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Countess of Chester or Wrexham General?

(25 Posts)

I am only just pg but am due to see the GP on Friday to get me into the system and he will want to now which hospital I want to go to.

I had DD at the Countess of Chester and found antenatal care fine but labour was another matter. I felt they wrote me off as a c-section from the start. I desperately wanted a natural birth but they induced me (I had strep B).

I wanted to be active and move around but they strapped me to the bed and insisted on constant monitoring and pushed me for an epidural early on. As it was my first, I went along with it but still have issues with it (shortened version there - lots of other things I haven't detailed)

Anyway, roll on 2.5 yrs and hopefully I am now due in November. I live in N Wales, on the England border so can choose between Countess of Chester or Wrexham. Wrexham is smaller but has similar stats to Chester.

What to do?? Anyone have any experience?

I'm worried I have so many issues about DD's birth that I can't see the wood for the trees.


SeeJaneKick Wed 16-Mar-11 00:31:20

I had both mine at Chester and can't vouch for Wrexham...Strep B is more of risk in certain circumstances

When are babies most at risk?
If your labour is premature, if pre-term rupture of the membranes occurs, if the waters have broken more than 18-24 hours before the baby is delivered, or if a woman has a temperature of 37.8 ºC or higher during labour. Babies are at greater risk of developing GBS infection if the mother has had GBS diagnosed during pregnancy, or if she has previously had a baby infected with GBS. Full term babies born where no 'risk factors' are present can and do still develop GBS infection

So if any of the above ar relevant to you then it was best that you had a section.

Thanks for your reply, but it wasn't what I was looking for!
I was hoping for opinions of the two hospitals, not an assessment of DD's birth story.

Anyone else help?

aliceelinsmum Wed 16-Mar-11 17:07:28

I can't speak for Chester, but used to work at Wrexham in O+G and Paeds and if I lived closer now would definitely choose to go there (in fact I have friends who travelled quite a way to get there having worked there previously) Its a nice friendly hospital

Many thanks for your helpful comments Aliceelinsmum. That really helps me. Have seen my GP today and she trained at Wrexham and really recommended it.
So, I think baby #2 will be arriving at wrexham! (all being well and fingers crossed).

earthworm Fri 18-Mar-11 12:24:23

I have experience of both and would choose Wrexham every time.

Thanks earthworm that really cements my decision.

GemAimee Fri 18-Mar-11 12:58:43

I have experience of Wrexham for DS1, but that was 8 years ago and I felt completely let down by them - nightmare birth story I would happily recount if you're interested. Short version is that I was induced against my wishes and then they kept forgetting I was there. (Who knows, could have happened just as badly anywhere though.)

They might have improved by now - other friends of mine who have gone there didn't have the same problems!

DS2 born at home with lovely amazing supportive midwives (Wrexham-based) who were discussing the lack of midwives in Wrexham with people leaving or going on maternity leave and not being replaced - at least with a home birth there were two of them present and they didn't leave me stranded alone in a room, hooked up to an epidural, 10 feet away from my newborn baby like last time!

I know home birth isn't for everyone, but I can't stress enough how brilliantly supported I was.

Recently spoke to a nice lady who works for the milk bank at the Countess. She was a midwife for years. She was very interested to hear about the different experiences, and said that most midwives would prefer to work in the Maelor than the Countess at the moment, purely because Wrexham are still doing everything on paper, but Chester have "modernised", which means wheeling a laptop to the bedside for assessments, and is a pain in the bum for the staff.

GemAimee thanks for your thoughts. Your birth 8 years ago sounds a bit like DD in 2008 at the Countess. I was induced too and ended up with an emergency c-section as DD was getting distressed as labour wasn't progressing. They did leave me alone for a long time and I am convinced they induced too early and DD just wasn't ready.

This time round, I would LOVE a home birth but don't think I'd be allowed one as I'd be a vbac.
People I've spoken to who had babies around the same time as me don't have positive birth stories of the Countess but I had no info on Wrexham. So far, everyone I've managed to talk to has been very positive.
I live in N Wales and my community midwife also works at Wrexham, so I guess there is a greater chance of continuity of care than at Chester.

SelinaDoula Fri 18-Mar-11 14:56:27

I ave supported two planned HBAC in North Wales. One was with Bangor midwives, the other with Wrexham.
Whilst the consultants might not recommend homebirth after cesarean, if you research it and feel its what you want then the midwives should support you.
Find out if either hospital has a consultant midwife or ask to speak to a supervisor of midwives about a birth plan.
PS have you considered a Doula to support you, whether home or hospital VBAC? (I have supported a few in MLU, with no constant monitoring, cannula etc) I'm currently PG but I know other doulas in your area that could help

Hi Selina thanks for the info.

I think I will ask about it - have my mw appt on Monday. Am just worried they will write me off as high risk due to previous pg and section.

I would be keen to have home birth.

And I have thought about a doula, especially if I end up in horpital. I don't want pain relief and it would be good to have someone I could rely on to stick up for me.

Do you have any suggestions for my area?

SelinaDoula Mon 21-Mar-11 21:37:13

You will automatically be high risk, but this does not mean that you cannot make an informed choice to have your baby at home if thats what yu want to do.
When are you due?
Nathalie covers your area and she's lovely-
and possibly Karen?
I have supported hospital VBAC's too, I really enjoy it, and yes, I think a doula will be invaluabl to you, at home or hospital!
S x

eeky Tue 22-Mar-11 05:54:39

Op, sounds like yopu had a difficult time before and I hope things go better this time. You certainly should discuss the pros and cons with your consultant of where to deliver. It may be useful to be "debriefed" about your last delivery too.

