When your expecting a baby, choosing where to give birth is a big decision. I remember when pregnant with Jack I was undecided between a birth centre/midwife led unit or a hospital birth and ended up choosing a hospital birth for many different reasons. There are many factors to consider and many people choose one option and then change their mind. Consumer group Which? have come up with the Which? Birth Choice website which is designed to help your decision making easier.
I tried out the Which? Birth Choice tool and although I already know what kind of birth I'm choosing it was interesting to see how simple it is to use, especially for the first timers. Your personal preferences and circumstances are taken into account and it then suggests your 'best fit' and a range of local units best suited. You can even compare the facilities and services provided to ensure your happy with your decision. The tool is simply a range of questions which you answer with sliders so you can place yourself in the middle, or more towards one side, it then asks a couple of personal questions such as age and postcode and then provides the list of units which you can sort by fit or distance.
Which? also kindly sent me three birth boxes which are filled with fantastic goodies to help with a birth choice. Each box is filled with useful products for each different environment to help make the experience comfortable.
In the hospital birth box there were all kinds of things to make a hospital birth more comfortable and on reflection from my last birth it would all be extremely useful! Included was an eye mask and ear plug set, iTunes gift card, charging cable, lip balm, small fan, healthy snacks, a water bottle and some flip flops. These items are definitely some I will be placing within my hospital bag and using on the ward.
Next up, birth centre box, again full of such lovely products including hair ties, water spray, hot water bottle, dressing gown and some slippers. I'm looking forward to using these items, although I'm not having a midwife birth they will still be extremely useful.
Finally, the home birth box including a waterproof mattress sheet - essential for keeping areas clean in a home birth, room spray, a birthing ball and a beautiful receiving blanket.
There is such a lot of useful advice on the Which? Birth Choice website, I would definately recommend you take a look if your pregnant and unsure about where you would like to give birth. It's definately a tool I will be recommending to others.
As for my birth choice, well it's simply a choice of hospital, due to my birth with Jack and the severity of my tear I need a caesarean this time round and hospital is my only choice. If I didn't have the complications from my previous birth I would have chosen a midwife led unit birth. The idea of being in a near to home environment really stands out to me with the natural birth emphasis. I liked the fact the birth is accompanied by midwifes with less risk of having intervention.
The lovely people at Which? are also giving you the chance to get your hands on three birth boxes worth £250, what more could you wish for? All you need to do is simply test your knowledge on your different birthing options in the widget below.
Please Note: I received the boxes free of charge for an open, honest review