Private maternity in London - how much does it cost???

(115 Posts)
Elizad Mon 12-Mar-12 09:28:01

Can someone let me know costs all in for Elective CS at LINDO, PORTLAND and CHELSEA? I know it wont be exact but to get a rough idea would be so fab...each website itemises most things but there is so much I have no clue about ( bloods, scans, consultant fees)


ghislaine Wed 14-Mar-12 14:48:04

Didn't mean to spark a war with my comments! I simply meant that in the OP's case, when you're going to give birth by c-section, it makes sense to meet and start building a relationship with the person who's going to perform the operation earlier rather than later. Continuity of care is something I think we can all agree is important in pregnancy.

I have no truck with midwives, I had great care from them from the moment I was admitted to the moment I was discharged. I had the same midwife at my side or on call from 10am till 5pm on the day of my section. Interestingly, quite a few of the midwives who looked after me during my stay said that they normally had posts at London NHS hospitals but preferred working privately from time to time as it meant they could actually do the job they were supposed to do and do it properly.

Of course you can have a midwife led VB privately, but that's not what the thread is about.

<echoes QT ad infinitum...>

ghislaine Wed 14-Mar-12 14:49:44

Truck? Problem. blush

Bue Wed 14-Mar-12 15:13:10

Sure private midwife-led births are available in hospital! They are available at all the private maternity hospitals/wings in London.

midwivesdeliver Wed 14-Mar-12 18:10:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ghislaine Wed 14-Mar-12 19:52:43

It was a shorthand but obviously bungled way of saying you get to choose who you think is the most experienced and/or appropriate person to undertake your care when you know you are in the position of requiring a section. The consultant I used was recommended to me by my gynaecologist as being the person she regards as the expert in caring for pregnant women with my particular condition. I trust her judgement absolutely and I don't like to take chances with experiences that matter so much in life. I would not have been guaranteed to see him on the NHS but I could by going private.

I had my antenatal care on the NHS. I saw a different midwife each appointment. Each time I was asked and had to explain why I was having a section (as I wasn't ballsy enough to say "none of your business" personal reasons). Some were quite hostile and one even told me that women shouldn't be allowed to have sections! I ended up having to produce the letters outlining the sorry state of my bits each time in order to get past the inevitable questioning which really was a bit of a faff.

I totally agree that it's largely the after care you're paying for with private births and in my case I think it was definitely worth it. I am very glad that I had a very senior consultant stitch me up because it transpired that my uterus was unusually vascular and required an experienced and steady hand to do so. I also felt I had an amazing start to motherhood because of the care I had from the midwives post-delivery.

Sunshinecurl Wed 14-Mar-12 20:25:45

If I may add a slightly different dimension here, many people end up delivering privately if they had (as I did) private ante-natal care. My consultant could only deliver at the Portland so that's where I ended up. Having since read various comments on private wings of NHS hospitals it seems to me that the Portland really is in a league of its own. Like QTpie, I would do it all again with a subsequent pregnancy without hesitation. The ease of breastfeeding and calmness of my baby are all, I'm convinced, as a result of the private midwifery post-delivery.

henrysmama2012 Thu 15-Mar-12 05:46:22

We are going to Thomas & Guys in Westminster - the private rooms are so nice that I am actually looking forward to going there!-& we like our doctor (who will deliver) so much - which really makes me feel more relaxed about the birth. Aside from those points, we went private due to not having to share a room, private bathroom, DH being able to stay over/visit anytime, a much calmer environment for our little one to arrive in, no rush to leave room before being ready, etc...I have to say that so far the prenatal standard of care has been excellent and really worth the investment & I am looking forward to the birth! I have nothing bad to say about midwives either - we simply like our doctor so much that we are happy that he is going to deliver the baby. The midwives that I've met at prenatal visits who will assist the six seem really friendly. It's my1st child so it's helped to reassure me a lot. I have had lots of advice from doctor friends that a private ward in an NHS hospital is a better option than a private hospital, if that helps (& 2 friends who had bad experiences in private - only hospitals, interestingly).

henrysmama2012 Thu 15-Mar-12 05:47:45

Ps 'the six' was meant to say 'the doctor', not sure how that typo happened lol, I'm not having 6 babies!!

Ephiny Thu 15-Mar-12 14:47:40

I want to go private for various reasons:

I want to be able to choose my consultant, and to be able to discuss options for the birth, including possible ELCS for personal reasons, and have my needs and wishes taken seriously.

If I do feel able to attempt a VB, I want to know that an epidural will be available when I request it, and topped up when it needs to be.

After the birth I want a private (and clean) room and bathroom, I would like my DH to be able to stay with me, and for the baby to be looked after while I sleep. If I've had a CS or otherwise need pain relief after the birth, I want to get appropriate painkillers at the correct times so my pain is kept well under control.

