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can birth on consultant-led unit still be 'good'?

(17 Posts)
smedrock Sat 06-Aug-11 17:03:24

hello -- i'm 30 weeks into 2nd pregnancy and looking for some advice. 1st time round i had great pregnancy and was planning to deliver at home or at Birth Centre. all went pear shaped at 40wks as i got Strep B infection and ended up with an emergency caesarian.
This time i was (naively??) hoping to try again for a low intervention birth but have been monitored extra closely and told that on top of everything else, my 1st baby was small...she is 2 so this was news to us all! never told that at the time.
Long story short i met consultant on thurs who says i will have to deliver on consultant led unit, i will not be allowed to use the birth pool at all and that i will have continuous fetal monitoring.
so upset spent last night awake crying and wondering how the hell i'm gonna get through. they are also offering me an elective section but i would rather avoid this.
my worry is that the consultant led unit will be so 'medical' that my chances of a 'nice' birth are low....anything i can do to make the space/experience as good as possible??
would love to hear from anyone who delivered on delivery suite but whose heart was in the birth centre if you know what i mean. or any other tips!

therugratref Sat 06-Aug-11 17:08:22

I had a consultant led medical birth and it was very nice, I felt safe and looked after and it was a million times nicer than my low intervention midwife led delivery which left me feeling like a cow in a field but with less dignity.

smedrock Sat 06-Aug-11 17:13:36

the rugratref-- cheers -- what made the difference? were you against a consultant led birth at the time?

Littlefish Sat 06-Aug-11 17:18:21

I had a fabulous water birth on a consultant led unit and didn't see a doctor the whole time I was there, until the doctor came to do dd's checks before we were signed out. I was under the consultant because of my BMI but had no other problems through my pregnancy.

Littlefish Sat 06-Aug-11 17:20:32

The room I was in was roomy and comfortable. I took a bean bag, birthing ball, CD player, pillows etc. So even without the water birth, I think that the delivery would have been ok. The midwife was fantastic, and very pro active labour.

minicorrect Sat 06-Aug-11 17:22:52

My first baby was small so I had lots of growth scans for DD2 and was never told I couldn't have a home birth - although if she had been of concern this may have been an issue. In the end I had to go in as my liquor levels dropped before labour, but I still had a low intervention birth experience. Is the extra concern due to strep B? I would certainly question what you've been told if you don't feel comfortable with it - especially if there's nothing to suggest this baby will ber small. I believe from what I've read as well that they can't make you go in - although they can do a good job of scaring you into thinking it's the safest thing for your baby. Do some research and see if anyone else has been in a similar situation.
Good luck though - it doesn't have to be awful I'm sure - ask questions and have a birth plan.

PIMSoclock Sat 06-Aug-11 17:23:23

I think you need to put your wishes in perspective against the potential risk to you and your baby. I know you want a 'nice' birth but I think I would be a bit more concerned at the problems you have to deal with (?small baby and previous strep infection)

If a consultant has told you continual monitoring is necessary they must have a genuine concern.
Would it not be worse to have not picked up a problem that could cause you to deliver an oxygen deprived baby?

I think you need to speak to your consultant again and make sure you understand their concerns and reasons for asking for continual monitoring.

They do have you and your babies best interests at heart!

littlewheel Sat 06-Aug-11 17:26:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PIMSoclock Sat 06-Aug-11 17:29:07

For what it's wort, I had two consultant led deliveries because of other health problems.
They saved ds life first time round and second time it was the most amazing calm and lovely experience
I can not thank the medical staff enough for what the did for me.
Whilst first time was not how my 'birth plan' went it's was worth it to deliver a healthy baby boy (post resus!)
smile good luck to you and your baby, I hope everything goes well smile

treedelivery Sat 06-Aug-11 17:40:03

I had lovely consultant led births. Kind midwives who stayed when I needed them and popped off when I didn't or they needed a break from my very noisy vocal labours! DH was fed tea and coffee and the dr popped in every few hours to say he was happy with all the management and to carry on doing well.
I was a tough client and so I totally understood the midwives need for a breather. 12 hrs of me screeching nearly killed dh grin

I was monitored with dd1 and needed it, she had some fetal distress but I just squeezed her out before we went for a forceps or section. I was monitored as a precaution and that proved a worthy choice as she did get distressed by the stupidly long obstructed labour.
Second flew out with minimal fuss in about an hour, but loads more pain as it was without an epidural/analgesia to speak of.

If I do it a 3rd time, I might go for an early epi - it was that good! I was parked in a comfy bed with 100 pillows and cashmere socks, a cd of songs we made before hand, and I got badly needed sleep after the 10 hours flogging it took before I opted for the epidural, monitoring and all that jazz.

treedelivery Sat 06-Aug-11 17:41:36

A st midwife delivered and looked after me for the last 6 hrs. She was a star and I was her 17th delivery. Midwife was lovely too, knowledgable and reliable. Plus I had the entonox in one hand and the buzzer in the other grin

carolinemoon Tue 09-Aug-11 09:35:52

I had planned a homebirth (with pool) with DD1 but high blood pressure led me to being induced at 38 weeks. I was devastated as I hate hospitals, but I genuinely had a very positive experience despite my fears. Two lovely midwives and a room that, although "medical", was very spacious and comfortable. The worst part was being kept in for days afterwards on a noisy ward, but that was due to my blood pressure not dropping. I am now 7 weeks off my due date for DC2 and am going to try for a homebirth again, not because of the care I received last time or any negative experience with labour, but because the thought of being in my own home with my own bed to climb into really appeals to me. However, if things don't pan out that way then I won't be devastated this time, as I would be equally happy to have the baby on the delivery suite or MLU.

An0therName Tue 09-Aug-11 09:44:17

Hi I had a fab VBAC at consultant led unit - saw the doctor once - midwife were great
was continuouly monitored which was a pain but worked out ok
is there a VBAC clinic or midwife you could talk to
and where did you get to in your labour before? its normally quicker up to that point

davidtennantsmistress Tue 09-Aug-11 09:49:39

i'm in the same boat wanting awater birth etc, my midwife has said as I heomoraged with DS i'll be allowed to labour in the pool but not have the baby in it - will have to come out at about 9cm ish, but I had to really push for her to agree this, she's also said i'll have to have everything ready in my hands/rigged up so all they do is plug me in if it's needed.

another positive I guess is our bed is booked as it were, here it's very short staffed so on the MLC side of the unit there maybe less midwives/room/more of a rush to have you in & out. can only be a good thing?

nunnie Tue 09-Aug-11 09:54:13

All three of mine will have took place in a consultant led unit, two of which have needed medical assistance for different reasons and I am going back for more. Can't fault any care I have been given so far, but I don't have anything to compare it to really.
This one will be a VBAC and I have been told I will need continual monitoring and they don't have an underwater monitor so pool out of the question.

Georgimama Tue 09-Aug-11 09:59:13

I had a VB in a consultant led unit, only saw a doctor to have my tear stitched afterwards. Constant attention (in a hand holding, foot rubbing, bath running, toast making kind of a way rather than prodding and poking) from a lovely MW. 2nd birth was ELCS due to the previous tear.

You have nothing to fear from being on a CLU, you are just closer to more help if needed.

Georgimama Tue 09-Aug-11 10:00:29

<whispers - my ELCS was lovely and 10 days later I feel fab - bleeding stopped, no painkillers needed. Do consider carefully before you rule one out, they don't offer them like sweeties>

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