Labour and Birth

As part of your care plan, your midwife will talk to you about your options and preferences for giving birth.

At home

If you choose to give birth at home, you’ll be supported by the community midwife team. You call the on­-call midwife when you go into labour and they will come to your home for the delivery. Most home births go as planned, and our consultants are always on hand to support and advise your midwife throughout the birth, but there is a chance you may need to come into hospital if you or your baby need additional support.

Birth Centres in Cornwall

We have three specialist midwife-led birth centres in Cornwall: Penrice in St Austell, Helston and at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

The Penrice birth centre is run by a small team of midwives and maternity support workers. It is 24 hour hours a day and has beds if you and your baby need to stay in overnight.

The birth centre at Helston is only available for labour and birth, we don’t have facilities at Helston for you stay overnight after you have given birth. Helston is not manned 24 hours, you simply call the on­-call midwife when you are in labour and they will meet you at the centre.

The Isles of Scilly

Women on the Isles of Scilly can either have a home birth if they are on St Mary’s or if they live on one of the off islands then you can use the birthing room at St Mary’s Hospital.

Consultant­-led unit

The Delivery Suite is at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske in Truro. The unit looks after women with medical, pregnancy or labour complications, women who are planning to have an epidural for pain relief, as well as women who deliver without complications.

If you live in the far north of Cornwall, you are also able to access the consultant­-led units in Devon. Your midwife can advise you on this.

If a complication develops with you or your baby during a home birth or at one of our birth centres, we will need you to transfer to the consultant-led unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. This transfer rate for women having their first baby is roughly 50%.

If you are likely to give birth before 26 weeks gestation, you will be transferred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, either accompanied by a midwife before giving birth, or with a specialist transport team after you have given birth.

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