Frequently Asked Questions

Your questions answered….

General, The Service, Staying at the Birth Centre, Labour, Practical Matters, Car Parking


  1.  Can anyone have their baby in the birthing centre?
    Women who have a low risk pregnancy and continue along that pathway are able to give birth in the birth centre.
  2. Do you still have to go to triage?
    No, the birth centre has its own entrance, but there may be some women who attend triage who are suitable for the birth centre.
  3. What if my baby is overdue?
    You are still be able to use the birth centre if there are no known complications and you go into spontaneous labour.
  4. What if the birth centre is full?
    If the birth centre is full then women will be cared for in the labour ward at the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health or St John’s Hospital.

The Service

  1. How many rooms are there in the birthing centre?
    There are a total of six individual rooms, each with their own birthing pool and en-suite facilities.  There is also a four-bed area for women waiting to go home or who may require some additional support after the birth. The creation of the birth centre is about increasing the choice available to women and expanding the existing environment. The numbers of midwives will remain the same but some will now work in the birth centre.  
  2. Are the midwives dedicated to the birth centre or are they be taken into the main hospital if it gets busy?
    Midwives rotate from the hospital into the birth centre so that all midwives have the most up-to-date skills to support women in low risk and high care. A small core group of staff, including a Charge Midwife, work permanently in the birth centre.

Staying in the Birth Centre

  1. How long will women spend in the birth centre?
    The length of stay varies from woman to woman, but the average length of time is similar to the labour ward and between six and 12 hours.
  2. Can partners stay overnight in the birth centre?
    Yes, partners and husbands are welcome to stay if they wish.


  1. Who can be with me during labour?
    Women often bring their partner and/or another relative or friend to provide additional support during labour. However each woman is different and other requests can be discussed.
  2. What will happen if complications develop during labour?
    In the event of any complications, women will be taken into the labour ward.
  3. Will a midwife look after me the whole time?
  4. What kind of birthing aids are available?
    Each room is fully equipped with a birthing pool. Birth balls, mats, and pillows will also be available.
  5. Can I have aromatherapy or other alternative therapies?
  6. What kind of pain relief is available?
    Opiates and gas and air are both available.

Practical matters

  1. Can I regulate the heating?
    Yes the temperature can be changed, according to need.
  2. Can I dim the lights?
  3. Will I be able to play music?
  4. Will every room have en-suite facilities?
    Yes, each room has its own en-suite bathroom. The four bedded bay has a shared bathroom.

Car parking

  1. Where can I park? How far from the entrance?
    The Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health has its own dedicated car park and the birth centre is only a short distance away from this.

Last Reviewed: 28/11/2012