Having a baby is a life-changing event that is different for everyone. It is important to get the right care for you and your baby. That means arranging referral to an antenatal clinic as soon as possible after you discover you're pregnant.
Our leaflet called Planning to Become Pregnant also explains all the steps you should take before you get pregnant and in early pregnancy. And our pregnancy hub has a host of information on every aspect of your pregnancy.
My baby, my choice
There are several options for where you give birth to your baby. They include:
- Home birth.
- Freestanding birth centre (not directly attached to a hospital, one-to-one care from midwives and maternity support workers).
- Attached birth centre (a 'home from home' birth centre in a hospital, close to the main obstetric unit).
- Hospital labour ward or delivery suite.
The NHS is committed to providing choice to pregnant women. But do remember that not all these options are suitable for everyone, and not all are available in all areas.Your midwife or GP will be able to discuss options for care during your pregnancy and delivery, including giving birth at home or in a midwife-led birth centre.
Most women prefer to have their antenatal care led by a midwife. Your GP practice can give you details of your local midwifery service and how to contact them directly.
How can I access antenatal care on the NHS?
Your GP can refer you to a hospital or a midwife-led team for antenatal care and delivery. But many NHS hospitals, and some midwife teams, also offer the option of self-referral. If you know which hospital or trust you want to have your baby in, and you live in their catchment area, you can refer yourself using one of the links below. This may be via an online form or a phone contact with your local midwives.
If you're not sure which trust or hospital you're allowed to book into for antenatal care, your GP practice will be able to let you know. Please note that not all hospitals allow self-referral. Otherwise, contact your GP.
Please be aware that self-referral is not available in every part of the UK. If you can't find the hospital you're looking for below, or if any of the links are not working. you can do a web search for 'antenatal self-referral' followed by the name of the hospital you're looking for. Otherwise, please search the NHS website or contact your GP.
Self-referral for antenatal care in England
Airedale General Hospital West Yorkshire
Ashford Hospital Surrey
Barking Community Birth Centre London - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Barnet Hospital London
Bedford Hospital Bedfordshire
Bexley CCG (Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Princess Royal University Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital)
Broomfield Hospital Chelmsford, Essex
Buckland Hospital East Kent
Chorley and South Ribble Hospital Lancashire
Colchester Hospital Essex
Conquest Hospital East Sussex
Croydon Health Services (Croydon University Trust)
Doncaster Women's Hospital Yorkshire
Eastbourne District General Hospital East Sussex
East Lancashire (details of delivery options - referral via GP or local Children's centre)
Epsom Hospital Surrey
Frimley Park Hospital Surrey
Harrogate and District Yorkshire
Hillingdon Hospital London
Hitchingbrooke Hospital Cambridgeshire
Horton Midwifery Unit Banbury (information - no self-referral)
Kent and Canterbury Hospital East Kent
King George Hospital, Goodmayes, Essex (Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals)
King's College Hospital London
Kingston Hospital Surrey
Lewisham University Hospital London
Lister Hospital Hertfordshire
Liverpool Women's Hospital Merseyside
Macclesfield Maternity Unit Cheshire
Medway CCG Kent
Newham Hospital London - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Northwick Park Hospital London
Ormskirk and District General Hospital Lancashire
Oxfordshire Community Midwives (information - no self-referral)
Peterborough City Hospital Cambridgeshire
Poole Hospital Dorset
Princess Royal Hospital Surrey
Queen Elizabeth Hospital London SE18
Queen's Hospital Romford (Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals)
Rochdale infirmary (self-referral to community midwives)
Rosie Hospital Cambridgeshire (information, no self-referral)
Royal Berkshire Hospital Reading
Royal Oldham Hospital (midwife referral via your GP)
Royal Free Hospital London
Royal London Hospital - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Royal Preston Hospital Lancashire
Royal Surrey County Hospital Guildford
Royal Sussex County Hospital Brighton
Royal Victoria Hospital Folkestone
Saint Mary's Hospital Manchester (self-referral to your midwife or via your GP)
Salford CCG (information on all maternity care options)
St George's Hospital London
St Helier Hospital Sutton
St Mary's Hospital Manchester
St Mary's Hospital Paddington
St Michael's Hospital Braintree, Essex
St Michael's Hospital Bristol, Avon
St Peter's Hospital Surrey
St Peter's Hospital Maldon, Essex
Warrington Hospital Cheshire (Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
Watford General Hospital London
Wexham Park Hospital Surrey
Whipps Cross Hospital London - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Whittington Hospital London
William Harvey Hospital East Kent
Worcestershire (Alexandra Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre, Worcestershire Royal)
Wythenshawe Hospital Manchester (direct to midwife service)
Yeovil District Hospital Somerset
While every effort is made to keep these details up to date, the company cannot be held responsible for links to NHS services. If you have any queries, please contact your GP.
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Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.