Best East London maternity hospital anyone pls?

(22 Posts)
yennie Wed 02-Feb-11 19:36:32

Hi, I am very excited to find out last week that I am 4 weeks pregnant, and my GP booked me on Royal London Hospital. I am thrilled about my pregnancy, but I am also very worried as I have septate uterus, which apparently means that I am in the high risk group of miscarriage and complication. After reading reviews on Royal London Hospital maternity unit, and an encounter of bad treatment from a friend, I am now ever more worried. What other options do I have? And which is the best one to go for please? Thanks so much!

Oscalito Wed 02-Feb-11 20:49:11

Congratulations! I would also avoid Royal London - very big and very old. Plus I have a friend who had a very bad experience there.

I just had a baby at Homerton and would recommend them. They have a new birthing centre (although I didn't last long in there before I realised gas and air wasn't going to cut it for me). I was given an epidural and pethidine very quickly after it became apparent I wasn't coping with the pain - this was on a Sunday night with very little staff around, and it's something to bear in mind as sometimes you don't get the relief when you need it.

When the baby finally appeared on Monday morning he was delivered by an obstetrician who I was apparently very lucky to get. He did a great job on my stitches and I healed well. The staff generally seem to enjoy working there and get along well, which is important when you're in such a vulnerable situation.

Afterwards I had a lot of help from both the midwife and the lactation consultant to establish breastfeeding, and upon leaving I was given a 'birthing debrief' when I was able to ask questions about a few things and get answers from a midwife.

My only real complaint was that I'd consented to medical students on my birth plan and a few turned up right at the pushing stage without being introduced to me - I would have allowed them to watch but it would have been nice to be asked. I did bring that up with the midwife at the debrief and she said it wasn't what should happen and she would bring it up with staff. Having said that, if I hadn't had the students I probably wouldn't have had the consultant who was teaching them, and given that I needed forceps and stitches it was good to have his expertise.

I was told it also has a lower CS rate than other london hospitals. It's not the most attractive building but as far as the service goes it is worth a bit of grottiness, and it's a small hospital so has a more intimate feel.

I also found the antenatal care excellent. The sonographers were lovely and at one point I turned up for an appointment from my GP I didn't actually need and the midwife talked the doctor into giving me a 'bonus' scan to make it worth the trip - really nice to see the baby one more time before the birth.

I then ended up back there with swine flu and pneumonia for 11 days five weeks after the birth and again the staff in A&E gave me excellent care, quickly worked out what was wrong and looked after me really well. I really do think it's a great hospital, as you can probably tell!! Of course everyone has a different experience but I have also spoken to lots of women at a mother's group who had their babies there and all agreed it was a great hospital with lovely midwives.

Good luck

squiggleywiggler Wed 02-Feb-11 21:30:55

Homerton is great - a teaching hospital and has a brand new birthing centre.

lockets Wed 02-Feb-11 21:32:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yennie Thu 03-Feb-11 00:00:12

Oscalito, thanks so much for your experience sharing! Your experience give me some info on what I should expect and confidence on my first child birth, giving my complications. Royal London really give me a bad feeling after all the readings. I will definitely raise it with my GP tomorrow to change my antenatal care to Homerton.

Thanks also to Squigglewiggler and Lockets!

Katy1368 Thu 03-Feb-11 00:42:41

Yup I had my DD at the Homerton 3 years ago and had an entirely positive experience. They had a great early pregnancy unit that scanned me really quickly when I had a previous miscarraige and during my successful pregnancy. I am a bit biased having worked there but I also know they have a good adult ITU and a very good neo natal ITU, plus because their population profile is such they have a lot of experience dealing with complex pregnancies (lots of pre-eclampsia and late presentations etc-) Having said that I don't think you can guarantee a positive experience esp in London where mat services are very stretched and I do know a couple of the girls I worked with who had their babies there too had less positive experiences than me but think this is par for the course in London unfortunately. It is a fairly modern hosp and when i left my job there they were building a huge new specialised building for all mat services and i'm guessing this must be up and running now so hopefully the environment will be nice too!

Katy1368 Thu 03-Feb-11 00:45:22

Oh yes and my ante-natal appts were great too - defintely a vote for the lovely sonographers from me!

hackneyzoo Thu 03-Feb-11 02:40:16

Had dc3 at homerton in mlu 3 weeks ago and they were excellent. Dd ended up on scbu and the nurses, drs and mws were great and really supportive. Most of the maternity unit, delivery suite and ante natal wards have recently been refurbished so it's all shiny and new! Hope your pregnancy and birth goes well.

Darlingdamsel Thu 03-Feb-11 09:09:43

Homerton! I am high risk and while I was very impressed with the treatment while still lived in the area.

And its cleaner, more modern and people are nice I feel than where I am now (St Georges).

RamblingRosa Thu 03-Feb-11 09:17:44

I would avoid Royal London too. I was there when I was pg with DD but switched to UCL at about 6months because I couldn't bear it!

Having said that, if you're at risk of a difficult pregnancy/birth, I think the expertise of their doctors is second to none. It's just that it's a crumbling old building and you have to wait for hours for your antenatal appointments etc.

