Birthing Options, Pain Relief and Breathing Techniques

Important Information: The use of face coverings and gloves when coming to into hospital

People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.
Following recommendations from the World Health organisation, and in line with UK government guidance, on Monday 15 June 2020 new measures were introduced at KGH to keep visitors, patients and staff safe; the need to wear a face covering at all times inside our hospital. To find out more.  
On Monday 19th July 2021, some restrictions changed in England however the hospital still requires visitors and staff to wear face coverings. 

Please remove your gloves - Good hand hygiene is one of the keys to defeating Coronavirus

  • If you are wearing gloves when attending our clinics you will be asked to remove them
  • We will ask that you wash your hands with soap or sanitiser
  • You may sanitise your hands and reapply your gloves before you leave

Choosing where to have your baby

When the time comes for you to have your baby, you will want to be in a place where you feel relaxed, comfortable, confident and secure, and for everything to go smoothly.
Where you have your baby will be an individual choice for you, so it's important to talk it through with your midwife or doctor.
The safety of you and your baby is always the top priority. For some women, particularly those who have had problems in previous pregnancies, or who have medical conditions that may affect them or their baby during labour, we would recommend birth in our obstetrician-led Unit. This is because of the additional facilities available there. However if this applies to you and you would like to explore other options please ask your Midwife to discuss this with you. If necessary she can signpost you to access additional support.
We have an active Midwifery Advocacy service that is also available to support you.
Mothers-to-be who have straightforward pregnancies can opt for any of the choices described below. Remember, it is your choice and you can change your mind at any time.

What are the options?


Home Birth

If you decide to have a home birth, a community midwife will come to your home to look after you during labour until your baby is born. There are community midwives on call all day and all night, so the midwife will come when you are in labour. If this is something you are considering please discuss with your community midwife at your next appointment.

Why might I consider a home birth?

  • You think having a baby is a natural process and have confidence in your body’s ability to give birth
  • You would like to labour and give birth in a familiar and private environment
  • You would prefer to avoid having medical interventions
  • You and your partner want to start your family life together at home, or perhaps you would like to have your other children nearby for the birth

Kettering Hospital Delivery Suite

Within our delivery Suite we have allocated rooms identified for Midwifery led care, two of which have birthing pools, you will be cared for by our midwives. These are ideal for those who are suitable for midwifery led care but prefer to deliver in hospital rather than at home.
If you experience complications during labour, you will not need to be moved – you will have access to midwives, obstetricians, anaesthetists and neonatologists as well as any appropriate medical interventions.

Why might I consider the Delivery Suite?

  • You would like to use water for labour and/or birth but prefer to birth in hospital
  • You think having a baby is a natural process and have confidence in your body’s ability to give birth but would prefer to birth in hospital rather than at home
  • You are experiencing complications in your pregnancy
  • You have experienced complications in a previous pregnancy or labour
  • You have a medical illness that complicates your pregnancy
  • You are pregnant with twins or triplets
  • Your baby is in the ‘breech’ position (bottom down)
  • You are confident that you will want epidural pain relief during labour
The Delivery suite is led by obstetricians who provide care in collaboration with midwives. You will have a midwife who will provide care for you and attend your birth if you give birth on our Delivery Suite. The Delivery Suite offers equipment and facilities to provide interventions such as continuous fetal heart rate monitoring, a caesarean or instrumental birth and blood transfusions if necessary.
Our Theatres are adjacent to our delivery suite should you require an emergency caesarean section.

Caesarean Sections

What is a caesarean section?

A caesarean section, or C-section, is an operation to deliver your baby through a cut made in your tummy and womb. The cut is usually made across your tummy, just below your bikini line.
A caesarean is a major operation that carries a number of risks, so it's usually only done if it's the safest option for you and your baby.
Around 1 in 4 pregnant women in the UK has a caesarean birth.

Asking for a caesarean

Some women choose to have a caesarean for non-medical reasons. If you ask your midwife or doctor for a caesarean when there are not medical reasons, they'll explain the overall benefits and risks of a caesarean to you and your baby compared with a vaginal birth.
If you're anxious about giving birth, you should be offered the chance to discuss your anxiety with a healthcare professional who can offer support during your pregnancy and labour.
If after discussing all the risks and hearing about all the support on offer you still feel that a vaginal birth is not an acceptable option, you should be offered a planned caesarean. If your doctor is unwilling to perform the operation, they should refer you to a doctor who will. More information about choosing to have a caesarean section is available by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.