Welcome to the Birth Centre Bristol website
30 March 2016: The Final Report for the National Maternity Review (2016) states that women will have more control over their choice of place of birth. This will include midwife-led birth centres. Princess Anne visited Cossham Birth Centre in March. See Recent news for further details.
The campaign group Birth Centre Bristol has been instrumental over the last twelve years in seeing midwife-led care, within midwife-led birth settings, become a priority in the design of Bristol's maternity services for both NHS trusts.
It is now widely acknowledged that midwife-led birth centres offer women a much higher chance of a non-medicalised, intervention-free birth and a happier time throughout her labour. This is confirmed by the Birth Place in England Study of November 2011. The results of Birth Centre Bristol's 2003 Community Survey in Easton showed that women and their families favour midwife-led care. This was fully endorsed in Bristol's Maternity Services Review of 2008 which recommended a significant increase in midwife-led birth settings in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Women in Bristol want birth centres.
Cossham Birth Centre, within North Bristol NHS Trust, opened in January 2013 following the work of a robust Steering Group on which Birth Centre Bristol was represented by its Midwife and Supporters Coordinator. There were 245 births there within the first six months. St. Michael's Midwifery-Led Birthing Unit, located apart from the Central Delivery Suite, opened in June 2013 and is very popular with women. Southmead Birth Unit is re-opening in October 2013, also on a site apart from the Central Delivery Suite, and will be re-named Mendip Birth Suite.
With the recommendations of the Bristol Maternity Review backing us and the growing success of the new midwife-led birth places in Bristol, Birth Centre Bristol is campaigning for a birth centre in south Bristol on the Hengrove Community Hospital site.