talk to me about giving birth on the labour ward.

(57 Posts)
RedPony Thu 03-Jul-14 13:21:10

I'm 38+4 and at my last midwife appointment my midwife has said when I go into labour I need to go straight to labour ward and not to the mlu as I have had high blood pressure a few times last week (no other issues apart from horrendous ms and spd).
I'm absolutely gutted as I was really hoping to give birth on the midwife led unit and was hoping for a water birth.
Please talk to me about your experiences of giving birth on the labour ward and how relaxed was it? Will I still be seen by midwifes or will it all be doctors and consultants? I was really calm.about giving birth before but now I'm dreading it sad

codandchipstwice Thu 03-Jul-14 13:31:27

I have had two of my 3 on labour ward - first as was prem and needed paeds and so lots of people

Second as I didn't trust there was enough gas and air in the mobile cannisters on the MLU (seriously) - and 3rd on MLU. Level of intervention the same for the second and third- both midwives only - both nearly missed the birth as I just disappear into a dark corner and zone out.

You should be left just as you would on the MLU other than probably being rigged up to have your BP checked frequently.

unless there are issues in labour with you or baby you should not see a dr at all

Good luck

RedPony Thu 03-Jul-14 13:36:29

Thanks cod I don't know why but I just really really do not want to go to labour ward. The mlu is in the same hospital and is right next door so I might get DP to try and charm the midwifes into letting me start there and transfer over if there's any issues.

codandchipstwice Thu 03-Jul-14 13:38:42

I would try that - I don't know where you are but mine - Mayday in Croydon, the MLU does all the triaging and actively tries to avoid moving people to labour ward, so maybe if you agree to monitoring in mlu early on and no probs present they may just 'forget' to move you!

RedPony Thu 03-Jul-14 13:45:02

I'm hoping that will work. I was planning on just going into the mlu anyway and not say anything until I realised yesterday it says in my notes "to go straight to labour ward due to bp"
I'm going to QA in Portsmouth so different hospital but I'm guessing they would all be similar?
Il try and ask a at my next midwife appointment but I know if I get told no il probably end up getting all emotional and will just embarrass myself lol

GrubbyOldSock Thu 03-Jul-14 13:47:07

redpony if you are dead set on the MLU, I'd say that if you aren't allowed on it (and it be put on your notes) that you will be having the baby at home in a pool.

RedPony Thu 03-Jul-14 14:58:08

Thanks Grubby I was looking at a home birth originally but it's nearly £300 to hire a pool in my area shock i might say that at my next appointment on Monday and see what they say

GrubbyOldSock Thu 03-Jul-14 15:01:10

redpony no way, you can get them much cheaper. Even buy them on Ebay, check out sellers local to you. Call nct as well. Although I really was only saying tell them that to see if you can push them to allowing you in to the MLU. Remeber if you do want a homebirth no one can stop you and you have every right to one though

tryingtocatchthewind Thu 03-Jul-14 15:03:04

I was in labour for 30 hours before I was finally allowed to stay as I was 4cm. I was in so much pain by then (back to back) that I didn't even try I just wanted to go straight to labour ward and not the MLU.

The room was much nicer than I expected, a ball and a pool available if I wanted it. I only saw a doctor after another 14 hrs and it was decided I needed a C section. The midwife I had was lovely.

PastaandCheese Thu 03-Jul-14 18:51:02

I completely understand your position. Both my DCs have been born on labour ward due to BP issues. I would have liked an MLU birth. I was exactly the same as you. Straightforward pregnancy until the end when BP climbed.

BP issues are serious so I think you need to focus on preparing yourself for the labour ward. If you select a home birth (I wanted to do this first time) and you have high BP readings you will be blue lighted to hospital. DH and I decided the risk of this happening to me was too high to make an attempt at a home birth worthwhile.

My first birth was hard but that was because I had high BP and my DD passed merconion. The medical staff were lovely and I was encouraged to be active despite CFM, a drip and cuff and supported to the point where I only needed G&A.

My second birth was amazing. I was so upset I was going to labour ward again and needed CFM, a drip and cuff but it turned out to be the best experience of my life. Nice room, just me and one lovely midwife. 50 minute labour, a few mouthfuls of gas and two pushes and I scooped him up myself.

The midwife knew I was upset not to be in MLU and was so kind to do all she could to make it positive. When DS was born she ended up hugging DH and I as she said she was so happy that we were happy with how the birth had gone.

That said I still needed medication to control my BP after giving birth. I was also transferred to the care of a consultant for both births even though I didn't see him at all second time round.

As I say I do get why you feel the way you feel. I read something that described it as normal to mourn the loss of birth you had planned. This summed up how I felt.

If I have a third I'm going to book for labour ward. I had a good experience and I couldn't face the feelings of disappointment a third time.

PastaandCheese Thu 03-Jul-14 18:56:26

redpony I was emotional too about being transferred both times. It's ok to be emotional. I cried the second time when my BP began to climb and I'm not a tearful person.

The midwife hugged me and got me to explain all my reservations and dispelled a number of them.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 03-Jul-14 18:58:18

Does the labour ward have a pool? Pur hospital has no MLU but does have a pool and an active labour room.

RedPony Thu 03-Jul-14 19:15:11

Thanks everyone. The labour ward I'm going too doesn't have a pool. One of my friends gave birth there two months ago and it was all very medicalised which is what I think has put me off. There's no pool to use either as the mlu next door has two
pasta do you know what cause your bp issues? I got sent to the day assessment unit the week before last as my bp was 140/100 when my midwife took it but it was fine by the time I got there, my bp was borderline at the next check up and has been fine at the two check ups since.