I'm not confident of any of those things happening in a busy London NHS hospital. I hope they will be achievable if we're willing to pay. It really is a lot of money, especially as DHs medical insurance won't cover any maternity costs (except for medically necessary CS) but I'm hoping it will save me a lot of pain and stress and avoid me being put in situations I don't cope well with.

painauchoc Thu 15-Mar-12 21:05:58

At Chelsea hospital fees are £4,900 plus nightly fee of £950 after the first night (assuming a cs). Blood tests are a few hundred on top. Consultants' fee around £7,500. Depending on the doctor there may be scans on top.

PeaceAndHope Thu 15-Mar-12 22:44:39

All right, so I'm going to risk being slammed and just say it.

Even if I wanted a normal birth I would go private and ask for consultant led care. I have nothing against midwives for those who prefer them, but to put it very bluntly- I cannot bring myself to trust them as much as I would trust an obstetrician. I have interacted with several midwives during the course of many years, and I have yet to find one I could fully trust.

I find the obsession many midwives have with a fully natural birth a bit tricky. A lot of them have struck me to be the sort who would deliberately withhold pain relief or delay a CS even to the labouring woman's detriment (not to say they are all like that). I couldn't live with that attitude if I was to have another baby. I also find their negative stance on childbirth autonomy very grating and patronising. The RCM actually stated that they felt women should not be "allowed" to choose ELCS even if they have suffered sexual abuse and should be sent to therapy instead.
Add to that their generally negative stance on pain relief options other than "natural" ones and it's my nightmare. Not to mention their complete refusal to accept the fact that vaginal birth does indeed cause severe complications as well and their tendency to gloss over these risks.

Now go ahead and flame me.

PeaceAndHope Thu 15-Mar-12 22:54:04

I hate to be the one to point this out but if midwives actually were as qualified as obstetricians, high risk pregnancies and complicated deliveries would not be referred to OBs- midwives would handle them on their own. So you can't blame a woman for wanting to choose an OB at the onset in case there are complications later or if she actually wants a more medicalised approach to maternity care. Yes gasp shock there are actually women out there who want as many antenatal scans and tests as possible, fetal monitering, epidurals and maybe even ELCS.

nappymaestro Thu 15-Mar-12 23:39:07

I'm very different from you Peace in that I do trust mw and wanted a private birth with natural birth focused mw.

I wanted to go to j&l to get that, but they then closed just before I was due to choose where to book.

I ended up finding a really good unit in the end in the NHS , but I think there is a gap in good private me led maternity care.

Mw in the NHS are amazing but in busy London hospitals they are just not always able to do their job IMHO

PeaceAndHope Fri 16-Mar-12 01:15:31


I respect your needs and I hope you were able to have exactly the kind of birthing experience you wanted. smile

I was just stating a personal preference- I simply don't have faith in midwives nor do I believe in their ideology.

As for the NHS v/s private debate, there is no doubt about the fact that at least for antenatal care and delivery, I would choose private care any day. NHS has been great for many things and I appreciate that but delivering in an NHS hospital is an idea that gives me nightmares. It's just too hit and miss.

Ephiny Fri 16-Mar-12 08:04:22

I feel the same way PeaceAndHope, I'm sure I'm generalising too much and not all midwives are like that but some of the attitudes I've heard both on here and in real life are quite alarming to me and not at all the sort of approach I would want. e.g. the mantra that 'your body is designed to give birth' (by whom?), the idea that pain in labour is a 'good sort of pain' and helps you bond with your baby. No thanks, not for me!

I do absolutely respect other women's different wishes and attitudes, and would completely support anyone wanting a home birth, refusing interventions, everything 'natural' etc. Your body, your choice. And likewise for me.

Fairly sure I will want/need an ELCS when it comes to it, so midwife-led will not be a choice!

midwivesdeliver Fri 16-Mar-12 11:06:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pitmountainpony Fri 16-Mar-12 11:21:02

Having only had the equivalent of private in the us but experience of surgery in the uk in the Nhs I can say despite an emcs I had the most lovely experience.
The to one for their 12 hour shift were so caring but in the end when labour and pushing did not get baby out the lovely midwife could not call it and say we need a c section. The ob did that calmly and with authority and the knowledge of someone with a surgical training.
What really struck me was the after care and how I did not have to ask for a thing.....iced water offered before I even asked, regularly. Sheets midwife even scratched my legs when I mentioned they were itching....anyway i felt so cared for, it was amazing.
Appendix out in a London hospital. I was so relieved to get out of a dirty ward with begrudging nurses who seemed to resent helping me get out of bed to use the toilet only hours after surgery.
Whether I would have paid the 40 k that our insurance paid is another question but wow was the care amazing? Yes it was.

PeaceAndHope Fri 16-Mar-12 11:38:32

midwives deliver:

I think you are talking about the way you think, not the way all midwives or even majority of the midwives think.

