What does ‘choice’ in pregnancy mean?

Understanding your options is the first step to getting the care that's right for you and your baby.

Pregnancy news, 08/03/17

Maternity care is provided to you from the time you become pregnant until up to 28 days after the baby is born. We understand that deciding where to go for your care before, during and after your baby’s birth can be a big decision. It’s important to understand your options when thinking about your care to ensure you have a positive and safe experience.

What matters to you when thinking about your care?

In the first instance, talking to your GP and midwife can help. You should be offered information based on current available evidence about different kinds of care, together with support to help you make an informed choice about the care that's right for you. This information should include the different options of where you can be seen and who can care for you.

The choices that you have about where to give birth can depend on where you live, your medical and pregnancy history and the type of birth that you would like. You and your midwife can talk about it at your antenatal appointments. Your midwife can explain the different options and the pros and cons of each. Talking to your family, friends and the person running your antenatal classes can also help to give you an idea of what it’s like to give birth in different places.

You can also talk to your midwife about visiting the labour ward or birth centre – a visit can help you with your decision. Even if you choose early on in your pregnancy where you would like to give birth, you can always change your mind later.

Read more about choosing where to give birth

If you have concerns that your midwife isn't listening to your preferences, you can ask to see another member of the team. If you are still worried, contact your day assessment unit (DAU) within the maternity unit.

NHS England has put together a short survey to better understand what information is important to you when making decisions about your maternity care.

The results of the survey will help shape the information that the NHS provides to all mums-to-be. The survey should take 15 minutes to complete and we encourage mums and mums-to-be to take part.

Start the survey

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