Your baby is delivered usually by one of the teams of the midwives from the hospital. Midwives often choose to work in MLBU’s as they feel they can work more naturally with a labouring woman and the woman will have a better birth experience.
Expectant women sometimes choose this option instead of a hospital birth as because they feel they have a better chance of being looked after in labour by someone they already know. In addition, they feel reassured by the emergency back up of the hospital. Discuss it with your doctor or midwife during one of your early antenatal appointments. Towards the end of your pregnancy, they will assess you to see if your pregnancy is low risk and therefore suitable for a MLBU delivery. If you are well you may go home a few hours after the birth. If there are complications, and you need to stay longer, you may be transferred to the postnatal ward in the hospital.
The disadvantage of an MLBU is that won’t have immediate access to anaesthetists to administer epidurals or obstetricians or neonatal nurses; the only pain relief available will be gas and air and pethidine. However, most MLBU’s are in the hospital so very close if a transfer is needed. Some free-standing birth centres may have cover from these specialists.