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Giving birth 'out of area'

(17 Posts)
LittleMsH Tue 21-Dec-10 09:17:33


I'm 21 weeks and want to switch from my original choice of birthing place (local hospital) to a birthing centre 40mins away. I called the birthing centre to ask about tours and they were lovely, but did mention that if you're giving birth out of your area then you had to be under consultant care.

I'm at work, so couldn't talk to her in depth, but now I'm wondering if that means I'd have to go to the labour ward of the hospital the centre is attached to, rather than the centre itself anyway? Which I don't want. I really want a birthing centre, and to give birth in a smaller place than my massive city hospital, and this one is the nearest one. Does anyone know whether I'll be able to use the service or not?

Any help much appreciated...

Lotster Tue 21-Dec-10 12:31:36

Hi LittleMsH

I must say I double took at your thread title. I thought you were nervous about giving birth out of your "area" grin

Anyway! Congrats on your PG. Perhaps you could ask your GP to refer you to be accepted as an NHS patient to the nearest NHS hospital to the birth centre, so once you're accepted there then you wouldn't be out or area IYSWIM?

I did this when I wanted to give birth at Kingston which is Surrey, when my local hospitals were all London ones. I wonder if that would work? I never used the ante-natal care there, but it allowed me to sign on with the consultant I wanted to use privately.

autumnberry Tue 21-Dec-10 12:35:11

Hi LittleMsH. I can't answer your specific question, but I have arranged to give birth 'out of area', which is also 40 mins away from me. It was not necessary for me to be under consultant care. I have actually been surprised how easy it was to arrange. It seemed that the Trust didn't really have a policy on this as it is not very common. My local midwife was not very sure I could book in our of area but arranged for me to speak to a midwife in the new area. The midwife in the new area was really accommodating and booked me in with no qualms. The only thing I had to do was register with a GP in the new area as a temporary patient. All good. I hope it works out for you.

BikeRunSki Tue 21-Dec-10 12:36:41

I gave birth in my nearest hospital, which happens to be in a different county/PCT, so I was "out of area". I was not under a consultant, and mostly laboured at home. Also did antenatal care and classes there.

Sparklies Tue 21-Dec-10 13:22:24

Nobody minded when I swapped at 20 weeks last pregnancy between PCTs. They said I couldn't have a home birth because the midwives wouldn't come out that far (like you, 40 minutes away) but the rest was fine. The reason I swapped was because I needed the better consultants as I was high risk so it's a bit different to you.

littleElif Tue 21-Dec-10 13:26:18

I am not sure I would have wanted a birthing centre that far away. even the 10 min car ride while in labour almost killed me - contractions are so much more painful when you go through a roundabout; also, my baby was in a hurry - we would not have made it to hospital which such a long ride...

Niecie Tue 21-Dec-10 13:29:29

Where I lived when I had DS2 everybody went out of area. We were on the edge of an area and although the MWs at the GP surgery all came from one hospital, everybody used to go to another hospital the same distance away or even further afield. We didn't have to have a consultant to do it, we got to chose. I can't give you any advice on your specific situation but it shouldnt be too difficult to change.

thisisyesterday Tue 21-Dec-10 13:40:53

i have never heard of this before hmm

i considered going to a birth centre and they were happy to have me even though i was well out of their area. I didn't go in the end as I had a homebirth though

also, where I live we are fairly equal distances between 2 hospitals. one is the hospital for our area, the other one isn't and yet I know many people who have used the "out of area" one with no consultant care

everybodysang Tue 21-Dec-10 13:42:22

I'm out of area, chose to stick with a hospital we knew from before we moved - although it's about 10 miles further away than the big one nearer us it actually takes almost the same amount of time to get there (30 minutes).

It's been pretty good, actually, but the one problem has been the lack of communication between the (very, very nice) community midwives - who are attached to the big local hospital - and my hospital. I've ended up quite confused at times about who to speak to about what, and have had to ferry my own test results about etc. But apart from this it's been good - just wish I'd known that would be tricky and asked more questions about it so I'd been clearer about it from the start.

Good luck!

EauRudolph Tue 21-Dec-10 13:43:27

I went to a birth centre 'out of area' for DD and I too found it very easy to arrange. I had to go to that hospital for a couple of appointments but most of my routine MW appointments were still at my local surgery. I was told that if they were busy on the day then I would have to go to my local hospital. As it turns out, the birthing centre was closed on the night due to staffing shortages and I had DD in the normal delivery suite.

I agree with littleElif , I had to travel 30-40 mins and it wasn't much fun, every time I got to the hospital my contractions stopped and I was sent home. So don't forget it's a journey that you may have to make more than once!

LittleMsH Tue 21-Dec-10 15:23:15

Thanks so much for your help everyone - very much appreciated (and lotster -thanks! And I did consider how 'out of area' might look if you glanced at it!).

I don't like my midwife and have often got the feeling that she's not quite sure what she's on about (not when it comes to the baby, so that's fine!). When, I tentatively mentioned the birthing centre (it's the one in Calderdale, W.Yorks), she looked at me like it was an impossibility for me to do this, when I know it's not. I was initially classed as high risk (suggestive bicornuate uterus) but my 20wk scan said all was normal and I'm low risk again, so I'd really like to go to the centre.

It's interesting to hear from littleElif and EauRudolph about the distance posing potential problems/discomfort. The city centre hospital I'm booked in at, though, has awful parking and is slap bang in the middle of the city, so getting to it ain't necessarily going to be the quickest thing either!

Again, thanks all - this has really helped and also made me realise what questions I need to be asking the midwife and the team at the birthing centre, so i'm clear what to expect, particularly in terms of postnatal care.

Marylou242 Tue 21-Dec-10 15:39:58

I travelled 40 minutes out of area to a birth centre as well, for similar reasons as you. They didn't have any problems with it. It wasn't attached to a hospital and they wouldn't accept anybody under consultant-led care anyway, so I'm not sure where they've got that bit from. Midwife-led centres only take midwife-led women as far as I know.

Also, the journey might not be that bad. It's uncomfortable but for me it was well worth it to avoid my horrible local hospital. I didn't do up my seatbelt and kept moving around the back seat to try to get comfy - kept expecting to be stopped but I think you can get away with it if you're in labour!

Good luck whatever you decide to do

LittleMsH Tue 21-Dec-10 16:01:26

I might have heard wrong about the consultant thing. I was a bit nervous for some reason when I called them, so might have got it confused. Let's hope so!


BikeRunSki Tue 21-Dec-10 16:30:55

LittleMsH - if Calderdale is 40 mins away, where are you currently booked in? I am from about 40 mins from Calderdale hospital, and chose not to use it because of the distance.

LittleMsH Wed 22-Dec-10 10:10:49

BikeRunSki I'm booked in at the LGI, which by all accounts is pretty good, but I just had my heart set on not being in a hospital. I'm originally from the East Lancs/West Yorks area so Calderdale appeals for many reasons. Plus I have friends/family nearby there. I'm going to look round both and see, anyway.

BikeRunSki Wed 22-Dec-10 20:38:17

If you do end up in LGI, then don't fret too much, I have only heard good things about them.

thefurryone Wed 22-Dec-10 21:12:26

Hi LittleMsH, Don't know if this helps at all but I'm under consultant care at a hospital that has a birthing centre and a more tradditional ward type thing and I'm still allowed into the birthing centre provided that I'm still low risk and there are no major issues when the time comes.

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