Choice of place of birth
We aim to provide the highest and safest standards of care for mothers and babies, encouraging women to consider all the options available to you to make an informed choice about where you would like to birth your baby. It is important that the decision of where to give birth is made with a good understanding of all the available options.
Birth is a major life-changing event and you will be provided with the information and support to enable you to make the choices that are suitable for you. The options for place of birth will be discussed with you at your booking visit and throughout your pregnancy should the situation change. We recommend you make a birth plan with your wishes for labour and birth – your named midwife can help you with this.
Having a baby is generally very safe for the majority of women, which is why it is important that new mothers are offered a choice of where to give birth. Supported by the L&D’s midwifery team, eligible mothers-to-be are offered options on from our ‘maternity menu’:
- Home birth
- Midwife Led Birth Unit with en suite facilities
- Obstetric led unit (labour ward)
Women who have a straightforward pregnancy will be encouraged to have their baby at home in familiar surroundings or in the Midwife Led Birth Unit (MLBU). Our MLBU is our on-site and co-located midwifery-led birthing unit. We recommend our Delivery Suite as the preferred option for women who have a medical problem, complication of pregnancy or have experienced a complication in a previous pregnancy. You are welcome to bring up to two birthing partners to be with you in the MLBU and one birth partner if you plan to give birth in the Delivery Suite.
For further support around the choices available to you for your place of birth we also offer a Consultant Midwife Led Birth Options Clinic.
Birth after a Caesarean (VBAC)
At Luton and Dunstable University Hospital we support women who have had one previous uncomplicated caesarean section to plan to have a Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC). In some cases this is not recommended and you will be referred to a consultant obstetrician if necessary.
If you have had one uncomplicated caesarean section and have no problems in your pregnancy, you will be encouraged to attend the Consultant Midwife led VBAC clinic after your 20-week scan. At this consultation she will explain the complications of both VBAC and a second caesarean. This appointment offers you an informative and interactive consultation, where the aim of giving you this information is to help you make a decision that is right for you. She will also review your previous records and notes and talk through your birthing experience. You will not need to be seen by an obstetrician in the absence of medical conditions.
You will have a second appointment when you are around 36 weeks pregnant in the VBAC clinic where a further discussion on labour and delivery will take place, as well as exploring your options if your pregnancy is to become ‘postdates’.