Birth Options in Cornwall

Hello readers! I’m Evony Lynch, freelance midwife in Cornwall and Chief Tea-Drinker at MamaCafe.  I am supporting the Tots About Magazine, covering pregnancy to 5 and will be writing regular articles on pregnancy topics.

Over 4000 babies are born in Cornwall each year, most in hospital in Truro. But did you know you have other choices? If you and your baby are well and you do not have any additional risk factors then you could birth your baby at home or in a birth centre.  This is a great choice if you’re keen to have a natural, active birth.

Research has found that home and birth centres are as safe as hospital birth for healthy women having a straightforward pregnancy. Choosing a home birth means you’re in your own environment, the midwives come to you in labour, and they can offer gas and air too. Lots of women have their own pool at home. Helston Birth Unit has a birth pool, gas and air and pethidine available for pain relief.  Community midwives care for you during the birth of your baby but as there is no postnatal care facility here you will go home around two hours after the birth if all is well. Please bare in mind they take only one woman at a time.

Penrice Birth Unit is based in St Austell, offering a birth pool, gas and air and pethidine for pain relief.  Care is provided by midwives based at Penrice and they can accommodate up to four women in labour.  If there were any concerns about you or your baby during labour at home or in the birth units you would be transferred to Treliske via ambulance. There are no neonatal or emergency facilities at the birth units.

The delivery suite at Treliske has the options of gas and air, pethidine and Epidural for pain relief and you have emergency facilities all on site. Sadly there is no birth pool here yet, but there are plans for a new birth unit next year!  Planned caesareans and all inductions are carried out here. If you have any risk factors it may be advised to give birth here, but you can still have an active birth if that’s what you’d like. You may just want all the drugs…and that’s available too!

Don’t forget to pop into MamaCafe online sometime for more information!

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