You will usually be transported via an ambulance to the closest hospital. What happens after you transfer can vary, so you should discuss a plan with your midwife during your pregnancy to be prepared in case this is needed.
While most women in the United States give birth in a hospital, some opt for a home birth. If complications arise, your midwife may need to transfer you to a hospital. Once there, your care is usually handed over to the obstetric team, though some hospitals with midwives on staff may allow you to be transferred to the midwifery service. It is important that thorough records are kept during your labor at home in case a transfer is needed so that your new providers can understand the progress of your labor. Some midwives who do home births will accompany you to the hospital and remain with you during the rest of your labor in the role of a support person, while others do not. Given the variability in practice, you should discuss these things with your midwife during your prenatal care. You should review how records are kept, how a transfer would be arranged, and whether or not your midwife would accompany you to the hospital. This preparation can help make a stressful time go more smoothly.
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, April 2020