Labour and birth

Labour and birth 

Towards the end of your pregnancy, you will have a choice about where you would like to give birth. You can choose to have your baby at home, in our birth centre or on the Labour Ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital.  

If there may be complications with your labour and the birth of your child, we may recommend that you deliver on our Labour Ward, so that additional obstetric care is available, should you need it.

You can discuss all options with your midwife or GP and decide what the best option is for you and your family.

If you decide to have an elective caesarean section, we will agree plans for your elective surgery date with you and you will get to meet your anaesthetist and obstetrician on the morning of your caesarean.

Wherever you decide to give birth, our aim is to give you the most positive birth experience possible, supported by our midwives and wider maternity team.

Contact us for advice 

The Birth Centre and Labour Ward are open all the time and you can call either the birth centre or maternity triage for advice.  Please attend with your support person and please bring your green notes.  If you have contracted Coronavirus or have symptoms of Coronavirus please let the team know prior to attending the hospital. 

Birth Centre 

Having your baby in a birth centre

The birth centre at The Royal Oldham Hospital provides a home from home experience for our parents who would like to come into hospital to birth in a non-medical environment. There are water birth facilities, and our experienced midwives and maternity support workers will support you in labour with non-medicinal techniques, such as waterbirth, hypnobirthing, mobilisation, aromatherapy, and TENS machines. All rooms are en-suite and visiting for your birth partner is 24 hours a day.  We encourage a light diet throughout labour.

Your Birth Centre Team 

If you need advice prior to the birth of your baby, please contact our friendly Birth Centre team: 

Birth centre managers - Dawn Lee/ Marie-Cristina Ricci

Birth Centre Lead Nurse - Yvonne Taylor

Contact The Team

Birth Centre - Tel: 0161 627 8259

Where to find us

The Birth Centre and Labour ward are situated on the first floor at Royal Oldham hospital in the main hospital building.


The Royal Oldham Hospital
Rochdale Road

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The labour ward cares for all women and birthing people who may have some medical or pregnancy complications, that require you and your baby to be monitored more closely. The labour ward has 11 birth rooms, a bereavement suite and two High dependency rooms where women receive enhanced medical care.

We have 24 hour obstetric, and anaesthetic doctor cover and our experienced midwives will support your birth choices whilst monitoring you and your baby closely.  We can offer medical and non-medical forms of pain relief. Visiting is 24 hours a day for your birth partners up to a maximum of 2 people.

The labour ward is attached to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and maternity theatres, so if you or your baby require support from these areas we can transfer you quickly.

Your Labour Ward Team

Labour ward Manager – Emma Painter 

Labour ward Lead – Yvonne Taylor

Contact Us

Labour Ward - Tel: 0161 627 8255

Where to find us

The Birth Centre and Labour ward are situated on the first floor at Royal Oldham hospital in the main hospital building.


The Royal Oldham Hospital
Rochdale Road

Home Births - Community Midwifery

Having your baby at home  

Are you considering having your baby at home? Research suggests that having your baby at home can increase your chances of having a normal birth and reduce the risks of interventions in birth, such as assisted birth, caesarean section and reduces the need for medicinal pain relief (Birthplace study 2011). 

Our community midwives are experienced in homebirth and are able to support and care for you and your family during this time. There are no restrictions on your family and friends being present to support you and you will be in a relaxed and familiar environment.  Please speak to you community midwife to discuss your birth options. 

Your Community Midwifery Team 

Community Midwife Manger – Beth Rooney

Community Lead Nurse – Jennifer Michaels

Contact Us 

Community Midwifery Team (Oldham) - Tel: 0161 6525811.

Community Midwifery Team (Rochdale) - Tel: 01706 517223.

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Early Labour Signs 

There are several signs that labour might be starting, including:

  • contractions or tightenings
  • a "show", when the plug of mucus from your cervix (entrance to your womb, or uterus) comes away
  • backache
  • an urge to go to the toilet, which is caused by your baby's head pressing on your bowel
  • your waters breaking

The early (latent) stage of labour can take some time. During this stage, you may be advised to stay at home or return home if you attend your maternity unit. If you’re unsure or worried, just speak to your midwife and they will advise you.

Your midwife will probably advise you to stay at home until your contractions become frequent. Call your midwife when your contractions are in a regular pattern, are lasting at least 60 seconds or coming every 5 minutes.

Induction of Labour

An induced labour is one that’s started artificially. Labour can sometimes be induced if your baby is overdue or there’s a risk to you or your baby’s health. Induction will usually be planned in advance with your midwife or GP and it’s your choice about whether you want to be induced or not.

Induction will be offered if you do not go into labour naturally by 42 weeks, as there will be a higher risk of stillbirth or problems for the baby.

You may be offered an induction if you have a health condition that means it'll be safer to have your baby sooner, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Induction is always carried out in a hospital unit and your midwife, GP or obstetrician can provide you with more information about what to expect. 

Coping in labour

Your labour can last hours, if not days. At the beginning of labour you can have a warm bath, take paracetamol and try to relax using the breathing exercises you’ve learned in antenatal classes help you deal with contractions as they get stronger and more painful. Some women also find walking or moving about or having your partner rub their back helps them cope with labour.

Useful Information 

We have a range of patient information leaflets available on the following topics below. You can access this information via our NCA Patient Leaflet Library. These patient leaflets are also available via the Bounty app

Patient Information Leaflets 

Induction of labour

Breech presentation

Birth after caesarean section

Accessibility tools

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