Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU)

Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU) is a Midwifery Led Unit (MLU) that is staffed and run by midwives. It offers a comfortable, relaxed and low-tech environment, where birth is a normal event.

Pain relief is available at a midwifery led unit in the form of water, gas and air and Pethidine injections but not epidurals. There are no doctors available on this unit.

Midwives lead the care for women who have had a healthy, straightforward pregnancy and are at low risk of complications. If you are between the ages of 16 and 40 years old, have a healthy weight, are not anaemic, your baby is moving normally and you start your labour naturally between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy,  we would welcome you at EMU. We are committed to personalised care and will try to meet your wishes so far as it is safely possible. Please ring – Tel: (01323) 414911 to discuss your eligibility with one of our Midwives.

Husbands or partners are welcome to stay overnight as there are single side rooms available. Although we are not able to provide beds, we do have some comfortable recliners. We can’t offer husbands/partners food or drink, so if they intend to stay, please make sure that they bring money to use in the hospital restaurant/shops.

Most women will stay between 6 to 48 hours after the birth of their baby and this time would be spent on the unit. Women will be able to access the full range of post-natal support, including help and advice on caring for your baby and breastfeeding.

If women need to stay longer this will be facilitated and arrangements will be made on an individual basis but we do not expect this to happen very often as most women want to go home. Once you and your baby return home, your family will then be supported by your community midwife or have the option to come back to the MLU for your postnatal care.

Midwives are trained to monitor you and your baby throughout your labour and birth and if there is a concern during labour or immediately after birth concerning either you and/or your baby, arrangements would be made to transfer to the appropriate consultant led obstetric unit.

The paramedic ambulance service will treat any request by the hospital to transfer you in labour or with your newly born baby as an emergency. This will mean that an ambulance will transfer you as fast as possible. Your midwife will accompany you in the ambulance during this transfer. The paramedic ambulance staff are trained and able to support midwives.

Women who are not able to give birth at EMU are able to transfer in to enjoy a postnatal stay for care and support in the early days with their new baby.

Women and their partners are encouraged to come and tour the unit when they are considering where to give birth to their baby.

Other maternity services which are available at Eastbourne DGH include ultrasound scanning, consultant led clinics and the maternity day assessment unit.

For more information contact Eastbourne Midwifery Unit – Tel: (01323) 414911.

We provide this service at

Eastbourne District General Hospital

Eastbourne Maternity Unit
Kings Drive, Eastbourne
East Sussex, BN21 2UD
Tel: 0300 13 14 500