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Labour and birth

Choosing a place to give birth is important for both you and your baby.

Making a decision about where to give birth

The leaflet 'Birth Choices in Oxfordshire' answers some of the questions you may have about the differences between a hospital birth, birth in a midwifery-led unit and a home birth.

We recommend that, if:

  • you are healthy and well
  • you have no medical conditions (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)
  • you are pregnant with one baby only
  • your baby is growing normally
  • you have given birth before and there were no complications (such as Caesarean section)
  • your pregnancy is between 37 and 42 weeks
  • you are over 16 years and less than 40 years old at booking

then you may wish to consider giving birth in a midwifery-led unit, or in your own home.

Where these criteria are met, giving birth in a midwifery-led unit reduces the chance of medical intervention. Please see the leaflets above for information that may help you in making this decision.

If you are not sure if you meet these criteria, please speak to your community midwife.

What to pack

The NHS website offers a useful guide as to what to pack in your bag when you go into hospital or a midwifery-led unit. It also gives information about the extra items you will need if you choose to give birth at home.

Pack your bag for labour - NHS website

Birth preferences

It is useful for you to understand the choices available throughout labour and birth. It is helpful to write down your birth preferences so that the doctors and midwives caring for you in labour can support your choices.

Home birth - video

Should I consider home birth?

Duration: 7 minutes 24 seconds

Midwifery-led Units in Oxfordshire - video

Choosing a place to give birth is important for both you and your baby. For more information about the options in Oxfordshire, please watch our video.


What happens during labour and birth - NHS website

Last reviewed:26 July 2023