Midwife-led births

A midwife is a healthcare professional trained to care for and support women during pregnancy, labour and birth. They help you to stay healthy during pregnancy and, if no complications arise, to give birth with little intervention. Midwives may also care for you and your baby in the first few weeks following the birth.

Your midwife's role during labour and birth

If you have an uncomplicated birth, your midwife will usually assist you with both the labour and the birth of your baby in your own home. However, if complications arise, the midwife will call an obstetrician or emergency services to treat you.

Our Midwives can also:

  • Give you information, emotional support and encouragement.
  • Monitor the baby's heartbeat and other vital signs.
  • Monitor you and your baby's progress and suggest strategies to help your labour.
  • Offer you pain relief or arrange for a doctor to administer it.
  • Get extra medical help if required.

After your baby is born

Your midwife may care for both you and your baby immediately after the birth. The midwife will check whether you have lost too much blood or need stitches.

Midwives also offer postnatal care, including:

  • Helping you with settling your baby and breastfeeding.
  • Showing you how to change nappies and bath your baby.
  • Administering pain relief medication if needed (or asking a doctor to provide it).
  • Carrying out routine health tests, such as newborn screenings.

After a home birth, your midwife may visit you daily for a few days. Some midwives are available to give advice over the phone for the first few weeks.

Midwives can also visit you at home and see you for regular appointments as your child grows.