established labour until after the birth. A second midwife provides additional support after your baby is born. If your labour is not progressing as well as it should, your midwife will make arrangements for you to be transferred to the nearest hospital.

A home birth can:

  • help you to feel more in control of your birth experience
  • reduce anxiety about the labour and birth as you are in your own home
  • promote active labour and normal birth
  • enable your birth partner to be fully involved and supportive in the birth
  • mean you get support throughout the labour and birth from a team of midwives known to you

You may want to hire a birthing pool for the birth.

Conditions for a home birth

To have a home birth, you must be medically healthy with no obstetric complications and no complicated previous pregnancies or births. Labour must start between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy.

Available pain relief for a home birth

Women having a home birth are encouraged to move around during labour rather than lying in bed, as this can help with pain relief and the labour process. In addition, these drug-free forms of pain relief are often used during home deliveries:

  • TENS machine
  • hypnotherapy
  • aromatherapy
  • hydrotherapy
  • deep-breathing and relaxation
  • entonox ("gas and air")