What do we want to happen?

Women and their partners will have all the information that they need to make informed choices about their pregnancy and care.

What have we done so far?

We have started to look at how we could develop a midwifery-led unit (birthing centre) in Leeds.

We have asked women about their experiences of giving birth at home rather than in a hospital, so we know what we need to do to improve homebirth services in the future.

What are we doing next?

We will look at different options around providing women with access to midwife-led units (birthing centres).

We will use what women have said about homebirths to improve homebirth services, to make it easier to give birth at home if that is the choice you have made.

We will talk to other organisations across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to understand the best way to work together to improve services across the whole area.

Heather, Leeds mum

Heather wanted to opt for a caesarean section (she had had one in the previous pregnancy): “I did not feel like I had to make a case (for having a caesarean). The evidence was presented really clearly and I was allowed to make a choice. My request for a caesarean was supported.”

She also says that when breastfeeding her first child she required a lot of support, which she got from the local team, and when her son had refused to take a bottle when he was older.

In her more recent pregnancy she had discussed this with the midwife and says: “likewise with regard to feeding, my choices were supported, taking into account of my family, not just health guidance”.