Where to give birth

birth choices

Birth is a life-changing event. It is important that you and your partner are able to choose the setting that feels safe, comfortable and welcoming for you.

Choosing the right place for you to give birth can be one of the biggest influences into the type of birth you will have. National guidance suggests that for low risk women, midwife led environments such as home or a birth centre significantly increases your chance of a straightforward birth than birth in a consultant led hospital unit.

The choice of where you give birth is yours. Your options will be influenced by many factors and we may recommend one setting over another, however we will support you in your choice. There is lots of information in this section to help you make your decision and please also speak to your midwife for advice.

What are the options?

We provide maternity services at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath and in the community. You can choose whether you plan to give birth at home or at either of our hospitals. You can also choose to give birth at a midwife led unit, although we do not currently have one.

It might be that the place you give birth changes, due to the circumstances of your pregnancy or perhaps an increased workload at one of our hospital sites. Please be assured that the quality of the care we provide is maintained across our entire service and changes will only be made to ensure that you and your baby are cared for in the safest place at that time.

What setting is recommended for me?

Research shows slightly different expected outcomes for women having their first baby and those having their next baby.  Your community midwife will also be able to discuss this information with you and help you to make an informed choice.

The information in this section is based on the Birth Place Study and NICE guidance.

First baby

First baby

Next baby

Next baby