Last reviewed 01/2018
Arguably, the best place for a woman to be delivered is the modern, well-equipped maternity unit. This permits an approach to all serious emergencies, which is not possible in isolated general practitioner units. A meeting point is provided by GP units within major hospitals. In these, the GP may oversee the entire pregnancy, the hospital consultant only acting in a supportive role.
An alternative in pregnancies where there are no major complications is 'shared antenatal care'. Under this scheme, the GP and the hospital consultant have co-operative and complimentary roles in managing the pregnancy. The mother remains at home under GP care until the last few weeks of pregnancy, at which time she passes to the consultant for hospital care.
A decision must be made early in pregnancy about the desired location so that continuous management is provided.