Spitalfields Life: Barkantine Birth Center

This center is a midwife led unit and designed for women who want an experience of giving birth at home, but want to leave their actual homes, a place where they can feel relaxed and special.

It was a busy morning at the center, as the morning unfolded with midwives rushing from one room to another, as if all the chaos existed in the in between area and as soon as they stepped over the threshold into the labour rooms all was calm. I opened the entrance door and a Bengali woman and her husband came in she looked like she was in agony hardly getting in to the room, then there was scurrying around as midwives took blood pressure equipment in and the other things and 5 minutes later one of the midwives came out and she had had her baby, it was that quick. When I went in to take photos later there were lots of kids family eating and chatting, Shamina held her baby up as if to present him to me.

Ken came out with his 16 month old who he was trying to entertain in between contractions whilst he waited for his dad to come and collect him, and just 10 minutes after their son had left their daughter was born, they were there with her lying naked and being able to photograph them felt very special.

When I came out all the midwives were sitting in the waiting area eating as it was the first time they had stopped for about 6 hours. And I left.