Choosing where to give birth

Choosing where to give birth 

At Queen's Hospital you can give birth in our Birth Centre, run by midwives, or in our labour ward. 

If you’re considering a homebirth, please speak to your midwife.

Your options about where to have your baby will depend on your needs, risks and your preferences. 

If you're healthy and have no complications (low risk) you could consider either of these birth locations. If you have a medical condition, we will recommend that you give birth in our labour ward where specialists are available. This is also the case if you need treatment during labour. 

If you give birth in a unit run by midwives, you’re less likely to need assistance such as forceps or ventouse (sometimes called instrumental delivery). 

Wherever you choose, the place should feel right for you. You can change your mind at any point in your pregnancy and can discuss your preferences with your midwife or obstetrician.  

Further information can be found below: 

Where to give birth ( - Choosing your birth location. 

Labour Ward

Giving birth in our labour ward

The labour ward at Queen's Hospital is situated on the first floor in Blue zone. Women who are classed as high risk will deliver here and you will need to deliver in the labour ward if you wish to have an epidural for pain relief in labour. The labour ward is staffed by skilled midwives and obstetric doctors with support from anaesthetists and neonatal (baby) doctors. 

Advantages of giving birth in a labour ward:

  • Direct access to obstetricians if your labour becomes complicated. 
  • Direct access to anaesthetists, who give epidurals and general anaesthetics. 
  • There will be specialists in new born care (neonatologists). 


There are some things you should think about if you're considering birth on our labour ward: 

  • In hospital, you may be looked after by a different midwife from the one who looked after you during your pregnancy. 
  • You're more likely to have an epidural, episiotomy, or a forceps or ventouse delivery if you deliver if you give birth on labour ward. 

Our Birth Centre

Queen's Birth Centre  

Queen's Birth Centre is situated on the 3rd Floor of the Hospital and offers a ‘home from home’ environment for women planning a low-risk delivery. The unit is staffed by experienced midwives and offers 7 delivery rooms, 2 with fixed birth pools. A further supply of inflatable pools is also available. There are also rooms where you can rest after the birth of your baby and receive support with feeding and caring for your baby. You can be discharged home from Queen's Birth Centre. 

Advantages of Queen's Birth Centre

The advantages of giving birth in Queen's Birth Centre include: 

  • Being in surroundings where you may feel more relaxed and better able to cope with labour. 
  • Lower likelihood of having an intervention such as forceps or ventouse than giving birth in the Labour ward. 


  • You may need to be transferred to the Labour Ward if there are any complications. The transfer time from the Birth Centre to the Labour Ward is approximately 5 minutes. 
  • Your doctor or midwife may feel it's safer for you to give birth in our labour ward because of risks identified for you or your baby. 
  • You are not able to have an epidural for pain relief in labour in Queen's Birth Centre. 

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