Do you hanker after having an A-list birth – one where you’re given lots of care and pampering that can make labour seem that little bit more appealing? Remember, you’re going to have to pay for it, but there are different budgets for different options.


Book an independent midwife

Paying for an independent midwife means you’ll be able to build up a relationship with the midwife who’ll be present at your birth – something that often doesn’t happen with the NHS.

To find an independent midwife local to you, contact the Independent Midwives Association. They are self-employed so they can charge whatever they want. However, costs currently vary from around £1,800 to £4,500 for the whole package of care.

The budget option

Some independent midwives offer a ‘birth only’ package, allowing you the option of getting your antenatal care on the NHS for free.

Go to private antenatal classes

If rushing home from work so you can make your antenatal classes stresses you out more than the thought of the birth itself, you can do things in a more relaxed style. You can get all your antenatal advice on a luxury weekend away.

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For example, you could enjoy a two-night stay in Woolley Grange near Bath for just under £1000 for you and your partner. The price includes a pregnancy massage, two three-course dinners, 10 hours of antenatal tutoring, handouts and the ongoing phone support of a tutor. For more luxury locations, check out Good Birth Getaway.

The budget option

The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) runs the UK’s biggest network of private antenatal classes. Prices start at around £135. Alternatively, NHS antenatal classes are usually free but, following cutbacks, not all hospitals are able to offer them.

Treat yourself to a babymoon

Fancy having a relaxing break with your partner before your baby arrives? Babymoons offer you the chance to be pampered before you give all the pampering to your newborn.

In the UK, try a one-night break at London’s Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel, which includes a deluxe room, breakfast in bed, treatment in a VIP couples’ suite, unlimited movies and a cravings goodie bag, for around £400.

The budget option

Why not treat yourself to a mum-to-be spa treatment? Try the Elemis Nurturing Massage for Mother-To-Be, which uses a special beanbag to cushion your bump while you’re being pampered. Prices start from around £60 for 75 minutes at The Portland Spa, Portland, Dorset.

Check into a private hospital

London’s Portland Hospital is where Katie Price, Victoria Beckham and Claudia Schiffer all chose to give birth. The hospital’s midwife-led delivery service (a kind of all-inclusive package) will set you back around £7,000, an elective caesarean costs around £6,000 and a straightforward delivery around £3,500. It’s not cheap – but then you do get one-on-one care and a comfy room with an ensuite bathroom. Find your nearest private hospital.

The budget option

The ultimate ‘private’ birth is in your own home, so why not talk to your midwife about having a homebirth. If you feel that’s not an option, find out about NHS birthing units in your area, or whether your local NHS hospital has any private rooms. These cost around £45 a day, but you could be bumped out if another mum needs the room for medical reasons.

Mums’ stories

“I paid so I could see my midwife straight away”

“When I visited my local medical centre, I found out I wouldn’t be able to get a first appointment with an NHS midwife until 16 weeks, so I decided to look into having an independent one. We paid about £3,200, but it was well worth the money. I’m still seeing her eight weeks after the birth.”

Lucy, 33, mum to Ashley, 8 weeks

“It was like a five-star hotel”

“After two NHS births, I didn’t want another, so for my third child, Jaynie, I booked into an independent midwifery centre. It was like a five-star hotel, but with midwives. I had my own private bathroom and there was even a mini bar in my room so we could toast our new baby’s arrival. It cost about £2,000, including two nights’ stay and postnatal care.”

Wendy, 39, mum to Harry, 5, Matt, 3, and Jaynie, 8 months

Want a stylish pregnancy and birth like the celebrities have? It is possible to do it on a budget!

Hire a birthing pool

Water births can help to ease labour pains, but many hospitals don’t have their own birthing pools, or if they do, you can’t guarantee it will be free when you need it. This means you have to hire one for yourself. For around £135, you can get a regular-sized pool and accessories, or for £70, the most basic option. To check out birthing pools, visit the Good Birth Company.

The budget option

Slide into your own bath during the early stages of your labour – and ask your midwife nicely if she can arrange for you to have another one once you arrive at hospital.

Hire a doula

Doulas are experienced women who give you emotional and practical support during labour and birth. They don’t offer medical advice, but are more like a good friend who knows all about labour and birth. Some doulas include postnatal visits as part of their package too, and there are others who only offer this type of care. A birth doula costs around £500; postnatal doulas charge around £15 an hour. Find a doula.

The budget option

Opt for a trainee doula. They’re not allowed to charge more than £150 for a birth and £10 an hour for postnatal visit, but the service is essentially the same. Find a doula.

Hire a baby concierge

Baby concierge services are organisations that will sort out everything for you, from shopping for all the baby equipment you need to stocking the fridge for your return home. Your Life UK charges around £20 per hour including membership.

The budget option

Try Baby Concierge. For an initial fee of around £100 (50% of which is redeemable against purchases of £500), Baby Concierge will select, sort out and deliver everything you need for your baby.

Mums’ stories

“I hired a pool”

“The bath’s my first port of call whenever I have any aches and pains or my period, so I knew I’d find water really soothing. My pool cost £300 for four weeks’ hire. It came with clear assembly instructions and inflating it was easy, although the heater and filter unit took a bit longer to work out. It was worth every penny and, once I was in there, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse couldn’t have moved me!”

Sheryl, 25, mum to Will, 5 months

“Our doula was worth every penny”

“I went private for my first baby, but we couldn’t afford it for our second. A friend suggested a doula and while I was keen on the idea, my husband wasn’t – I think he felt his position in the birthing room might be overruled. Luckily, our doula, Lauren, convinced him that this wasn’t her role, so when it was time for my induction, she came along. It was so reassuring to have her there and I felt in control.”


Mairie, 29, mum to Callum, 3, and Jessie, 1