Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
Midwife led units(32 Posts)
Hi ladies, has anybody had/is anybody considering having their baby in a MLU?
all we have here is an MLU, or we have a huge huge upheaval of travel to get to a hospital with full facilities. had DS1 in consultant led as he had a heart condition picked up at scan, DD1 in mlu then DS2 and DD2 at home because I couldn't get to MLU for the weather.
Recovery in the mlu was lovely - it was dark at night and everyone whispered and tiptoed. And bf was the norm.
After that first night I had to go up to the postnatal ward with ds as his ab+ blood had mixed with my O- and he needed observation for a night.
Omg!! It was bright and loud and buzzing all night most of the other women needed help and regular painkillers so there were buzzers going and two of the other three had automatic blood pressure cuffs on that were so loud too. All were ffing (and I don't blame them one bit they were all recovering from major trauma)
I felt awful for those other women, guilty that I was feeling totally fine and like a bit of a weirdo for not taking any drugs and for bfing.
However, I was desperate for some calm and quiet and nearly going insane trying to snuggle my newborn and establish bf with skin to skin etc in what felt like a busy airport terminal or shopping mall!!!
If you are as lucky as I was with labour and birth then you really don't want to be in a hospital ward after.
I had my dc3 in our MLU. It had only been open a few months and was amazing. I had my own room which was huge as it had a birthing pool in it and its own bathroom.
It was so much better then the hospital as once dc3 was born and I'd had a shower the MW said to let them know when we were ready to go and they'd get the paperwork sorted. I was the only one there at the time so they said we could have a sleep (2am delivery) or go home to our other DCs. We opted to go home and everything was sorted and we were back home by 6am, our older DCs didn't even know we'd left.
It was so nice not having to wait around for hours for the paperwork to be sorted so we could go home. Plus not being on a busy ward was so much better with no annoying relatives bumping their chair into the cot with my 8 hour old dc2 in.
To be fair dc4 was born on the new maternity ward as I was induced and the rooms in the labour ward were so much better than the old hospital, quite big and with their own bathroom The post natal ward was very busy though and I always want to go home ASAP so I hated waiting around till 2 or 3 in the afternoon for the paperwork.
I had DD at a consultant led unit but will be going to a MLU this time. However the MLU is upstairs from the CLU. (The hospital DD was born in doesn't have a MLU). I wouldn't go for standalone MLU unless the transfer is short. But then I don't have a real choice of a standalone MLU because the closest one is further away from the two hospital I'm considering.
That said I was encouraged to have a home birth this time round. I think it is a bit strange given I had a ventouse birth last time. I think I might need it again but I'm happy to try the MLU because it is part of the same hospital. I'm hoping I wouldn't need the ventouse this time and many people rave about MLU. It is also a bigger and probably better hospital.
I've just fought to give birth on a MLU (which they have agreed). Am slightly high risk due to BMI but no other risks. Of course it helps that the MLU near me is based a floor above labour ward!
I know plenty if people who have chosen a different MLU though - even for the first time.
Everyone I know who's given birth in a MLU raves about it! The only thing is, don't get your heart set on it too much - many (most?) first-time mothers end up needing to be transferred, so be prepared for everything :-)
In my case I really wanted to and had a very low-risk pregnancy, but my waters broke before the contractions started, so I wasn't allowed to go to my MLU.
*without consultant ward attached
I had my first in a consultant led unit as she was born at 36 weeks. My second was at a MLU (different site with consultant ward). I much preferred the MLU. Much more relaxed, quiet and calming in my own experience.
I had DS at MLU, fab experience.
Currently expecting DC2 and plan to have them there all being well.
Just had mlu recommended today at my booking in appt. I've got a choice of two, one with a ward at the attached hospital, one which has an attached hospital but would require an ambulance over to the other if there were complications. It will be my first, they have no reason to suspect I'll have any foreseeable issues, so either would be fine.
From what I've seen, they're lovely. I'd definitely go for that over a ward.
