Who's present at a hospital birth?
Understanding who you can expect at your birth in hospital
During your hospital birth you’ll have both medical as well as personal support. Find out more below on who’ll be there during the birth of your baby.
Medical support during birth
If you have your baby in a hospital you’ll have a midwife looking after you during birth. If you have a particularly long labour, you may have another person come to care for you when the shifts swap. The midwife who looks after you during birth may not be the same person who cared for you during the antenatal period. You’ll also have another midwife with you during the actual birth of the baby so there’s one for you and one for your baby.
If you did want to have the same midwife during your antenatal period and birth, you can hire an independent midwife. These are fully qualified, self-employed midwives working outside of the NHS.
As well as a midwife, you’ll have a medical team on standby to help with any complications. This consists of an obstetrician, an anaesthetist and a paediatrician. An obstetrician is a doctor who cares for women throughout pregnancy, birth and during the postnatal period. An anaesthetist will be there to help if you choose to have an epidural or if you have a caesarean section. A pediatrician specialises in the care of babies and children and may need to do a check on your baby when they are born.
In some hospitals there may be medical or midwifery students working with the doctors and midwives. These students may be present at your birth, but rest assured your midwife will discuss this with you in advance and it’s up to you whether you’d like them to be present or not.
Birth support partner
During labour and birth you’ll also be able to have birth support partner and it’s up to you who you’d like this to be. This could be your partner, sibling, parent, friend or your doula (someone who gives emotional and practical support to women during pregnancy and birth). Some hospitals have a two-person rule and other’s have no limits, so it would be worth finding out your hospital’s policy before you decide who to take in with you. If you are chosen to be a birth support partner, read our tips on how to make mum feel supported.
Once you’ve had your baby you will be given a Bounty newborn pack and our talented Bounty Portrait photographers can take up to 10 beautiful pictures of your gorgeous new arrival - all from the comfort of your maternity ward.