Home births

Homebirth can be a very fulfilling experience for you and your family. It is a great option for women and birthing people who wish to be cared for in the comfort of their own home. The Royal Free London has a dedicated homebirth team run by passionate midwives who will care for you throughout your antenatal, labour and postnatal period. The team has been established since 2018 with the purpose to increase women’s and birthing people’s place of birth choices.

Homebirth is one of the safest options for place of birth for uncomplicated pregnancies. Planning a homebirth means you’re more likely to see the same midwife throughout your care, you’ll be in a familiar environment and feel more comfortable to labour. People planning a homebirth are more likely to have a straightforward vaginal birth compared people planning to birth in an alongside midwife birthing unit.

You can choose to have a homebirth at any point in your pregnancy, our team will provide home antenatal care from 36 weeks onwards. Receiving care from the homebirth team doesn’t mean you have to give birth at home, you are able to change your mind at any time, even during your birth.

After you have given birth to your baby, the midwives will support you in the immediate postnatal period with infant feeding and caring for your baby. All babies are offered the New-born Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) regardless of where you give birth. This can be facilitated at home or at the Edgware birth centre and the hearing test will be made as an outpatient appointment.

If any complications arise during your birth or postnatal period we would transfer via ambulance to the local obstetric unit, your midwife caring for you will transfer with you.

If you live within the Royal Free Hospital catchment area and have a straight-forward pregnancy, with no medical or obstetric problems, and go into labour between 37-42 weeks we would be happy to provide homebirth services for you.


What do people say about our homebirth service?

“Outstanding care & support from the home birth team.”

“The team where completely faultless, I felt safe & secure the while time & I had the best possible experience.”

“Thank you team for giving me the best birth I could have ever imagined!!”

“It was a hugely positive & empowering experience for me and I am very grateful for the work you do.”


Birth story

My first birth, with my daughter, was quick. I called triage in the morning as I was having contractions, but they didn’t recognise that I was in established labour. Separately, I had a sweep booked, for that day, at a hospital without delivery facilities. The midwife at Triage told me to go anyway…so I ended up having my baby in an antenatal hospital appointment room. After that, for my second birth the midwives suggested I look into home birth! 

After experiencing the power of Hypnobirthing I then trained and qualified as a practitioner as I wanted to help support people to have more positive birth experiences, which is now my passion! I didn’t entertain, initially, the idea of home birth because my husband worried about possible transfer to hospital, if it was needed. I did a lot of research around it and then, came to the conclusion to transfer to Edgware Birth Centre.

We were so supported by the wonderful midwives. Everything felt very relaxed and focused towards you as a mother and your individual wants and needs for your birth. It was refreshingly different to being part of a hospitalised system.

I got to 41 +4 and then after several frustrating nights of intense, but inconsistent, braxton hicks (or perhaps even slow labour), the contractions starting ramping up. I didn’t wake my husband as I wanted to be sure it was the real deal this time. I measured contractions for about 45 mins and as they were getting close together I messaged my doula, called the midwife about 1am and asked my husband set up the birth pool to get ready for the arrival of our baby, it was finally happening!

Compared to being in a hospital setting, the first time around, being at home felt calm, safe and the environment was in our control. We had fairy lights, candles, clary sage in the diffuser, Hypnobirthing audio playing, and even a little shrine with crystals and photographs of my mum who had passed away. In Hypnobirthing, we stress how important the environment is, home comforts to help encourage and keep the flow of oxytocin and endorphins (your body’s birthing hormones).

When my doula arrived, I got in the water as the tens machine wasn’t doing much for me this time around. The water was soothing, warm, and so supportive and I loved being in there. My doula held me and gave me Reiki, which was wonderful. My husband rubbed my back and splashed water over my sacrum. The midwives arrived shortly after and, were hands off but very supportive and kept checking on the baby and myself. Following an intense active labour with few breaks between contractions, my son was born in the water. His head was born en caul (in the amniotic sac) then once his shoulders came out it burst and my husband caught him in the water. It was beautiful, emotional and truly magical. All the while our daughter was asleep in her room, so that when she awoke in the morning we could introduce her to her baby brother.  

I am so pleased that we decided to have a home birth and my husband was a raving fan afterwards. It was one of the most special experiences of our lives and something we will never forget. I hope sharing this story supports or helps someone in some way!


Contact us

If you would like further information about a home birth, please contact:

020 3758 2434 or email the team at rf.ebc@nhs.net