Clenoch Birthing Centre

Clenoch Birthing centre is a midwife led unit, also known as a Community Maternity Unit (CMU). The care is led by midwives without the on-site medical facilities of obstetricians or paediatricians.
Because most women can give birth without needing medical interventions, a CMU can be a good choice. However, if complications arise during your pregnancy or labour you may be advised to change your plan and give birth at an obstetric unit.

The Birthplace study - the largest carried out into the safety of different maternity settings, involving almost 65,000 births in England - found midwife-led care was just as safe as doctor-led hospital care for low-risk births.

What are the benefits of giving birth in Clenoch Birthing Centre?

  • Being closer to home and to your family and friends
  • You are more likely to be cared for by a midwife that you have got to know during your pregnancy.
  • Being in surroundings where you may feel more relaxed and able to cope with labour.
  • You will be able to be in the same room for your whole stay, with your partner.
  • You are more likely to have a straightforward birth without medical interventions.

Are there any disadvantages?

You will not be able to receive any specialist care such as an epidural or a caesarean section.
If you need specialist care or if your labour is not progressing well, you will be transferred to Cresswell Maternity Wing in Dumfries by ambulance.

Why do transfers usually happen?

You would need to transfer to Cresswell Maternity Wing if:

  • You need strong pain relief, such as an epidural.
  • Your labour is going too slowly.
  • There are worries about your baby picked up by monitoring, or when your waters break.

Midwives can pick up these problems early and transfer you in good time. The most common reasons for transfer after the birth of your baby include:

  • stitches for a perineal tear or episiotomy.
  • heavy bleeding.
  • retained placenta.

All midwives are trained in life-support and resuscitation techniques and in managing emergencies. The midwives are supported in emergency care by the medical and nursing staff from the Accident and Emergency Unit.

If you get into difficulties during labour, or want an epidural, your midwife will go with you when you are transferred.

Transfers are fairly common, particularly for first-time mums. About one mum in three first-time mums whose pregnancy is low-risk are transferred, compared with about one mum in 10 mums who have had a baby before.

Try not to worry about being transferred, but do prepare yourself for it. Some women feel relieved, while others feel disappointed, depending on the reason for the transfer.

You may at first miss the midwife from the Clenoch Birthing Centre but you will still receive one-to-one midwifery care in Cresswell Maternity Wing.

Consider if you would want your partner to follow in a car, or be with you in the ambulance.

Are midwife led units safe?

Having your baby in a birth centre is no more or less risky than giving birth at home or in hospital. Rates for serious problems during labour and birth in the UK are very low.

So wherever you have your baby, it's highly likely to be a safe experience.

Opening times

Clenoch Birthing Centre is open between 8am and 7pm

For women needing care out with these hours the midwife is called in from home. There are always two midwives on-call between 7pm and 8am.


There are two labour and birth rooms which have a range of birth aids such as birthing balls and mats. The bed can also be adjusted to several different positions for your comfort.