The Cygnet Homebirth Team

The Cygnet Homebirth Team is a dedicated team of experienced midwives who provide antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care to women choosing to birth their baby at home in West Dorset. The service has been so popular that Dorset County Hospital now has one of the highest home birth rates in the country.

Senior Midwife Tara Pointer-Putt set up the team in June 2015. Midwife Karen Myers have been part of the team since it started and midwives Julie Younger, Sarah Punshon, Emma Barrett, Gemma Black, Lyndsey Pidgeon, Emma Gale, Ceci Bawden along with Claire Williams who is our senior support worker and infant feeding team member, have all joined the team over the last few years. We are all passionate about women’s choices and supporting and empowering them to achieve the birth they wish in their own environment.

All care for women choosing a homebirth is provided within their own home. The team caseload women dependent on where they live, providing continuity of care which increases women’s and families satisfaction of their pregnancy and birth experience.

The benefits of homebirth include;

  • Being in the comfort of your own home – not having to travel when in labour

  • Knowing your midwife who comes to you in labour

  • Guaranteed use of a birth pool (birth hire available through Cygnet team)

  • Having family around you including your children if you wish

  • Low intervention rates

  • Evidence which supports the safety of second or subsequent births being as safe as birthing in hospital

  • DCH low transfer to hospital rate for first time births

The Cygnet Team midwives are available to come and discuss the possibility of having a homebirth, at any point in your pregnancy. Women can self refer themselves to the team at the beginning of their pregnancy or they can contact the team via 01305 253169 or if they wish to transfer their antenatal care to them.

The team hold a monthly group “nesting session” on the second Monday of every month; 6pm – 8pm at Dorset County Hospital, The West Annex Gym, Damers Road, Dorchester. This is an informal group, which welcomes women and their birthing partner, family or friends to discuss all areas of homebirth. Often our recent new mums and dads come along to share their stories and answer any questions that you may have.

Dorset County Hospital Cygnet Team offer all women a home assessment when in labour. So, if you are coping better than you thought or labour is progressing quickly, the on-call Cygnet midwife will come out to you. All of the team carry equipment for a birth so even if you have not planned it, it is never too late to choose a homebirth!