Midwife Led Unit
If you have a healthy pregnancy you can plan to give birth in the Midwifery Led Unit (MLU). It is located alongside the delivery suite and will see you supported by an experienced midwife, who will be responsible for your care throughout your labour and birth.
The unit has a friendly relaxed atmosphere and is ideal for women who are planning on birthing their babies as naturally as possible. It features two rooms each with their own birthing pool and en-suite facilities. Birthing balls, bean bags and mats are also available to help you stay active and comfortable during labour.
All of the MLU midwives are experienced in normal birth, hypnobirthing, waterbirth, massage, active birth, and creating a relaxed environment to promote positive natural birth experiences.
Pain relief available includes hydrotherapy, entonox, pethidine, paracetamol, and dihydrocodeine.
The 2011 Birthplace study, which was conducted in the UK, found that women who planned to have their babies in Midwife Led Units experienced less intervention in labour and were more likely to have a normal birth.
Is the Midwife Led Unit for me?
If you are interested in giving birth in the Midwife Led Unit you need to meet the following criteria:
- You are full term (37-42 weeks pregnant)
- Not a multiple birth (i.e. not twins, triplets etc)
- Baby is not in a breech position (bottom first)
- Spontaneous onset of labour (no induction needed)
- Uncomplicated pregnancy, as well as no significant medical and obstetric history
- Experiencing regular contractions
- No indication that continuous fetal monitoring is needed
- A body mass index of of less than 35
- Have had less than five babies
How can use the MLU?
You can decide when booking your pregnancy that you would like to have your baby in our MLU, or you can wait until you are in labour and decide then.
So long as you meet the criteria above, please tell the midwives you wish to use the MLU when you phone in labour.
If you plan to use the MLU but for whatever reason no longer meet the criteria, your birth choices may still be possible on the delivery suite. These will be discussed with you at the time. Please see the Delivery Suite pages for more information.