All women need to feel safe during labour and birth and feelings of safety and satisfaction are influenced by the physical birth environment. This page contains resources to enable women and care providers to consider the design elements of that are found in woman-centred birth environments.


This guide examines the key elements of the birth environment that may impact on women’s ability to give birth and their experience of doing so.  It is intended for use by architects, designers, policy makers, clinicians, and consumers involved in the planning of few birth environments or considering refurbishments. It can also inform women and clinicians about how to modify or augment existing birth spaces.

The above guide is written for pregnant women and their support people. It explains how the phyiscal birth environment can affect birth experience. It highlights physcial features that women may wish to look for when visiting their intended birth environment, questions that women may wish to ask their care providers and offers ideas for ways women could personalise their birth room to suit their own needs.

This short video demonstrates how some simple changes in a birth room can make it a more relaxed and home-like place to birth. This is an extract from a DVD that was produced by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and distributed free to pregnant women in the UK. The NCT has given permission for this clip to be used for educational purposes in the interest of promoting awareness about birth environment.