On this page:

This information helps you explore your options and allow you to make an informed choice about where you want to give birth to your baby.

It contains details of Home Birth, Hospital Birth and leaflets and video clips to help and prepare you for your journey.

Having your baby at home

If you have a straightforward pregnancy and both you and the baby are well, you might choose to give birth at home.

If you give birth at home, you’ll be supported by a midwife who will be with you while you’re in labour. If you need any help or your labour is not progressing as well as it should, your midwife will make arrangements for you to be transferred to hospital.

The advantages of giving birth at home include:

  • being in familiar surroundings where you may feel more relaxed and able to cope
  • you don’t have to interrupt your labour to go into hospital
  • you will not need to leave your other children, if you have any
  • you will not have to separated from your partner after the birth
  • you are more likely to be looked after by a midwife who you have got to know during your pregnancy

There are some things you should think about if you’re considering a home birth:

  • you may need to transfer to hospital if there are complications
  • epidurals are not available at home
  • your doctor or midwife may recommend that you give birth in hospital; for example if you are expecting twins, or if your baby is breech – your midwife or doctor will explain why they think a hospital birth is safer for you and your baby

For more information about having your baby at home please speak to your midwife.

Having your baby at hospital in our Birthing Centre

We have a purpose built birthing centre. Three of our seven birthing rooms have birthing pools, as well as beds, giving mums-to-be the option of having a water birth.

To make your experience as comfortable and relaxed as possible, each of the seven birthing rooms have décor in calming colours, adjustable mood lighting and an en-suite toilet and shower room.

As well as the seven birthing rooms our new centre includes a three bedded assessment unit.

Daffodil suite

Barnsley Birthing Centre is proud to open our new low risk room named the Daffodil suite. Here women can labour and birth in a calm, relaxing, tranquil environment. We have created a room which has many home comforts to make woman and their birth partners feel at ease. We have a variety of new equipment, including new a birthing stool with a rope,  bean bags, aromatherapy  diffuser, bluetooth docking station so women can play their own music, facilities to make their own drinks,  wireless monitor so women can freely mobilise, including in the pool. All this means  that women have different options whilst in labour so we can provide individualised care and enhance your experience in labour.

Be prepared for your birth

If labour has to be induced

Labour is a natural process that usually starts on its own. Sometimes it needs to be started artificially: this is called ‘induced labour’. About a third of women in the UK have their labour induced. This is often because they are overdue, or their waters have broken but labour has not started. Inducing labour can be the best option if there are health risks to the mother or baby of continuing the pregnancy. But it may affect other choices women have made, like where they give birth and their options during the birth, so it is important that all women can choose for themselves whether to have an induction.

Making informed decisions

Decisions about treatment and care are best made when all the choices available, and all the possible outcomes, have been discussed. Your care team should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. This includes explaining how your labour will be induced if you choose this (this can be done either by giving medicines that can help start labour, or by using medical equipment), and telling you why some options may not be right for you (for example, some medicines shouldn’t be used if you’ve previously had a caesarean birth).

To help you make decisions, think about:

  • What are you most worried about – are there risks or downsides to having your labour induced that worry you more than others?
  • How will induction of labour affect you and your baby?
  • What happens if you decide not to have your labour induced?

If you need more support to understand the information you are given, ask your care team.

Read more about induction of labour on the NHS website.

Appendix A: Risks associated with different induction of labour timing strategies | Tools and resources | Inducing labour | Guidance | NICE

Early labour

Some questions you might like to ask your midwife

  • If I want to use them, what aids and equipment are likely to be available in my chosen place of birth to help me change position and is there room to move around during labour?
  • Are there any reasons (such as an epidural or a monitor for the baby’s heart rate) which may make it difficult for me to get into different positions? What can we do to help me use different positions if I want to?
  • If I want them to, can people please ask permission to enter my room?
  • Is there space to safely store my own and my companions’ belongings safely?
  • If I/we want a few moments alone, how do we ask for this and how do we call the midwife back if we need them?

Pain relief

Birth Information

When you’re ready to have your baby

The Maternity Assessment Unit, or Triage, is next to the Birthing Centre and is accessed through the Birthing Centre door. It’s open 7 days a week and offers a 24-hour service.

You may be referred to triage by your GP, community midwife or you may contact us yourself if you need help or advice. We see women from 20 weeks of pregnancy, up to 6 weeks after delivery of your baby.

When you ring Triage, you will speak to a midwife on the phone and they will take a history from you, listen to your concerns, and give you appropriate advice on whether you need to come into hospital to be seen in Triage, Antenatal Day Unit (between the hours of 9-5pm) or Accident and Emergency, stay at home, or even be seen by your own GP.

01226 432249 – 24-hour contact number

It would also be helpful if you could tell us about anything that might make you high risk in your pregnancy when you ring because this can sometimes affect your care.

There are many reasons you might contact Triage, common ones are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abnormal discharge
  • Generally feeling unwell
  • Suspected infection/high temperature
  • Severe itching on the palms of your hands or feet
  • Suspected labour including premature labour (if you are having regular, painful contractions)
  • Waters breaking at any point
  • Raised blood pressure
  • A change in the pattern of baby’s movements
  • Problems with vision (blurring, flashing lights or spots, difficulty focusing)
  • A persistent headache
  • Postnatal concerns up to 6 weeks after giving birth

Please call us with any concerns you may have, no matter how big or small; we are here to help.

When you arrive you will be greeted by a member of staff and shown to a clinical assessment area, or asked to sit in the waiting area if we are busy. We see women in order of clinical need so occasionally they may be a short wait to see a midwife.

If you do not understand what is happening to you or you have any worries or questions, please ask a member of staff. If whilst waiting your condition changes then please inform us. Please feel free to bring your birthing partner with you to Triage for support.

During your assessment, the midwife will listen to your concerns, take your medical history and record information to help her make a plan of care for you.

We might do any of the following tests:

  • Temperature, pulse, blood pressure, oxygen saturations
  • Urine testing, CO2 Testing
  • Abdominal examination
  • Baby’s heart monitoring
  • Vaginal examination
  • Blood tests

You may need to see a doctor during your time in the Maternity assessment Unit, depending upon the reason for your admission. You may be admitted to the Labour Suite or the Maternity Ward for any ongoing care or observations following your review.

If attending with suspected labour; following assessment, if you are not considered to be in established labour, you may be advised to return home and wait for the contractions to become longer and stronger before you return.

The comfort of your own home is widely regarded as the best place to be during the early stages of labour. Pain relief and coping strategies will be offered before you leave.

Why not ask about a fantastic aromatherapy service which can be used in the latent phase of labour and our blends which may be suitable to take home. We also offer sterile water injections for back pain in labour and acupins for nausea.

If you are discharged home

If you are discharged home, you are welcome to contact Triage for further advice at any time. We know that things can change quickly so if your symptoms/concerns persist or worsen then you must ring us back because we may need to see you again.

We hope that your visit to our Maternity Triage is a good experience and we welcome any feedback that may help our department.

Useful information