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

Reopening of Ashcombe Birth Centre


From Friday 14 August 2020, all appointments will once again take place at the Ashcombe Birth Centre after temporarily being held at the outpatients department at Weston General Hospital.

The centre will reopen for births from 9am on Monday 17 August. If you are due to give birth at St Michael’s Hospital but would now like to consider the Ashcombe Birth Centre, please speak to your community midwife.

If you go into labour on Sunday 16 August or the early hours of Monday 17 August, please attend St Michael’s Hospital.

Due to coronavirus, measures are in place to help maintain the safety of all mothers, babies and staff. Please see the details below.


Appointments at Ashcombe Birth Centre


  • You can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person (ideally the birth partner) for the first trimester scan. For additional routine scans please attend the appointment on your own.
  • 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.
  • For early pregnancy clinic appointments you can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person.
  • Children are not allowed in clinic.
  • Community midwifery clinics and home visits are still running as necessary; women are being assessed and seen mostly face-to-face.
  • No antenatal classes or tours of the unit are currently running.


Labour and birth at Ashcombe Birth Centre


  • The centre will reopen for births from 9am on Monday 17 August.
  • If you are considering giving birth at the Ashcombe Birth Centre please speak to your community midwife.
  • A nominated non-symptomatic birthing partner can be with you during labour and the birth, and can stay with you for the short time after labour until you and your baby leave.
  • If you go into labour on Sunday 16 August or the early hours of Monday 17 August, please call St Michael’s Hospital and then attend if asked to.


Thank you for your help and support in complying with these measures. We will continue to keep this guidance under careful review, in line with the national advice from the Chief Midwifery Officer for England.


If you have any questions please speak to your midwife.


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 2 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).


Useful links:

National Birth Place Study

Our Facebook page:

NCT, Where to have my baby?:


Ashcombe Birth Centre tours

Mum’s-to-be can come for a tour of the Birth Centre. Tours run each Sunday afternoons - please call us on 01934 647082 to ensure we can accommodate you.