Giving Birth - in Our Birth Centre

Maternity Services - Giving birth - Birth Centre - Top Image
Our birth centre is ideal for women who want to experience the birth of their baby with one-to-one support from a midwife in the comfort of an en-suite room.

Please read our
 Covid-19 Maternity FAQs to get the latest advice on visitors, birth partners and any other restrictions or guidance we have in place at this time.

Care is individually tailored to your needs and we offer a range of specialist equipment including birthing pools, mats, bean bags, stools and balls. Birthing pools are available in every room for a water birth or to help you feel comfortable during labour. Labouring and giving birth in water can help women to relax, provide support to move around easily and relieve pain.
We also encourage and support the use of active birth techniques, hypnobirthing and acupuncture to help you have a normal birth without medical interventions.
What we offer
Our birth centre offers:
  • A birth without medical intervention
  • Homely environment in private rooms, each with their own en-suite bathroom
  • Possibility to go home from six hours after your baby is born, or stay in the birth centre for up to 12 hours

While you are with us we can answer any questions you might have and support you with breastfeeding (if you choose to do this) and caring for your baby.
When you go home you are transferred to the care of our community midwives.
En-suite rooms
The five en-suite rooms in our birth centre have been designed to provide you and your family with a comfortable, relaxing and calm environment to have your baby.
Our rooms are decorated to a high standard - like boutique hotel rooms - and have:
  • Double bed for partners to stay overnight
  • En-suite bathroom
  • Birthing pool
  • Controllable lighting
  • Music
  • Plasma TV

Active birth
An active birth involves keeping mobile during labour and using various techniques to remain comfortable at home for as long as possible, manage pain and encourage your baby into the right position for birth.
The benefits of an active birth can include a shorter labour and reduced need for pain relief.
Techniques you can use include:
  • Moving about
  • Adopting certain positions
  • Breathing exercises
  • Massage from your birth partner

If you choose to have your baby in our birth centre we recommend you attend our active birth class where we cover techniques, what to expect in our birth centre, water and land birth, and complementary therapies such as hypnobirthing and acupuncture.
You can find out more about this class on our antenatal classes page or by speaking to your midwife.
Pain relief
Women who choose our birth centre have a range of pain relief therapies available to them including:
  • Water
  • Gas and air (Entonox - a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas)
  • Massage
  • Aromatherapy
  • Complementary therapies such as hypnobirthing and acupuncture
  • TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Intramuscular injection (into the muscle of your thigh or buttock)

Obstetric assistance
Our birth centre is located one floor below the labour ward at The Whittington Hospital. If at any point during your labour or birth you require the assistance of our obstetric medical team, they are immediately available. Your midwife will discuss with you the option of being transferred to the labour ward if she feels this is appropriate.
Some of the common reasons to transfer to our labour ward include:
  • Asking for an epidural
  • Slow progress in labour
  • Thick meconium (when baby passes their first stool in their water)
  • Foetal distress (when baby is unhappy in labour)

Choosing our birth centre
Our birth centre is suitable for healthy women who have had a straightforward pregnancy. Your midwife will discuss all of your birth options with you.
Birth centre, Level 2, Kenwood Wing, The Whittington Hospital, London N19 5NF
Birth Centre team leader
Nuala Hammond-Norris
020 7288 3990 or 020 7288 3991
Page last updated: 26 Jun 2019
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