Ashcombe Birth Centre

Learning Environment

Community-based Midwifery Service

Antenatal Clinics

Antenatal Screening Choices

Further information about antenatal screening

Day Assessment Unit (DAU)

Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic (EPAC)

Maternity Voices

New website for parents to share views on maternity services

Choosing where to give birth

Information to help you decide where you would like to give birth to your baby

What women say about us

Results of our survey.

Ashcombe Birth Centre's mums

Stories from mums and midwifes



Ashcombe Birth Centre

This information is correct as of 9 November 2020

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) we have introduced restrictions guided by NHS England to maintain the safety of all mothers and babies, this includes being able to ensure we can maintain social distancing in our waiting areas, appointment and delivery rooms. Please see the details below. 

We understand this is a difficult time for expectant mothers and families. We will continue to keep this guidance under careful review, in line with the national advice from the Chief Midwifery Officer for England to ensure everyone's safety. If you have any questions please speak to your midwife.

Read our press release on the latest update.

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. 

 

Scans at St Michael's Hospital and Ashcombe Birth Centre (Weston):

You will be able to attend your 12 week scan with one non-symptomatic adult from the same household or support bubble (ideally the birth partner). For all other scan appointments please attend alone. If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the Matron by calling switchboard on 0117 923 0000. 

You will both need to wear a mask or face covering and please use the hand gel at all entrances and exits. Please do not attend if you have symptoms of COVID-19.


Labour and birth at St Michael's Hospital

  • A nominated non-symptomatic birthing partner is allowed to be with you during labour and the birth. If you give birth on the midwife led unit or central delivery suite and you and your baby are able to go home within 2-3 hours after giving birth, your partner will be able to stay with you until you and your baby leave. 
  • If you are being induced on the ward and go into labour, your birthing partner will be called and invited to support you before you are transferred to the delivery suite.
  • If your baby needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), non-symptomatic parents can visit - two parents to the ICU rooms and one parent at a time in the HDU and SCBU rooms.

If you have any questions or additional needs that need to be taken into account please speak to the Matron or your community midwife who will be happy to discuss this with you.

 

Labour and birth at Ashcombe Birth Centre (Weston)

  • A nominated non-symptomatic birthing partner is allowed to be with you during labour and the birth. If you and your baby are able to go home within 2-3 hours after giving birth, your partner will be able to stay with you until you and your baby leave.

If you have any questions or additional needs that need to be taken into account please speak to the Matron or your community midwife who will be happy to discuss this with you. 

 

Appointments at St Michael's Hospital

  • You can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person (ideally the birth partner) for your 12 scan. For additional routine scans please attend the appointment on your own. If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the Matron by calling switchboard on 0117 923 0000.
  • For fetal medicine and early pregnancy clinic appointments you can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person. 
  • Consultant antenatal appointments and scans will continue as usual. Please attend these appointments on your own. Women will be offered telephone appointments where clinically appropriate.
  • Children are not allowed in clinic or on the wards.
  • Community midwifery clinics and home visits are still running as necessary; women are being assessed and only essential face-to-face visits are being undertaken.
  • We regret that we're unable to offer antenatal classes or tours of the unit at the current time.

 

Appointments at Aschombe Birth Centre (Weston)

  • You can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person (ideally the birth partner) for your 12 scan. For additional routine scans please attend the appointment on your own. If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the Matron by calling switchboard on 0117 923 0000.
  • For early pregnancy clinic appointments you can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person.
  • Consultant antenatal appointments and scans will continue as usual. Please attend these appointments on your own. Women will be offered telephone appointments where clinically appropriate.
  • Children are not allowed in clinic or on the wards.
  • Community midwifery clinics and home visits are still running as necessary; women are being assessed and only essential face-to-face visits are being undertaken.
  • We regret that we're unable to offer antenatal classes or tours of the unit at the current time.

These measures have been put in place to protect our patients, staff and visitors, which includes being able to ensure we can maintain social distancing in our waiting areas, appointment and delivery rooms. We will continue to keep this guidance under review.

 

Visiting for maternity patients at St Michael's Hospital

From Thursday 5 November no visitors will be allowed on the maternity wards at St. Michael's Hospital.

If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the Matron or your community midwife who will be happy to discuss this with you.

Once transferred to the postnatal ward, free WiFi is available to everyone so patients can make phone or video calls to their family and friends using apps including Facetime, WhatsApp or Skype and mobile reception is available across our site. Please be aware that we do not allow any video calling, photographs or recordings to be carried out during scan appointments due to the concentration required by the sonographer.

If you have any questions, please contact your midwife on the matron by calling switchboard.

 

 

Information about Ashcombe Birth Centre

 

Ashcombe Birth Centre is a freestanding birth unit situated on the second floor in the Weston General hospital. Mums-to-be who are having a straightforward pregnancy and would like a natural birth, may be able to choose the homely environment of the free-standing birth centre rather than a traditional hospital setting. It is a purpose built unit with two comfortable birthing rooms. Mothers can give birth in a relaxed, home from home setting.

The birth of your baby is an extraordinary and life-changing event, the memories of which will stay with you forever. We aim to offer a calm and relaxing environment with the support of experienced midwives. Both rooms have ensuite facilities, bean bag and birthing ball and one room has a birth pool, to promote active labour and natural births. After the birth you will return home to the care of your community midwife.

 

Why should I consider birthing in a midwife led unit?

‘Midwifery units appear to be safe for the baby and offer benefits for the mother’.

Women who planned a birth in a midwifery unit had significantly fewer interventions...and more ‘normal births’ than women who planned birth in an obstetric unit’.

Labour and birth are a natural process, most mums who are fit and well and have had a healthy pregnancy can choose to birth in our midwifery led unit. We do recognise that some women may require the more specialised support provided by the main obstetric unit at St. Michael’s Hospital, Bristol. To help with your decision, your community midwife will discuss options with you at your booking and again when you are 34 weeks pregnant, if you choose the Ashcombe birth centre your individual health and pregnancy will be reviewed to ensure your pregnancy has remained uncomplicated.

 

Facilities at Ashcombe Birth Centre have been designed to provide comfort and support in labour and include:

Two en-suite birth rooms furnished with floor mats, cushions and birth balls to support you

A water pool in one birth room, should you wish to relax and/or give birth in water

Entonox (gas and air) and aromatherapy to help with labour 

Access to tea, coffee and light snacks

In addition to the birth facilities, the Birth Centre is a base for the local community midwives and a venue for Consultant antenatal clinics, postnatal clinics, day assessment unit and the early pregnancy assessment unit.

What happens if there is a problem?

If your pregnancy has been straightforward, and there is no reason to think that you or your baby are likely to need medical support during labour or after the birth, then the Birth Centre could be a good choice for you.

 

The Ashcombe Birth Centre is staffed and run by midwives. Extra emergency equipment is kept in the Birth Centre, should unforeseen problems arise for a woman or baby. Staff receive regular training to deal with such situations.

If emergency assistance is required from other medical practitioners women will be transferred via ambulance to St. Michael’s Hospital maternity unit, approximately 30 minutes away (22 miles).

 

Please take a look at further infromation about St Michael's Hospital.

 

Useful links:

National Birth Place Study https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/birthplace

Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AshcombeBirthcentre/?modal=admin_todo_tour

NCT, Where to have my baby?: https://www.nct.org.uk/birth/choosing-where-have-your-baby