Salisbury Foundation Trust

Your Labour + Birth

At Salisbury District Hospital, you have three options available to you in terms of place of birth. These include giving birth at home or in hospital. Within the hospital, the options in our Maternity unit are the Beatrice midwife-led birth centre or the labour ward.

If you are experiencing symptoms of labour, please call the labour ward for advice, support and discussion. Between yourself and the midwife, who will you discuss your labour with, you will decide whether it is the right time to come into hospital or if with advice, support and coping strategies you may choose to stay at home. If you live locally, but have booked to have your baby at another hospital, please contact your hospital of choice directly.


Your Birthing Choices

Our philosophy is to support you to make an informed choice about your place of birth. The three main factors that women will usually think about are the type of birth you want, safety of their own wellbeing and the safety of their baby.  You may have some specific birth preferences; every woman is different. We want to support you to have the birth that you want. Not every woman will have the same options recommended to her, as this is based on individual circumstances including how your pregnancy is progressing, yours and your baby’s health, any complications and whether you are having more than one baby.

The Maternity team providing care to you during your pregnancy and in labour will assist you to make your decision by providing you with evidence-based information. They will explain to you if you have any risk factors which could cause complications in pregnancy and/or labour and give you the opportunity to discuss how you feel about this. We are here to support you to participate equally in all decision-making processes and to make informed decisions about your care both whilst you are planning your birth and during the birth itself.

As your pregnancy progresses you will be considering where you would like to give birth to your baby. This will be discussed with you at each antenatal appointment.

Your community midwife can refer you to an obstetric antenatal clinic if you wish to discuss your type of birth further. This includes women requesting an elective caesarean without medical indication and women experiencing a fear of labour (known as tocophobia) which is affecting your life and pregnancy. For women with tocophobia or birth trauma, the midwife will offer to refer you to our Ocean service where you will be able to speak to a specialist midwife who can support you and signpost you for further support in relation to your birth.

We also offer an appointment with one of our senior clinical midwives for women who are requesting to birth outside of our recommendations, such as a homebirth outside of our guidance.

What does the research say?

We recommend that women read the following information available which has been provided by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives which is based on the Birth Place study:

  • Your Choice – Where to have your baby (first time mothers)
  • Birth place decisions (first time and subsequent mothers) - This leaflet is supported by research from the Birth Place study, published in 2011. This study reviewed the birth outcomes of 64,538 low-risk women expecting one baby, with birth taking place at or after 37 weeks gestation. The Birth Place Study showed that there was no evidence in the difference in the chances of baby having a serious medical problem for low-risk women planning birth in an alongside midwifery unit (such as our alongside birth centre), or in an obstetric unit (on our labour ward).

Please click on the buttons below to read more about your options.

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

Person Centred & Safe





Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Odstock Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
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