Bunbaker Thu 03-Jul-14 19:22:06

I had DD on a labour ward at our local hospital and the staff, and the care I received - both during and afterwards, was fabulous.

This was in the days before broadband and access to the kind of information so freely available these days, so I didn't feel like I was missing out.

Please try and understand that denying you the birth you want is not to piss you off, but to provide the best outcome for you and your baby.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 03-Jul-14 19:24:53

The chances are they'll want to monitor the baby's heartbeat in labour so I don't think you'd get away with being on the MLU as they're unlikely to have ctg machines?? They didn't at the MLU I used to work at anyway.

beccajoh Thu 03-Jul-14 19:28:34

My care was all midwife led until it needed to be doctor led. I had a ball to sit on, en suite bathroom, bed was pushed to one side. It wasn't all about lying in bed being monitored.

Coveredinweetabix Thu 03-Jul-14 19:30:01

I had DC1 in the labour ward and it was a very medicalised birth. With DC2 I had, after a lot of thought opted for the MLU as it was on the same site so I knew that, even if I had the same problems as I had had with DC1, help would be close by. As it was, when I arrived, there were no beds in the MLU so I went onto the labour ward. At no stage did I see anyone other than MW. I think the only doctor I saw in the entire pregnancy/labour was the registrar who glanced at DC2 when he was 12hrs old as she was signing the discharge papers so we could go home.

PastaandCheese Thu 03-Jul-14 19:35:00

redpony it was diagnosed as gestational hypertension both times. No risk factors. It is just the way my body responds to late pregnancy I think.

There was a pool on the labour ward but I couldn't have used it with BP issues as I was advised to be monitored as viva says.

What have your other readings been? 100 on the bottom will be of concern to the hospital. My understanding is the bottom number is more important in pregnancy. Anything over 90 is considered to be high.......

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Thu 03-Jul-14 19:54:32

I ended up in the labour ward as DD was much quicker than expected so couldn't go to the MLU.

I didn't have any interventions and just had a bit of gas and air. No doctors, only MWs.

Things I wish I had been clearer about were that I wanted delayed cord clamping and physiological third stage. (They cut the cord and gave me the injection to deliver the placenta pretty much automatically - I was too spaced out to argue) I had written my preferences in my birth plan but it wasn't read, so make sure your birth partner is fully briefed.

Good luck. So exciting, you are close now!

DIYandEatCake Sun 06-Jul-14 08:52:31

Our local hospital doesn't have a mlu so I was in a labour ward but it was fine. Just midwives, no interventions, no pain relief (well, tried a puff of gas and air but didn't like it), no stitches. I was very lucky I know. I was already 8cm when I got there so that probably helped, we just got on with it, I don't even know the midwife's name.
I had been set on a water birth but completely forgot about it on the day, there wouldn't have been time anyway (well there would if id gone in earlier but I think I was in denial). I was just in this zone and couldn't have cared less where I was to be honest. I didn't even notice them putting on the monitoring belt (this was a vbac after an elcs), and it didn't stop me delivering kneeling against the bed.
I'd just say that if there's anything you feel very strongly about, discuss and agree it beforehand. Like a previous poster I wanted delayed cord clamping and a natural 3rd stage, the midwife just looked unimpressed and said that wasn't possible with a vbac, i'd never been told that before and didn't feel in a position to argue. Good luck - hope you manage to get into the mlu but if not please don't worry.

sleepysleepy Sun 06-Jul-14 08:59:03

All three of mine were labour ward and absolutely fine. Second the comment above about the midwives nearly missing the birth the last two times as I also tend to "disappear uni a corner and zone out". Take care if you're not a screamer!

combust22 Sun 06-Jul-14 09:05:46

I have given birth twoice on the labour ward- I was booked into th emlu, but was full both times.

It was absolutely fine. Like others have said I was so "zoned out" that I could have given birth in the back of a cattle truck and I wouldnt have noticed. My births were straightforward with little intervention. I was upright and mobile, gave birth on my hands and knees.

slightlyinsane Sun 06-Jul-14 17:08:16

Ive had all of mine on labour ward, apart from last time (twins) they were all as you would want them to be, no intervention and very supportive mw who did all they could to make things as I wanted. Having the twins was a very different labour for very good reason. Even though we needed more medical input the mws were fantastic and did all they could to prevent too much intervention. I had an epidural with them so didn't go off to my special labour place, I was more aware of what they were all doing. After the consultant had beenand seen me and ddecided to leave me an hr till pushing the mws (I had 2) who'd been watching me saw 15 minutes later we were good to go and the consultant was called for just when she was needed so she couldn't intervene as she wanted to "assist" me delivering. Big thumbs up to those 2 mws, 1 of who was relatively new and seriously pleased she got to help with twins.
I've waffled on but what I'm trying to say is that labour ward is not a bad place, you can have the labour you want and the mws are there to support you as best theycan.

BackforGood Sun 06-Jul-14 17:24:07

I gave birth to dd1 literally "on the ward" - you know, those rooms with 4 beds in with the other 3 filled with other mothers, as dd didn't want to wait grin

I presume though you are talking about (what I would call) the delivery suite - I guess the language is different in different hospitals. My other two arrived there, and they weren't medicalised in my experience (until you needed it). I guess this is so different depending on your local facilities though.

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 06-Jul-14 17:38:49

I gave birth on the labour ward. The situation wasn't ideal (long induction) but I only saw midwives until DS needed an intervention, the midwife was great about talking through what I wanted and I had a birthing ball and en suite to shower/bath in privacy.

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