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.
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 team of midwives and midwifery support workers. It is manned between 08.00-20.00 and available for labour and birth 24 hours a day. We don’t have the facilities for you to stay overnight after having your baby. Call the triage line when you are in labour and the midwives will meet you at the birth centre.
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. Call the triage line when you are in labour and the midwives will meet you at the birth centre.
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.
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.
The Better Births program (2016) supports the Continuity of Carer for all pregnancies and births in a midwifery led setting with the ability to escalate care to consultant led unit where appropriate.
We regularly review our rates of escalation of care to the consultant led unit from a midwifery led setting. Any concerns or questions regarding your choice of place of birth or personalised care, please discuss with your midwife.
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.