Sanctuary birth centre

We have two Sanctuary Birth Centres at our hospitals - one at QMC and one at City. QMC offers the use of 2 pools and City has 3 pools.

These midwifery-led units are located next to the main Labour Suites and offer a calm and comfortable environment for women who would prefer a more home-from-home environment.

The Sanctuary Birth Centres are run by experienced midwives who specialise in promoting active childbirth and minimising intervention in the absence of complications. 

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What happens at The Sanctuary Birth Centres?

We will provide you with information and evidence-based advice to help you make your own informed choice about how you'd like to give birth.  

Our midwives will encourage you to be upright and mobile and make full use of the equipment such as bean bags, birthing balls and mats. Aromatherapy and water birth is positively encouraged to help you cope with your labour without strong pain relief (such as an epidural).

Research shows that moving around during your labour helps you feel more relaxed, could shorten your labour and may reduce your need for strong pain relief.

Just like with a homebirth, if you have had an uncomplicated, problem-free pregnancy and you do not wish to have an epidural you can choose to have your baby at the Sanctuary.

Following birth we will offer you the chance to go home straight from the Sanctuary, so you can be in your own bed as a family within a few hours after giving birth.

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National outcomes for healthy women and babies at low risk of complications

First baby: birth planned in Sanctuary Birth Centre

  • 995 per 1000 babies are born healthy.
  • 62% women have a normal birth. 38% have medical intervention


Second baby, third or fourth: birth planned in Sanctuary Birth Centre

  • 998 per 1000 babies are born healthy
  • 91% women have a normal birth. 9% have medical intervention