A friend of mind gave birth recently at the MLU at Isle of Dogs and couldn't praise it highly enough.

Take advice from your doctor though because, as I said, if you have complications you might need to go somewhere like RL where the facilities aren't so great but the medical expertise is superior.

Adair Thu 03-Feb-11 10:41:12

Have just had 3rd baby at Homerton. I love Homerton. Very skilled, smart and nice midwives. And on the postnatal ward too! which surprised me. Had complication with epidural ad then a dural puncture, was readmitted to hospital and the anaesthetist took so much time to sort it out for me, was lovely and reassuring and understanding of my tears and wobbles. Could have been a much more traumatic experience in a different place tbh.

Dh commented how everyone - midwives, consultant/doctor, anaesthetist - came back to check on baby/how I was.

Am gutted I am in a new area and really should switch to Whipps Cross for everything now, we travelled to Homerton for this baby though - no regrets.

yennie Thu 03-Feb-11 11:36:39

Thanks so much ladies! This is very very useful for me!

coraltoes Fri 04-Feb-11 08:11:07

Another vote here for Homerton. Brand new unit, lovely and clean, friendly midwives, scanning unit is great, and appointments are not rushed at all. There is a video of the ward on their website. Have a look!

emilyarm Fri 04-Feb-11 10:47:24

Thanks for this ladies - It's my 1st pg and I'm also trying to decide where to go and wavering b/t Homerton and Whittington. Anyone had a home birth with the Homerton team?

hackneyzoo Fri 04-Feb-11 13:31:40

I had a home birth 2 years ago with Homerton community mws and it was lovely. Had planned one this time but ended up in MLU which was really good too. One of the good thing about hb was that the mws do all the ante natal checks at your home and you tend to have the same mw each time, so no waiting for ages at clinics. Follow up care after hb was also very good.

Zoedee Fri 04-Feb-11 13:48:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BreakDancingBadger Fri 04-Feb-11 15:37:39

I started my labour at the MLU in Isle of Dog and desperately wanted it to be a brilliant experience but it turnt into a nighmare.
Although i have to say this was mainly due to 1 midwife who broke my waters while giving me a sweep 'by accident' and refusing me Pethidine as 'she wasnt comfortable giving it'.

After 12hrs and only progressing to 5cms dilated (where i was told to push) i was blue lighted to the Royal London and i cant praise it enough. They were amazing!!

Last year i gave birth to my stillborn daughter at 31 weeks and again they couldnt do enough for me.

I am due in June this year with my 3rd and im sticking with the Royal London as i am now high risk.
Yes you have to wait about a bit for your appointments and dont get the lovely cosy atmosphere of the MLU but i dont trust anyone more with my babies lives.

squiggleywiggler Sun 06-Feb-11 16:04:00

Emily I had a homebirth with the homerton team for my first baby a year ago and have supported a few couples who have had homebirth via homerton in my role as a doula.

Overall I've found the homebirth team to be great, supportive and proactive. They have a monthly 'meet the homebirth team' meeting and are committed to the service.

I second the recommendation to go to a homebirth group. There's also an NCT one which meets on the first Tuesday of the month on Southgate Road: details on

twickaline Mon 21-Feb-11 20:54:22

Hello All

Its my first baby im due around the 22nd of september,and have my first scan on the 7th of march,i picked homerton as reviews were pretty good,my question is if i have my baby in the new birthing unit is it only gas and air ? or can i also have an epidural? or is that just in the ward.also once giving birth are you moved from the new birthing ward,or is that where you will stay until you leave?i know i can get all this information at my first appointment but would love to know peoples experience in the new maternity unit.

twickaline Mon 21-Feb-11 20:54:30

Hello All

Its my first baby im due around the 22nd of september,and have my first scan on the 7th of march,i picked homerton as reviews were pretty good,my question is if i have my baby in the new birthing unit is it only gas and air ? or can i also have an epidural? or is that just in the ward.also once giving birth are you moved from the new birthing ward,or is that where you will stay until you leave?i know i can get all this information at my first appointment but would love to know peoples experience in the new maternity unit.

Zoedee Mon 21-Feb-11 22:07:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Antidote Mon 21-Feb-11 22:34:40

Another complete fan of the royal London here.

I had a completely normal pregnancy, and could have chosen the mlu but decided I wanted to be in the same building as the obstetrician, anesthetic and neonatologist.

I had a long labour, with op presentation and at 8cm they realised ds was brow presentation which is not deliverable pv.

We had a very frank and clear discussion with the Dr at that stage, agreed on a course of action, and had a cs an hour later when ds had a few declarations.

The midwives were superb, professional, friendly and kind. I had three with me over the course of the labour.

The anaesthetists were lovely (i got an epidural when I asked for one). It needed to be done twice but there was no delay once it was clear the first one hadn't worked.

The wards were clean, the food was ok and everyone was helpful to me, Dh, our visitors.

The place is shabby and operates on a shoe string but the care is excellent.

I could have had a horrific time if I had chosen the mlu or a home birth. Ds might well have died.

If we are still in London and have another then I will go back.

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