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Labour and birth

Every labour experience is unique. We work closely with you and your birthing partner throughout your pregnancy and birth to help you to have a positive birth experience.

As part of your personalised care support plan, your midwife will talk to you about your options and preferences for giving birth.

Can I choose where I give birth?

Yes you can.

We’ll work with your preferences and help you make an informed decision.

You may need to be flexible and prepare to do things differently. For example, if complications arise with you or your baby, or facilities such as our birthing pool isn’t available.

At 34 to 36 weeks, your community midwife will help you plan for your birth. This includes where you give birth.

Your midwife will guide you through your choices and help you understand the labour process.

Find out more about preparing to give birth at home or in hospital including what you should pack in your hospital bag.

Where can I give birth in Buckinghamshire?


Aylesbury Birth Centre

You can choose to have your baby here if you’re expecting an uncomplicated labour and birth. Women who choose to have their baby at a birth centre are less likely to have intervention during labour. They also report a greater satisfaction with the care they get.


We have en-suite rooms with adjustable lighting, sound (for music) and heating to help you feel as relaxed as possible.The centre also includes:

  • aromatherapy oils
  • birthing balls and stools
  • cushioned mats

Birthing pools

Our midwives are fully trained in water births if you want to stay in the water when you have your baby.

If either you or your baby need additional monitoring, your midwife will transfer you to our main labour ward where your care will continue.

How to find Aylesbury Birth Centre

We’re in the Claydon Wing at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Contact us

01296 316101

Aylesbury labour ward

If you have an existing medical condition, have developed complications during your pregnancy, or you prefer to give birth here our team will support you during labour and birth


All our rooms have:

  • ensuite facilities
  • labour and birth aids.

You’ll also have access to pain relief including gas and air, pethidine and mobile epidurals, as well as a range of monitors so you can move safely around the birth room.

Some of our rooms have disabled access. We also have larger rooms if you’re expecting more than one baby.

Our labour ward sits alongside 2 operating theatres and our neonatal intensive care unit, which provides specialist care for babies who need closer monitoring or additional support in the early days following birth.

We also have 4 observation rooms if you need additional care immediately after birth.

How to find us

We’re in the Claydon Wing at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Contact us: 01296 316103

Video tour

Watch a video that provides a tour of the facilities in the Claydon Wing at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, including Aylesbury Birth Centre and labour ward:


Home births

If you would like to have your baby at home, you can discuss this with your midwife. They’ll talk things through with you and support you to make this option available.

Your community midwife will assess you and your baby throughout pregnancy to ensure a homebirth would be safe.

You may find managing your labour at home easier as you’ll feel more relaxed and can move about more freely. Our community midwives can support you to find comfortable positions, maintain mobility and can offer gas and air and pethidine if you wish.

There’s also an option to buy or hire a birth pool to use at home for labour and birth. All our community midwives are fully trained in water births if you want to stay in the pool for the birth of your baby.

Find out more about home births, hospital births and giving birth in a birth centre

I’ve gone into labour, what should I do?

Call 01296 316103.

Our midwives on the labour ward will offer advice and support for you to stay at home for as long as you feel comfortable.

Induction of labour

We may recommend an induced labour to start the process artificially. This may be because your baby is overdue, or there’s a risk to you or your baby’s health.

Depending upon how well you and your baby are, induced labour will happen on Rothschild Ward or on the Aylesbury labour ward.

If you’re being induced because your pregnancy is overdue and you haven’t had any other complications, you may be able to give birth at the Aylesbury Birth Centre. You can discuss your options with the staff caring for you.

We offer a range of methods to start your labour, depending upon whether you’re having your first baby or have given birth before. Your midwife or doctor will discuss what method they recommend based on your personal needs. They’ll monitor you and your baby throughout.

Assisted birth

Assisted births are sometimes necessary for  your baby to arrive safely. They happen on the Aylesbury labour ward or in theatre.

Your midwife and doctor may recommend an assisted birth if:

  • your baby has become distressed during the pushing stage of labour
  • you’re very tired and can’t push anymore
  • your baby is not making progress through your pelvis
  • there’s a medical reason why you shouldn’t push for a long time, for example you have heart disease.

Talk to your midwife if you have any questions about assisted births.

Caesarean birth

A caesarean section is an operation to deliver your baby by making a horizontal cut in the lower part of your abdomen (usually along the bikini line) and in the front wall of the womb. It may be a planned (elective) or an emergency operation depending on the circumstances.

If you choose to have a planned caesarean, it will take place at in theatre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Your doctor or midwife will discuss the benefits and risks with you.