Here at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust we are proud to encourage and support women who have had an uncomplicated pregnancy to give birth to their baby at home.
A homebirth is a wonderful experience for women and their families and has many benefits. To find out more information about homebirth please visit our homebirth page.
Giving birth at home gives you the ability to be cared for in the comfort of your own home. Not only will you feel more relaxed in your own environment there are many potential benefits:
- You will not have to travel in labour
- You will feel more in control and birth may feel more manageable – some research shows you are likely to use less pain relief at home than in hospital
- You can choose who is present at all times
- Research shows you are less likely to require further intervention
- Immediate bonding as a family will occur – no need to be separated from your family after the birth
- You will use your own amenities and facilities
- You are less at risk of hospital-acquired infection
Will I be suitable for a homebirth?
We encourage home birth for women who have a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy at the onset of labour. Therefore you are generally suitable for a homebirth if:
- You have no current medical conditions that affect safety during birth
- You have not had major problems in previous pregnancies
- You are experiencing a straight forward pregnancy
- No major problems are anticipated during the birth
Where can I find more information?
Please access your Badgernet App Maternity Records for more information. We suggest you review links which take you to:
When you have made your choice please discuss your individual needs with your community midwife who can confirm your suitability.
How can I book a homebirth?
You will meet a Community Midwife at your booking appointment. This community midwife will become your named midwife who will support your plans and oversee your care. If you are interested in having a home birth your named midwife will discuss your options and suitability dependent on your risk assessments throughout your pregnancy. However it is important to note that homebirth is classed as a low-risk care pathway, therefore it is recommended you are suitable for midwife-led care. Your named midwife will discuss this with you.
If homebirth continues to be your choice at approximately 36 weeks pregnancy your named midwife will complete a homebirth risk assessment, generally in your home as she will need to assess you and your home at this point. The midwife will be checking you have warm, comfortable surroundings, sufficient space; you have an area in your home suitable for birth, good lighting; and easy access to your property and a good phone signal etc.
Upon successful completion your details will be entered on to a home birth register. You will be supported to give birth at home after 37 weeks. Before 37 weeks is classed as pre-term labour therefore not recommended at home. Also, if your pregnancy exceeds 12 days past your due date you will be advised to transfer your care back to the Manor Hospital to arrange induction of labour (See induction of labour leaflet in your Badgernet APP).
Who will care for me during my birth experience?
All community midwives at Walsall cover a 24 hour on-call service to ensure they are available to attend homebirths. Once you have decided to have a home birth, your named midwife will liaise with the community midwifery service to ensure everyone is aware of your individual needs. From 37 weeks of pregnancy the community midwives will commence midwifery cover for you via the on-call rota. Two midwives will attend for your birth; it is not always possible that you will know the midwives who will be caring for you, however at Walsall we are striving to provide continuity of carer whenever possible.
The midwives will bring all the equipment they need and you will be advised what you need to provide well in advance of your due date. Some women like the idea of a pool for birth. For water births you will need further information from your community midwife (we do not provide pools however there are lots of external agencies where you can purchase or hire a birthing pool for your requirements).
About the community team
The whole team comprises of maternity support workers, clerical support, midwives and a link Consultant. The whole team is further divided into smaller teams across the Walsall borough. There are approximately 6-8 midwives per team, wherever possible midwives will buddy together to provide continuity of carer, however we can assure you everyone works collaboratively to ensure you have the best care possible.
We are committed to facilitating your birth choices, however our priority has to be to provide a safe maternity service for all women. There may be times where we are not able to facilitate your home birth, for example the community team may be required to support the midwife-led unit or the main delivery suite; or they may already be in attendance of another homebirth.
There are occasions when we need to transfer you to the hospital – West Midlands Ambulance support us with these transfers.