In this chapter I want to examine and discuss the place of birth (home, free-standing birth centres, in teg rated birth centres/midwifery-led units, obstetric-led labour wards), style of birth (beliefs/attitudes of women and staff, relational models of care), the choice of birth companions and finally some thoughts on the imme diate phys ical surrounds or birth ecology. The setting for birth is immensely power ful and can be the dif fer ence between a fulfilling and a traumatic childbirth ex peri ence. Kirkham (2005) engaged with this truism when she challenged midwives at an International Conference of Midwives to think outside the box when confronted by women whose labours slow or stop in hos pital. She suggested that transferring women back home when their labour ‘malfunctioned’ might be the most appropriate action. Her con textual reading of events, prob ably considered ana thema by many hospital-based childbirth professionals, has much to teach us about childbirth and a facilitatory environment.