I am an obstetrician and extremely pro-vaginal delivery. However, I must point out that the reason we usually don't recommend you have a home birth after a CS is that there is a small but significant risk of scar rupture during labour. If this happened at home there would be a high risk that your baby would not survive; your life would also be at risk due to bleeding. Obviously rare, but if it happens to you then catastrophic. Even very experienced midwives will not be able to do much apart from put you in the ambulance and hope for the best - baby would need delivering within a few minutes.

How about a compromise by asking if the hospital are happy to deliver you in their low-risk unit? VBAC deliveries can be pretty non-interventional too, but yes, we would usually advise continuous fetal heart monitoring as abnormalities are normally the first sign of a scar rupture. We usually try to avoid induction if you had a previous CS, if that helps.

Selinadoula, with all due respect, if you have no midwifery or medical training then you are not helping women to make an informed choice, just an uninformed one. I'm afraid that your services in the event of an obstetric emergency at home would be superfluous... and if all was straightforward despite the risks, then good qualified midwives support women well during labour - it's their job!

I don't think it's appropriate or professional for you to be advertising your friend's services on Mumsnet, and have suggested mn ask to refrain from doing so.

Hope all went well today, OP.

SelinaDoula Tue 22-Mar-11 08:49:49

eeky good to see an obsetrician on the boards and I'm glad to see you are pro-vaginal birth.
If you read this thread you will see that I am not actually trying to help the OP make an informed decision, just reminding her that after she has researched and spoken to her midwives and consultant, that as a competent adult she can make an informed descision to birth a home, if she so wishes.
As you state, doulas are not medically trained and therefore would not perform any medical procedure in an emergency or not.
Doulas provide continuous emotional and physical support to women, which has been shown to reduce the risk of interventions, see for example-
As there are very few Doulas in the North west/N Wales I was merely stating doulas which could be available to support her, as trainees they are only able to charge expended and Doula UK also support women with a hardship fund if they are unable to pay (which this OP could be).
However if mn feel this was innappropriate I shall refrain from doing so.

Thank you to both of you - your comments are very interesting and helpful. I think I understand where you are coming from eeky and it is good to hear an obs pov, but I found selina's advice very useful and not pressurised.

Having chatted to the midwife, she made it clear Wrexham will not support a HBAC and if I want one, I will have to fight very hard. Having said that, she told me of a lady last year who had a HBAC, after 2 c-sections, who fought like mad to get the hb she wanted.

I understand the risks of rupture but I also know the risk is extremely low. For the moment, I am still requesting a hb but realistically know I probably won't get one as I'd rather not fight throughout pregnancy. My thinking is, if they think I want a hb then if i conceed I'll come to hospital they should be more accepting of my requests at hospital if they think they've won a battle to get me there IYSWIM. Even doctors are human beings!

The one part that is incredibly important to me is no constant monitoring of the baby whilst I am in labour. That is my sticking point unless they can show me without a doubt that my baby's life is at risk, I will refuse it. I may allow intermittent monitoring and my midwife has said she supports me on this. I need an active birth and will refuse to get on the bed on my back.

And I have also decided to hire a doula for the birth. I need another experienced female with me who knows what I want and why and who can stick up for me and be a source of emotional support when i am inevitably left alone in a room during labour. (DP will be there and he's lovely but not good in these situations).

So, upshot is, thanks for the comments they really have helped.

Earwiggo Fri 25-Mar-11 18:56:57

Eeky - there are plenty of stories on here from women who did not feel supported during labour. I don't think you have the right to be so dismissive of the role doulers fill, plenty of women are very happy with their services.

poptyping1 Fri 25-Mar-11 19:39:46

wrexham missed my nephews spina biffida they sould have picked it up 3 times.

poptyping1 Fri 25-Mar-11 19:40:16

but everywhere makes mistakes

mercibucket Fri 25-Mar-11 19:50:08

If you want a hb and you've researched the risks and have been informed of the risks then it's up to you - no need for any fights or arguments of any kind. In fact, no need to enter into any discussion of any kind, just keep telling them of your intentions and that they need to plan accordingly. Cultivate the art of the dismissive smile, long silences, and endless repeating of the same phrase. Having a doula is even better cos they can come with you and say it for you smile tbh if it was me, I wouldn't mention it til quite late on either - less overall stress and you never know - there might be genuine medical reasons why it's not possible when it comes to it.

Twinkletoes89 Tue 07-Jun-16 22:34:36

I've been told I have to decide on a hospital. It's Wrexham or Chester. I was wondering if anyone has any recent experience with either. It's my first and I'm super worried.

WiMoChi Mon 20-Jun-16 16:36:56

Chester everytime. Cannot fault them. Had my LG there two years ago and they were superb. And going there again. They've three new birth pools one of which is for high risk. I've seen them recently too and they are beautiful.

I've been to AandE at Wrexham a few times and it's disgusting. Full of drunks and litter and i know it's a different ward etc but really put me off going anywhere near it.

Mrskeats Mon 20-Jun-16 16:39:24

Had my two at chester
No complaints at all

Twinkletoes89 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:57:17

Thanks for your feed back. I've picked Chester. I Was born with spina bifita and Chester seems a better place to be.

WiMoChi Tue 21-Jun-16 21:28:38

Good choice. I'm also in North wales and due in November smile

SiencynArsecandle Tue 21-Jun-16 21:51:14

I had 3 of my DC at Wrexham despite it being further away than my other option. Absolutely excellent treatment, severe problems with DS meant he was on SCBU for sometime and the whole department was amazing.
DGD also born at Wrexham and from what I know, labour and delivery care was superb.
If I had to choose again, it would always be Wrexham

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