Irrespective of whether fetal monitoring is recommended or not, I wanted it. My friend had a last minute emergency which almost cost her her son because she wasn't monitored all through labour and she was termed "low risk" as well.
The thing is thst an uncomplicated pregnancy does not equal an uncomplicated birth. You never know what might go wrong in labour, and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

You seem to have a very idealistic view of what midwives do. I haven't heard of anyone who said her midwife was with her constantly through labour, nor have I heard of midwives sitting with a mother all night to help the baby feed. hmm.
Yes, consultants do not hold your hand through labour, but I'm sorry to burst your bubble neither do midwives.
I dislike it when people imply that OBs just yank out the baby, grab the placenta and leave. I'm sorry but that's just not true.

Whether you feel that way or not, midwives are the frontrunners in the movement that is preventing women from opting for ELCS and epidurals. The whole "natural birth movement" is led by midwives and doulas who keep talking about childbirth choices and then slam maternal request CS.
We keep hearing ad nauseum about how our bodies are "designed to give birth" and that complications are as rare as a dodo bird as long as you "trust your body".
They talk about women being mistreated by chauvinistic healthcare, and then say that women who have been sexually abused or have tokophobia should not be offered CS. They say OBs take away choices by imposing practices and then they do the same by imposing their own beliefs.
They strike me as a hypocritical lot.

midwivesdeliver Fri 16-Mar-12 11:50:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeaceAndHope Fri 16-Mar-12 11:58:56

"I feel the same way PeaceAndHope, I'm sure I'm generalising too much and not all midwives are like that but some of the attitudes I've heard both on here and in real life are quite alarming to me and not at all the sort of approach I would want. e.g. the mantra that 'your body is designed to give birth' (by whom?), the idea that pain in labour is a 'good sort of pain' and helps you bond with your baby. No thanks, not for me!

I do absolutely respect other women's different wishes and attitudes, and would completely support anyone wanting a home birth, refusing interventions, everything 'natural' etc. Your body, your choice. And likewise for me."

Yes, exactly. I support choices as well. However, i find it odd that while we are not out there campaigning against homebirths simply because we don't want one, there is this growing group of women who prefer all-natural births and want to stop any alternative that doesn't fall into that category. They want their choices to be respected, which is fine, but I will never understand why they find it necessary to judge and inhibit ours.

LaVolcan Fri 16-Mar-12 12:11:44

there is this growing group of women who prefer all-natural births and want to stop any alternative that doesn't fall into that category. They want their choices to be respected, which is fine, but I will never understand why they find it necessary to judge and inhibit ours.

Which group is this?

midwivesdeliver Fri 16-Mar-12 12:34:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nappymaestro Fri 16-Mar-12 13:08:45

Midwives you sound like a lovely midwife and having read what you have to say I won't be nervous now if I get assigned a male midwife! There is one at the local hospital here - could be you grin

Small NHS units are another kettle of fish entirely to the london units that people are usually going private to avoid.

At my birth I had truly amazing NHS mw care -

Lovely calm mw for first stage who offered me 1-1 constant presence if I wanted it or to pop in and out leaving me privacy with DH , entirely my choice. Total support and understanding about the pain. Filled the pool manually for me carrying buckets of water when the system filled the pool too hot.

Then amazing mw who handled the next shift including the birth itself. She remained serene despite a crowded unit which then closed - she was mw supervisor that night. She handled all complications amazingly including my pph and we were laughing at her jokes between contractions while I was in the pool almost at 10cm.

The fantastic support I got enabled me to have the medication free birth I wanted and I have no doubt I could have had any pain relief I requested as the unit has a very low epidural rate but 24 hr anaesthetic back up. The time between requesting and getting one is apparently v short.

I have no doubt that had I given birth in London on the wrong night I would have ended up with forceps or cs though - I can honestly say the mw support in my 3 hr pushing stage made the difference between natural vd and not.

People reading this thread outside London do need to appreciate that maternity care there is completely different and IME a total lottery with some very bad outcomes to be had sad

Ephiny Fri 16-Mar-12 13:32:50

Yes you sound lovely midwivesdeliver - I know some women are dubious about the idea of a male midwife, but I do think men sometimes have a more sympathetic attitude on these issues, and are more inclined to take women's pain and fears seriously. Often the judgemental or dismissive attitudes come from other women, sadly. Maybe because they're more likely to have emotional 'baggage' of their own when it comes to birth.

But however good a midwife is, there are some factors beyond their control, as you suggest, not least units being understaffed so however much you want to you can't always give women the care and attention they should have, or provide them with the pain relief they need. I agree with nappymaestro that things can be very bad in some of the busy London hospitals, especially regarding post-natal care, and it can be an awful experience for women who've had a difficult birth or are recovering from surgery.

Choosing private care at least reduces your chances of these sorts of problems.

PeaceAndHope Fri 16-Mar-12 14:54:59


"Which group is this?'

Have you been living under a rock or have you missed the whole birth movement which demonises ELCS, epidurals etc. and OB and insists all-natural, vaginal birth is the best way to deliver? They cite "choice" as a reason to opt for a VBAC, and condemn women who choose repeat CS in the same breath. Hypocrisy at its finest.


Just a quick fact-according to a recent survey, it's actually only 21% of the births that can truly be called uncomplicated.

Here it is-

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