A maternity hospital specializes in caring for women who are pregnant ready to give birth. This hospital also takes care of new babies. It may be used for training to become midwifery or an obstetrician. They are called “lying-in” hospitals. Some of them are small and they are called “cottage” hospitals. Many hospitals have been combined. The maternity department of those hospitals has been combined into a larger hospital. In 1739, a hospital for pregnant women appeared. It was founded by Sir Richard Manningham in Jermyn Street, London.
A maternity hospital can be a public or private institution. The primary role of maternity hospitals is to provide obstetric care, but they also undertake many other roles including providing prenatal diagnosis, family planning, gynecological care, and child health services. Many maternity hospitals have a special area for childbirth called a birthing room or LDR (labor, delivery, and recovery) room to allow women who do not require admission to a labor ward to give birth away from the ward environment.
In smaller towns where there is no specific maternity hospital, women may go to the nearest general hospital instead. However, if there are any complications with the pregnancy then it is likely that they will be transferred to a specialist unit in another hospital. Maternity hospitals are often found within larger healthcare centers which include other facilities such as minor injury units or physiotherapy departments, but family doctors will be part of General Practice which can be based in either a hospital or community setting.