Midwifery Led Unit

The Friarage maternity centre offers a comfortable relaxed environment for women and their partners, and is a good choice for women who are keen to have a natural birth with minimum intervention. We provide a 24 hour service, 7 days a week.

The unit is run by a team of enthusiastic, experienced and skilled midwives who provide friendly individualised care to women with straightforward pregnancies.

Partners are welcome to stay in the ensuite rooms during and after the birth until you choose to go home, usually within 24 hours.

The ‘birthplace study’ found that birth centres are just as safe as hospital for low risk women and increases the chance of a normal birth with less intervention. Midwives are trained to detect if labour is not progressing normally.

If the midwife is concerned about you or your baby’s wellbeing or progress in labour, or if you decide you need an epidural, you will be transferred to The James Cook University Hospital.

As there are no doctors in the midwife led birthing centre. There are close links and communication with James Cook, so if it was deemed clinically necessary you would be transferred by ambulance with a midwife to the Middlesbrough hospital, which is a distance of 23 miles away, where your care would continue.


  • Comfortable friendly surroundings helping you feel more controlled and relaxed
  • Individual midwife led care with experienced midwives
  • Increases chance of having a normal birth with less intervention
  • Waterbirth available
  • Good option if do not want a homebirth, but do not need an obstetric unit


  • If problems arise before or after the birth, or you need an epidural, you will be transferred to the consultant unit at James Cook in an ambulance with a midwife.

Deliveries (Oct 2017 to Sept 2018):

  • 236 babies delivered
  • Transfer rate in labour = 20%

Further information

Maternity centre factsheet (382kb)
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Birth places and choices leaflet (231kb)
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