Best Private Option For a Natural Birth?

(93 Posts)
DaisyBug Thu 04-Apr-13 19:23:45

Not pregnant yet but wondering....

Now that John and Lizzy's no longer do births, what's the best option for those who'd prefer a back-to-nature approach and aren't averse to a bit of whale music? The likes of The Portland/Lindo Wing/etc. don't seem to be very geared-up to this. Or am I out of touch?

I would have considered an independent midwife at home but, with this option likely to be disappear shortly too and availability of NHS midwives for homebirths being something a lottery, I'm wondering if there are any other avenues I should be exploring?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 17:31:39

I had a natural birth, used the bath, pool, gym ball etc at St Thomas' home from unit. On the NHS. You don't have to go private to achieve this. My midwife was lovely.

Are you paying or using health insurance? If the latter then check what it covers. You can never assume you'll have a normal delivery with no intervention.

Does it matter if intervention is needed? It's not a competition. The most important thing is that mum and baby are safe and well.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 17:34:54

*Home from Home unit, I meant.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 13-Apr-13 22:51:50

Pobble, St Thomas's are so popular they now have a very strict catchment rule for NHS patients.

If I could have got in there on the NHS I would, but I was out of catchment. Afaik it is pretty much the best rated NHS maternity unity in central London.

There are very definite risks to an NHS birth in central London, including the hospital being full, reduced mw presence during the labour (one mw between several labouring women) etc etc

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 13-Apr-13 22:55:20

Starlight, when I went the unit had recently moved to a new building on the cottage hospital site and the unit rooms were also being used by the antenatal care team for routine appointments. My tour was in spring 2011 and they told us then it was their third building on the site.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 14-Apr-13 08:31:28

I was out of catchment but still gave birth there, this was last year. You do have the right to choose which hospital you give birth in, although yes St Thomas' are popular they will consider out of area patients depending on capacity.

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 08:50:57

I had babies in 1987, 1998, 2001 and 2009.

In 1987 services seemed pretty old fashioned. I recall even being offered an enema and a shave (which I declined in disgust). Hospitals were dirty, staffing levels low, epidurals hard to come by, and you had to make a fuss to get a HB.

1998 was a bad year in London and maternity services were in meltdown. I ended up having an independent mw for a HB after I was nearly admitted for pre eclampsia by the NHS after some random frazzled mw mixed up my noted with someone else's.

2001 I had moved to Cambridge and had an NHS HB of the same high standard as the 1998 independent one in London.

2009 baby boom meant I was initially badly neglected by the NHS, really badly, and I had to go private again, although I did see an NHS consultant once a month because of complications, with my independent mw in attendance.

Ultimately it is a numbers game. If it's a busy time, care often suffers. If it's quieter, you get an excellent standard of care from the NHS. That's what needs addressing - managing peaks and troughs.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 14-Apr-13 11:46:18

Did you have your baby in the Rosie in 09 Boffinmum?

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 17:13:26

No, at home but under care of indi mw and Rosie consultant called Alison something.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 14-Apr-13 17:17:11

Would you mind pm-ing me with the name of the mw? I have just moved to near Cambridge and am worried about the Rosie.

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 18:04:20

Have done so Harriet.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 14-Apr-13 19:38:28

Thank you very much!

TheNewShmoo Sun 14-Apr-13 22:49:08

Caesarean rates were less than 3% in the 1950's - not an age typified of women/babies dying in childbirth either. I don't suspect as a species we have biologically devolved that much with regards to our capacity for natural childbirth in the space of 60 years for the 'normal' rate to jump so massively to 25-33%? hmm

Unfortunately our NHS hospitals are at full capacity and labour needs to be run on a tight schedule. If you are not dilating at an 'acceptable' rate of 1 cm per hour you will come under pressure to have things sped up. At a birth centre (which should be pro-natural) I had to really fight: against having an internal in the middle of transitioning (there was no reason for any worry), to have extended time with the cord uncut and left pulsating, and the right to naturally birth the placenta. I was booted out of the (lovely) room an hour after the birth so I guess this was why! But all these things aside, it was still a great experience.

TheNewShmoo Sun 14-Apr-13 23:02:37

Sorry that first sentence appears callous- I don't mean you have to be dying to qualify for a c-section!

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 23:19:07

We have more sections partly because mothers are a lot older on average now, I have heard.

TheNewShmoo Sun 14-Apr-13 23:35:14

Yes that's true and I guess lifestyle changes etc, but not sure that would explain such a massive rise in rates? Think change in psychology and how childbirth is perceived, but that's very much affected by policy also.

Chunderella Mon 15-Apr-13 09:22:06

Whether it explains the big rise in rates is the $64,000 question TheNewSchmoo. None of us know the answer, because the current state of affairs is unprecedented.

LaVolcan Mon 15-Apr-13 09:39:19

CS's rates have rocketed since the 1980s when they were about 8%, and yet I don't think the mortality rates have changed much at all since then.

HarderToKidnap Mon 15-Apr-13 09:58:18

A friend I qualified with works on the midwife bit at the Portland, you can book directly there I think and have totally midwife-led care, pools, etc the lot. There are only, I think, 4 midwives there and you meet and get to know them all and two of them present at your birth. Friend loves it.

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