During your pregnancy, your midwife will discuss with you your place of birth choices. The place of birth choices available to you within ELHT Maternity Services are as follows:

Birth at Home (Homebirth)

Homebirth facilities are provided by the team midwives working within the Birth Centres. Care in Labour will be provided within your home and this includes:

  • Assessment of maternal wellbeing which includes the taking and monitoring of your vital signs, abdominal palpation to assess the position/lie of your baby and vaginal examinations to assess progress in labour when appropriate.
  • Assessment of fetal wellbeing which includes listening to the fetal heart with either a pinard stethoscope or sonicaid.
  • Provision of Entonox (gas and air) for pain relief.

If any deviations from the normal are detected whilst assessing maternal and fetal wellbeing, an emergency transfer via ambulance to Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre, Central Birth Suite will be arranged.

Birth at a Freestanding Birth Centre (Blackburn and Rossendale Birth Centre)

*Please note that as of Thursday 7 January, Rossendale Birth Centre will be suspended for births until the end of August 2021.

Freestanding birth centres are located offsite from the Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre. Should you choose to give birth within one of the freestanding birth centres you will be advised to contact the relevant birth centre. If you choose to give birth at Blackburn Birth Centre you will contact them directly when you feel labour has started, should you wish to give birth at Rossendale Birth Centre you will be advised to contact Burnley Birth Centre when you feel labour has started. Services provided:

  • Care in labour will be provided in the Birth Centre and this includes assessment of maternal wellbeing which includes the taking and monitoring of your vital signs, abdominal palpation to assess the position/lie of your baby and vaginal examinations to assess progress in labour when appropriate
  • Assessment of fetal wellbeing which includes listening to the fetal heart with either a pinard stethoscope or sonicaid
  • Provision of pain relief including Entonox (gas and air), aromatherapy, pethidine and waterbirth

If any deviations from the normal are detected whilst assessing maternal and fetal wellbeing an emergency transfer via ambulance to Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre, Central Birth Suite will be arranged.

Birth at the alongside Birth Centre - Burnley Birth Centre

The alongside birth centre is located next to Central Birth Suite at Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre. When you feel labour has started you should contact Burnley Birth Centre and speak to a midwife. Care in labour will be provided in the Birth Centre and this includes:

  • Assessment of maternal wellbeing which includes the taking and monitoring of your vital signs, abdominal palpation to assess the position/lie of your baby and vaginal examinations to assess progress in labour when appropriate.
  • Assessment of fetal wellbeing which includes listening to the fetal heart with either a pinards stethoscope or sonicaid.
  • Provision of pain relief including Entonox (gas and air), aromatherapy, pethidine, diamorphine and waterbirth.

If any deviations from the normal are detected whilst assessing maternal and fetal wellbeing transfer to Central Birth Suite will be arranged.

Birth at Central Birth Suite

Central Birth Suite is located at Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre and is an Obstetric led unit mainly providing care for high risk pregnancies. Care in labour will be provided in Central Birth Suite and this includes:

  • Assessment of maternal wellbeing which includes the taking and monitoring of your vital signs either manually or using a machine. Abdominal palpation to assess the position/lie of your baby and vaginal examinations to assess progress in labour when appropriate
  • Assessment of fetal wellbeing which includes listening to the fetal heart with either a pinards stethoscope or sonicaid or continuous electronic fetal monitoring using the fetal carditocography machine.
  • Provision of pain relief including Entonox (gas and air), aromatherapy, pethidine, diamorphine, remifentanil, epidural and waterbirth
There may be instances when you go into labour that your chosen place of birth is no longer an option and this could be for a variety of reasons from a clinical or service provision perspective.
 
If this occurs other alternatives will be offered – however, please be assured that ELHT Maternity Services every attempt is made to accommodate your chosen place of birth choice and that these decisions are taken to maintain the quality and safety of our services.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) CG 190: Intrapartum Care for Healthy Women and Babies (updated 2017) states:

For multiparous (women having their second or subsequent birth) and nulliparous (first time mothers) women who are at low risk of complications giving birth is generally very safe for both the woman and her baby. [NICE 2014]

 

Low risk multiparous women planning to give birth at home or in a midwifery led unit (freestanding or alongside) is particularly suitable for them because the rate of interventions is lower and the outcome for the baby is no different compared with an obstetric unit.

 

Low risk nulliparous women planning to give birth in a midwifery led unit (freestanding or alongside) is particularly suitable for them because the rate of interventions is lower and the outcome for the baby is no different compared with an obstetric unit. If you plan to birth at home there is a small increase in the risk of an adverse outcome for the baby. [NICE 2014]