Newborn baby holding parent's hand

Home from home birth centre

Caring for you while you give birth in hospital

For more information about our maternity services, visit our maternity pages.

Newborn baby holding parent's hand

Visitor information

Speak to the nurse-in-charge for up-to-date information on visiting.

Our maternity visiting guidance has further information about visiting patients.

Please avoid bringing flowers to the ward.

Your stay on the home from home birth centre

We’re midwife-led and the centre is staffed by midwives and maternity support workers.

We have 8 single rooms with connecting bathrooms, and 2 pool rooms.

We will support you to have a birth that is as uncomplicated as possible. We’ll use coping methods such as a birthing pool, aromatherapy and massage to support you in labour.  

We also offer gas and air, and injection of diamorphine for managing pain.

If you decide during labour that you'd like an epidural, or if any complications develop, we will transfer you to the hospital birth centre next door, on the same floor. 

Arriving

When you come in, your midwife will give you details about what to expect during your stay.

Please remember to bring:

  • your maternity notes
  • any medicines you take

You'll be admitted to the home from home birth centre when either:

  • you're in established labour 
  • you're having a planned induction because your baby is overdue but is otherwise well

Established labour is usually when:

  • you're having regular contractions every 2 or 3 minutes
  • your cervix is dilating at least 4 centimetres

You’ll go into a single room and your midwife will provide one-to-one care.

If you're not yet in established labour when you arrive, your midwife will talk about your care options. If you agree, you may go home for a bit longer. 

Birth rooms

Each room has: 

  • en suite bath, shower and toilet facilities
  • a sofa-bed for partners to use during labour and to stay overnight
  • birth balls, birth mats, bean bags, birth ropes and wall bars for use during labour. Birthing stools are available if needed

You can adapt the birth room to suit your needs. You may wish to have low lighting and play your own music.

We aim to create a calm, private and quiet environment for you to give birth. You may choose to use relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques.

Our coping with labour page has more information.

Care during labour

During labour and birth you'll be given one-to-one care by a midwife.

Midwives in our birth centres usually work 12-hour shift:

  • 7.30am to 8pm
  • 7.30pm to 8am

Sometimes they may work shorter shifts from 7.30am to 3pm or midday to 8pm.

We'll tell you who your midwife is at the start of each day or night shift. This means you'll have a change of midwife in the morning or evening, and sometimes in the early afternoon.

We're a teaching hospital and your midwife may have students working with them. If you do not wish students to be involved in your care, please let us know.

Mealtimes

It is important to eat and drink during labour.

You can bring your own favourite snacks and drinks. We offer:

  • snacks and sandwiches on request
  • free hot drinks at all times from our tea trolley
  • a hot meal service

Meals will be brought to your bedside. Mealtimes are:

  • breakfast, 8am
  • lunch, midday
  • dinner, 5.30pm

You can choose your lunch and dinner. Your options include:

  • hot
  • cold
  • vegetarian
  • soft diet

If you have any other dietary needs, please tell ward staff as early as possible during your stay. 

Our meals page has more information.

Using your mobile phone

You can use your mobile phone on the ward. Please respect other patients while using it, especially when they are asleep. Please keep it on silent at all times.

Going home

If you give birth during the day and you and your baby are well and confident with feeding, your midwife will arrange for you to go home after 6 hours. We'll arrange follow-up care from the community midwife or other postnatal services. 

If you give birth overnight, it's usually better to wait and go home the next day. Your partner can stay with you overnight.

If you and your baby need to stay in hospital for more than 24 hours, we'll talk to you about moving to the postnatal ward.

Tell us what you think

We hope your stay is as pleasant as possible. If you or your visitors have a question or concern, please

Contact us

How to find us

St Thomas' Hospital
7th floor, North Wing
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH

Directions

Turn right at St Thomas' main reception towards North Wing (green zone). Take the lift to the 7th floor and follow signs to the hospital birth centre. 

You cannot get to the 7th floor by the stairs from the lower ground floor. If you are coming from the lower ground floor please take the lift.

Last updated: March 2022

pals icon

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Is this page useful?