This topic is for personal experiences or dilemmas; to debate the ethics of termination, please go here or here.

Midwife led maternity unit?

(15 Posts)
lr12345 Sat 22-Oct-16 13:38:47

What's everyone's thoughts on midwife led maternity units with no doctor? Would you go to one?

CalleighDoodle Sat 22-Oct-16 13:44:09

I did. Haemorrhaged after the birth, collapsed and when i came round i was having cannulas put in my hands and being sent to hospital two towns over. Baby went in a different ambulance with a midwife. It was purely bad luck.

My first dc was born in my living room with three mws and no issues at all.

sarahnova69 Sat 22-Oct-16 13:49:28

Depends how close a doctor was.

I had my first in a midwife led unit within a hospital. Lovely experience, supportive, no interventions, far better experience than my friends who were on labour ward. But if things had gone sideways all they would have had to do is wheel me up the corridor.

I'm shooting for a home birth next time, but with the knowledge that I am in London and can be under a doctors care within ten minutes if needs be.

lr12345 Sat 22-Oct-16 13:55:26

Transfer to other hospital is around 20 miles/30 minutes. First baby and not sure what to do

sarahnova69 Sat 22-Oct-16 14:27:02

Oh, tough one. And with your first birth you haven't yet any idea if your body copes well with birth, or not.

I'm a believer that where you are and how you feel does have an impact on how things progress, based on my own experience, and there's reasonable odds against a spontaneous labour going dramatically wrong I think, but there's no denying it can happen, and fairly quickly too. I don't think there are any easy answers - it may come down to how much you value being in a more relaxed/supported environment vs knowing medical help is right there if you need it. What are your options? Could you just choose home birth as an alternative to hospital or does the MWL unit offer something you can't get at home?

I'm presuming you're currently considered low risk - obviously if that changes or you end up being induced you'll need to be prepared to go to hospital anyway...

NotCitrus Sat 22-Oct-16 15:15:40

I did, but only because it was in the same building as the consultant-led delivery suite. I suspected my birth wouldn't be straightforward and was right - so we went down in the lift after I'd been in the birthing pool for 8 hours, to meet the anaesthetist for an epidural.

A fit healthy colleague used a MLU about 30 min drive from a delivery suite, liked it, but I don't think I would have relaxed there.

lr12345 Sat 22-Oct-16 16:07:13

I will feel a lot more relaxed at the midwife led unit in my local hospital but is that worth the potential risk to mine and my unborn babies life? I've been low risk throughout and haven't had any problems so far. It's a difficult decision to make

ACubed Sat 22-Oct-16 16:12:52

In exactly same as Citrus, was in the midwifed led building but it was attached to hospital, and after 12 hours they decided something was up and moved me to ward. I was low risk but they ended up having to do an emergency c section so I was really glad I had that option quickly or things could have been dire. Don't mean to worry you with a horror story, or be negative, just sharing my experience. I'd always err on the side of caution. Good luck with the birth x

sarahnova69 Sun 23-Oct-16 13:44:00

I'd definitely do it for my next birth if it weren't for the fact I'm going to go ahead and stay at home smile

In your shoes, OP, I think I would go to the MWLU, on the basis that the reason they're accepting me is because they think there is a low chance of me needing to be blue-lighted to hospital (and midwives and doctors are pretty conservative about risk) and that the unit will certainly have a transfer plan for that scenario. But I am saying that as someone who has had a straightforward, positive first birth. I wish you the best in making the right decision for you. If you do want the MWLU, it would probably do no harm to stay as fit as you can and maybe do some hypnobirthing. Good luck.

Kel1234 Wed 09-Nov-16 15:42:32

I had my first baby in the birth centre, and loved it, the whole atmosphere, not so much giving birth.
But it was in the hospital, and the delivery suite was just down the corridor, so if there had been complications I could have been moved very easily.

TrashPanda Wed 09-Nov-16 15:51:11

I had my first at a midwife led unit at a small community hospital, only 2 labour rooms but they had a pool which I used and all very nice and relaxed but weirdly the aftercare was a bit rubbish. Second at a midwife led unit at a large hospital so down the corridor from doctors etc. Very quiet but I was only there about an hour before baby was born, was home about 12 hours later after blood tests again all felt very relaxed but I was more looked after than at the first one.

IDreamOfPeace Wed 16-Nov-16 15:54:17

If it was an ambulance ride away for emergency medical help then no. If it's within the same building and a short hop down the corridor then that's not so bad.

I know five ladies who all opted to have their first-borns in a midwife led unit and all of them ended up at taking frantic ambulance rides to the maternity hospital for emergency treatment (which is around 30 minutes away). And yet, they can't understand why I've opted to give birth at the maternity hospital that saved them and their babies? They say 'Oh but it was so nice at the birthing centre, very quiet, nice surroundings and lovely staff. The maternity hospital wasn't as lovely - very clinical! Why would you want to have your baby there?' hmm

I know you could put their experiences down to sheer bad luck and others have had positive experiences, but 5/5 emergency interventions is enough to put me off personally.

formerbabe Thu 17-Nov-16 16:51:14

I had my second in a birthing centre. ..it was part of the hospital, so I felt quite reassured that if anything went wrong, I could just be moved to another part of the building.

Doodles15 Mon 21-Nov-16 20:12:18

I'm in Scotland and that is pretty much the path here for people who are low risk. I have absolutely no complaints and found the whole experience brilliant. I was happy as it didn't feel like a medical process which I think it would if a Dr was there unnecessarily. Many of my friends have had their babies there and anyone who needed a doctor had one without hesitation.
For the record I am no hippy chick... I had a back to back labour which was bloody sore but my husband and the midwife got me through it with just a bit of gas and air whilst I was in the water thing.

Oly5 Mon 21-Nov-16 20:14:48

I wouldn't do it, not if the hospital is a ride away.
I was also low risk but my son's heart rate plummeted and we needed emergency help and resus. If only do it if mw led unit was attached to hospital

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now