I had MLU delivery with dd, which I chose because the consultant ward had all the equipment out, ready to use in an emergency - which makes sense if the majority of deliveries scheduled for consultant ward are high risk. Personally I felt that I wanted to avoid intervention if possible and that would be easier if it wasn't there waiting to be used.
Having said that, this time there's a chance I might haemorrhage and so I might be high risk. Tbh, even if I am low risk, I'm still going to choose the MLU in the next town over, which will avoid an ambulance ride if I do need to be rushed to the consultant ward. I may well even choose the consultant ward over the MLU, as I don't want the worry of a big bleed overshadowing the rest of my labour.
I had DS in our local midwife led unit and it was really good. I arrived and had an internal examination and then I was straight into the birthing pool with some gas and air. It was all as relaxed as giving birth can be and afterwards I had my own room which had an ensuite toilet and shower. I'm booking in there again with dc2! It is reassuring that our mlu is the floor beneath the maternity wards at the local hospital so if you change your mind and want an epidural they can transfer you and you just go up in the lift
Oh and my mlu was 20mins away from the hospital which was my only concern, but they have full resuscitation stations for mum and baby on site and mws are trained to use them, but they tend to be overly cautious and if there is any hint of a problem (even a bit of meconium in the waters) an ambulance is called and you are transferred.
At my mlu you can only go if your waters are clear (if they break before arriving) if you dont want high level pain relief (no epidurals available) and you are not being induced, have low iron levels etc etc (there are a lot of boxes to tick in case)
I had my first 6months ago at my mlu and it was fab. After a tour at both the hospital and the mlu i knew in my gut where i wanted to go and was willing myself to get to 37 weeks and to not need inducing. Thankfully baby arrived at 37+4 so i got my mlu waterbirth. However due to a 3rd degree tear i didnt get to take full advantage of the option to stay overnight with hubby and baby at the mlu as was taken to hospital for surgery and had to stay overnight there instead alone with baby.
Only actually spent 1hr 30mins at the mlu due to it being only 50mins from arriving to the birth.
Hope i will be allowed my next there when the time comes.
Squizita what did you decide to do?
I'm a high risk (not gynie a blood condition) and a 1st timer and was given all the mlu leaflets, told it was up to me!
Interesting that some places don't recommend it. It's the default option when I live; I wasn't even asked if I wanted to give birth there, they just assumed. Luckily I did!
RAFWife and SouthDerbyshireMamma I'm surprised in hindsight now I've looked into it a bit myself.
That said, original midwife has now disappeared - even the surgery doesn't know where she's gone - so I'll ask one of the community team I'll now be seeing for their advice too. All a bit odd!
Had both my dcs in a mlu; water birth for both. Fantastic experience both times.
I had my ds (first baby) in an mlu but it was on the same site as the hospital. I had a water birth and it was fantastic. But the mws did call a paediatrician down from the hospital just as ds came out because there was a lot of meconium present. Ds was checked over and totally fine.
When a mlu is on a different site from the hospital I don't know if they can just call in a paed like that?
OP - I'm surprised that you were told they don't recommend first timers go to MLU! I've been advised it from day 1, and all being well that's where I plan to give birth.
Thats contradictory to what my midwifery team advise OP. They were over the moon when I said I wanted midwife lead care at my booking appointment and i'm a first timer. Its encouraged round here
Shame its not the same story everywhere..
I did first time round and it was great. My midwife friend said all the best midwives like to work in a MLU, given the choice, because they have more autonomy and say over their work environment.
I did, and I'd happily do it again.
My baby needed to go to NICU soon after birth, but a paediatrician arrived in minutes and he was taken upstairs to the NICU in good time (he wasn't in any danger - he just needed a little extra oxygen).
My midwife was excellent, and the facilities were great. I had my own room, a pool, and my husband and I were both allowed to stay a little while to recover even after ds was taken to NICU.
Glad to hear so many positive thoughts about MLUs. Our original midwife asked me where I'd like to give birth before I'd had chance to look into it. She really put me off the MLU by saying 'we don't really advise it for first timers' but having looked into it it sounds like a much nicer option than the hospital.
Obviously you have to be happy to transfer if needs be but I'm happy to take that chance.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.