About this service

Midwife led units

Midwife Led Units

There are midwife led units at Colchester, Ipswich and Clacton hospitals.

  • Colchester Hospital: the Juno birth centre is an AMU (Alongside Midwifery Unit)
  • Ipswich Hospital: the Brook Birth centre is an AMU
  • Clacton Hospital: the Midwife Led Unit is a free standing midwifery unit.  The closest hospital is Colchester Hospital.

Midwife led units are suitable if you are considered to be at low risk of complications in labour.

  • Midwife led units are less clinical-looking and aim to create a relaxing environment
  • You can adjust the lighting to suit you and use music to aid relaxation
  • If you are using hypnobirthing techniques we can support you with these
  • You can use a birthing pool
  • You can access Entonox (gas and air) and Pethidine (pain killing injection)

A midwife will give you one-to-one care in labour.  We will support you to be active in labour because moving around often helps the baby to get into a good position and is more comfortable for you.

We will monitor your baby’s heart rate using a pinards stethoscope or a Doppler monitor.

If any concerns arise during labour, or if you choose to have an epidural for pain relief, we will transfer you to the consultant led delivery suite.  From Clacton you will be transferred to Colchester Hospital by ambulance.

At Ipswich and Colchester, in an emergency, a doctor can attend the MLU.  At Clacton, transfer to Colchester is necessary to obtain assistance from a doctor.  Midwives do have regular training in dealing with emergency situations.

Birthing partners at Ipswich Hospital

At Ipswich Hospital you can have up to two birthing companions while you are in labour.

If the baby is to be born in an operating theatre, only one person can accompany you into theatre.

Back to top