Please help-Moving to London from NYC 19 weeks pregnant!

(8 Posts)
Aefeth Sun 21-Apr-13 13:11:02

Hi everyone,
My husband and I are relocating to London and I am a bit lost on
how to begin the transition for my maternity care and delivery plan. My first birth was a bit rough although i managed to have him vaginally in the end (18 hr labor, threatened with cesarean throughout, epidural, episiotomy), so I'm a bit anxious about the second, especially because as a foreigner I'm not familiar with the process here. I appreciate any advice or answers to my questions you ladies can give!

-As i understand, there are both public and private options in the uk-do people tyically first choose a practitioner and then a hospital or is it the other way around?
-We will be living in Kensington,can anyone reccomend a practitioner that is within close proximity (preferrably female).
- Am i going to have a hard time finding someone to accept me into their practice this late in the game? Is there another resource that has rankings/reviews, etc. or something?
-We will have private insurance, so is it best to just go private?
-Ive read that several of the private hospitals have very high cesarean rates, which i would like to avoid if necessary. Are there any practitioners in particular that would be considered relatively "low intervention" at a private hospital? (although on the other hand i'm not completely against epidural and would hate to be denied one by a practitioner who felt i didnt "need" it) Since i went vaginally the first time is the risk for c section or over intervention not something i need to worry about?

thank you all in advance smile

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 13:56:19

Hi Aefeth, lots of questions and I'm sure people will be along with answers.

There are several options in London:

- completely private maternity hospital care at the Portland. They do consultant led and mw led.
- private care in the private wing of an NHS hospital, usually consultant led.
- NHS care at:

1) consultant led unit in a hospital
2) mw led care in a hospital
3) mw led care in a stand alone birth unit
4) mw led care for a home birth

If I had private health cover so could go private for free I would go private, because London maternity care is very stretched. NHS care can be absolutely excellent, but sometimes the lack of staff leads to poor care - it is a bit of a lottery!

Will re read your post now and see if I can answer more of your queries.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 14:01:50

You might want to look at this private wing of an NHS hospital:

If you search old threads on here about the Kensington Wing people will have recommended individuals. I was at a different hospital, so can't help with drs.

The reason many opt for private wing of NHS hospital is the security of knowing there are state of the art adult and child intensive care units if needed. However, while they are comfortable they are not plush in the way the Portland is.

I think while you might be too late to book an absolutely top 'name' consultant you should be able to book with someone privately at this stage - calling their secretaries will tell you if the consultant still has space on their list.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 14:08:58

About low intervention, I was booked to go private and wanted a natural birth. I got the impression a lot of units are very focused on epidural and elcs. You will want to ask careful questions and make your birth plan very clear if you want a natural birth.

I booked at st Thomas's under Mr Oteng Ntim. He is pretty natural birth focussed and used to work closely with a very experienced mw, though she has now retired. Might be worth looking into. I didn't give birth there in the end, because we moved out of town, but we toured and saw their pools for water birth.

Btw, did you know we have LLL in London? There are quite a few groups and they welcome pg women wanting to build a support network.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 14:10:04

The private wing at st Thomas is called the Landsell Suite.

firesideskirt Sun 21-Apr-13 20:48:15

Definitely go private if you have insurance - and it will be far more like what you are used to in the US (so American friends tell me). You will still find a slot (although you may not get your first choice).

I would recommend Roshni Patel at Kensington Wing, Chelsea & Westminster - she looked after me and was excellent.

Aefeth Tue 23-Apr-13 21:42:23

Hi everyone, thank you so much for all the helpful tips!

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 23-Apr-13 21:46:18

Glad it helped!

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