Level 3, adjacent to Aspen Ward
At Darent Valley, we have an alongside Birth Centre, which means it is located within the hospital but separate from the Obstetric-led Delivery Suite. The Birth Centre is staffed by experienced midwives who specialise in physiological birth (birth without any medical interventions). Medical care is not provided on the Birth Centre, but the medical team are available on Delivery Suite, just down the corridor, should there be any concerns.
The Birthing Centre consists of four birthing rooms, two of which can be used for water births, all rooms offer the use of birthing aids (balls, bean bags, mats). and a four bedded postnatal bay.
The emphasis on the Birth Centre is in creating a home from home environment which we know can help labour to progress better. We aim to offer an individualised approach for women with uncomplicated pregnancies. We encourage women to use upright positions for labour and birth and birthing pools are available. Other natural methods of pain relief such as aromatherapy and hypnobirthing are supported. Women may also choose to use gas and air or pethidine.
If you would like to have your baby in the birth centre or would like more information you should discuss your intentions with your midwife.
If you have been told you are not suitable for the Birth Centre but wish to discuss this further, you can discuss this with your midwife regarding having a birth choices discussion. The discussion involves looking at your individual circumstances to support you to make an informed decision on your chosen place of birth. Following this discussion an individualised plan of care may be written.
Most women who deliver on the Birth Centre choose to stay between 6 – 12 hours following the birth of their baby.