It is your choice where you have your baby. If you are considered high risk or have any medical conditions, you may be advised to have your baby in hospital. In Leeds there are two hopsitals where you can choose to have your baby – Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) or St James’ University Hospital (SJUH). Leeds are also incredibly lucky to have The Lotus Midwifery Led Unit (LMU) at LGI. Depending on your medical history, you can opt to birth your baby at the maternity unit at either LGI or SJUH, or at the LMU. Ask your doctor or midwife about any of these options.
What is a hospital birth in a maternity unit?
A maternity unit birth in a hospital, means that you will be looked after by midwives, but doctors will also be available, if they are needed. If you experience any complications during labour, obstetricians will be able to care for you too. This includes intervention care such as forceps, ventouse, episiotomy or caesarean section. Once your baby is born, if they are born with any complications, they can be easily transferred to the neonatal team or special care baby unit, to receive any care that they require.
A maternity unit can offer you various pain relief options, such as anaesthetics (epidural, general anaesthetics), water birth, gas and air, and pethidine. Midwives will be able to monitor you and your baby if they need to and they will be able to access various kinds of equipment, to assist with complicated births.
After the birth of your baby, midwives and maternity care assistants will be able to help you care for yourself and your baby. Leeds hospitals support and encourage breastfeeding and are available to offer you any help and support that you require.
What is the Lotus Midwifery Led Unit? (LMU)
The LMU is a birthing centre for pregnant women who are “low risk” and want to give birth in a home from home environment. They can also be easily transferred to maternity care if they need to have epidurals, obstetric care, interventions or neonatal care.
The Lotus Midwifery Led Unit at Leeds General Infirmary is situated at the end of the delivery suite on L44. It is a separate area to the delivery suite and inside the Lotus suite you will find 3 birthing room. 1 is a delivery room and 2 are water birth rooms. The LMU has calming colours, low lighting and various types of active birth equipment. There is plenty of space to move around when in active labour and you will be looked after and supported by just your named midwife, instead of various clinicians.
The room will be mainly free of any medical reminders, but you will find a free-standing K2 electronic screen notes system and Entonox (gas and air).
What happens at a hospital birth?
You will most likely be cared for by various midwives on shift, as your labour progresses. These midwives will be different to the community midwife who cared for you during your pregnancy. When you arrive at hospital, you will be seen by a midwife in the maternity assessment centre (MAC) or in the antenatal day unit (ANDU). The midwife will determine how advanced your labour is and you will then be either sent to the labour ward or delivery suite, where you will then be greeted and cared for by another midwife. Once your baby is born, you may then be moved to the postnatal ward, where another team of midwives will care for you and your baby. In certain areas of Leeds, we are privileged to have a great team of midwives who are part of the continuity of carer program. If you live in an area of Leeds, where this continuity pathway is taking place, you will see the same team of midwives who will care for you antenatally, in labour and after birth. Your midwife will be able to advise you on whether you will be able to be cared for under the continuity pathway.
Birthing your baby in a Leeds hospital
Useful information if you decide to deliver your baby in a Leeds hospital:
- Maternity Services at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) can be found at Clarendon Wing – C Floor
- Maternity Services at St James’s University Hospital (SJUH) can be found at Gledhow Wing – Level 5
- SJUH has 8 delivery rooms, 2 water birth rooms and 1 active birth room.
- LGI has 11 delivery rooms, 1 water birth room and The Lotus Midwifery Unit.
- SJUH birthing rooms all have ensuite facilities and the water birth rooms at LGI have ensuite facilities too.
- The postnatal wards at both hospitals have bays, with between 4-6 beds in them. For women with specific clinical care needs or where their baby is the neonatal unit, they are offered single side rooms. If there are single side rooms available, you can request these rooms on a first come, first served basis. They cannot be reserved. The cost of these rooms are £55 for 24 hours and don’t include a bathroom or £75 for 24 hours and include an ensuite.