What do you do is the labour ward is full?!

(19 Posts)
wispaxmas Sun 30-Mar-14 18:31:52

Just as the it says, really.. I'm only 30 weeks, but it's really starting to get real that at some point I'm going to actually have to push this baby out and all I can think about are things that could go wrong.

Reading another discussion on here make mention of labour ward being full made me wonder. If you're in labour and it's well established and you call the hospital, can they really just tell you not to come in? What if you need plain meds? And if you went into hospital in established labour, could they actually turn you away? Would they transfer you elsewhere? I know they'll turn you away if you're not dilated enough or your contractions aren't frequent enough, but if they are?

wispaxmas Sun 30-Mar-14 18:32:31

Argh, autocorrected 'if' to 'is'! Annoying.

labour in the canteen grin
checked in the corridor grin
shes 5 now and lying beside me.
congratulations btw

made it with a few mins to spare lol. midwives are good at juggling

littlebluedog12 Sun 30-Mar-14 18:39:31

I was induced, and I was left in the antenatal ward (in a room with 5 other women being induced) until I was pretty much on the verge of pushing, because there wasn't room on the delivery suite. Must have been fun for the other women to hear me mooing through each contraction!

I imagine they would direct you to another nearby hospital if you called up and there was really no room? It is probably pretty rare though, at least I don't know anyone that it has happened to.

Wurstwitch Sun 30-Mar-14 18:42:23

Not your problem. They'll find you a corner or you'll just crack on wherever you are. People give birth in the footwell of the car a fair bit. They'll find someone to catch grin or you can improvise.

mrsbug Sun 30-Mar-14 18:44:15

I went into labour and was admitted to the antenatal ward of my local hospital. However when contractions really kicked in they had no space for me so I was ambulanced to another hospital. Not fun. It was 4am and I had to call dp (who doesn't drive) to find his way up there asap.

When I arrived my contractions had stopped and I was sent to their antenatal ward...

Hoping for a home birth next time smile

RandomMess Sun 30-Mar-14 18:44:38

Dc2 was born at a time of major overcrowding in all the hospitals (9 months after 9/11) they had extra wards converted into post natal ones etc they just seem to cope. It did mean it was over 2 hours before they came back and took the after birth away though!

mrsbug Sun 30-Mar-14 18:45:38

I think in my case they knew there would be time to get to the other hospital, in a an emergency I guess they would improvise

Nosleeptillbedtime Sun 30-Mar-14 18:46:08

Where I live, you will be told to make your own way to a labour ward in a hospital in a neighbouring local authority. You should find out if that is the case where you are so that you can make sure you know the route and have plans in place to get there if necessary.

learnasyougo Sun 30-Mar-14 18:48:08

I laboured in antenatal and post natal (was a slow labour. It to synto to get it going in the end and I was in for a scan but had already gone into early labor). if they are full and really can't take you you'll be directed to the next nearest labour ward. my local hospital is 20mins away. next one would be a 50min drive. When you ring when you are in labor they will let you know where to go.

wispaxmas Sun 30-Mar-14 19:13:29

Argh, it sounds like it would be so stressful confused

Our local hospital is so close, I have no idea what the next closest is. I guess it's a question to ask at the single 2-hr antenatal class the hospital does.

Notrightnowww Thu 03-Apr-14 08:53:58

My labours were fast so both times I didn't get to a delivery room until I was ready to push. First time I laboured in an antenatal ward (about 20 beds!). Second time I was sent to day assessment because all the delivery rooms were full - the midwife there went crazy due to my previous fast labour.

Was fine, but no gas and air available until I got into a proper delivery room.

I can't see you being turned away if you're in labour unless there was a major incident at the hospital.

OhNoYouExpedidnt Thu 03-Apr-14 09:02:49

I got to my hospital and it was full. I had a choice of midwife led or the hospital 20 miles away. I went for midwife led. (Separate part of the hospital)

ToriaPumpkin Thu 03-Apr-14 17:04:30

At our hospital they just find a space for you and juggle. The nearest maternity units are each several hours away so unless you had hours to go and were willing to travel then it really is in your best interests to wait it out in antenatal/day case.

I was really lucky with DS in that there was only one other delivery room in use when I went up but there seem to be a lot of pregnant women around atm and I'm due in four weeks!

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 17:10:48

They'll transfer you to another hospital if they possibly can.

So you might want to find out your next nearest and how you would get there from home if so advised, as that might be preferable to ambulance transfer following admin hassle if you just turn somewhere that is full.

jellyandcake Thu 03-Apr-14 17:18:16

This is why I'm planning a home birth this time! I arrived at an empty birth centre for my first; by the time I delivered a couple of hours later they had redirected two women to the next hospital. I was so terrified of this happening to me that I decided to have this one at home. Though, equally, if all the midwives were busy I'd have to go to hospital - there are no guarantees! Ask your midwife what the procedure is in your area so that you are prepared just in case.

PenguinsEatSpinach Thu 03-Apr-14 17:31:04

This is why you need to phone before you go in.

In our busy area of London all three of the local-ish labour wards regularly closed to new admissions. If you turn up in established labour, they can and will turn you away (or ambulance transfer you, depending on stage) if it isn't safe to have you in the hospital. That's pretty rare, but a more common scenario if you turn up without checking would be being put in an antenatal ward or somewhere to labour, with limited access to pain relief.

It is rare, but it's far better to intentionally go to the next closest hospital than turn up and hope for the best!

HarderToKidnap Thu 03-Apr-14 19:24:01

We get fined a huge amount if we close. I think it's something like £10000 per hour of closure.

The decision to close is made by the consultant in charge, the head of midwifery and some other non obstetric people. Part of the closure will involve phoning other hospitals to see where we can redirect people.

It's happened twice in the six years I've been working at current trust.

CareBearWithFangs Thu 03-Apr-14 19:41:08

This happened to me in labour. Went to my local hospital got sent home because I wasn't far enough along. Went home for 6 hours when I called again to go back they were full! They said they'd call round and call me back when they found somewhere with space. I ended up going to a hospital further away, got lost trying to find it. I then had a rather difficult birth which I really blame on how panicked I got before we got to the hospital. Trying to find a hospital while having seriously strong contractions was pretty awful. I would suggest learning the location of all the hospitals near you just in case. I don't know anyone else this has happened to though so I think it's quite rare. Still going to have a home birth this time though!

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