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SCOTTISH MUMS: Current advise/info about giving birth at Ninewells vs. Forth Park in Kirkcaldy?

(19 Posts)
Momface Tue 30-Aug-11 23:00:04

Hi all, I just found out on Sunday that I am pregnant (!!!) and had it confirmed at the doctor's office today. WOW! smile

I live right in between Dundee and Kirkcaldy and will, apparently, be able to choose which I go to to give birth. I should say that I am an American, so I am not used to how all this works here in the UK. (Well, I get it that the physical act of giving birth will be the same---it's the details that are messing with me at the moment ;)

I was quite shocked that my appointment lasted all of 10 minutes today, and in that time the doctor seemed to have made the decision that Ninewells was the way to go---but she didn't really give me a sense of why she thought that other than to say, "...well, it's very factory-like, but you''ll have all the equipment there you might need". Well, I guess that's one way of looking at it.

I've looked up the stats (, and it looks like there are more interventions going on at Ninewells than Forth Park. This leads me to believe that because they are bigger (and presumably busier) there is a desire to get women in and out of there as quickly as possible (but, of course, I don't know that to be true from experience). This is exactly what I would like to avoid. I am really, really (really, really) hoping to do this naturally.

I should also say that I am a bit nervous that at 38, I will not even be able to be in a midwife-led unit. (There is a post from 2009 on this site that says the cut-off at Ninewells is 35, but I can't find any info about a cut-off age in Kirkcaldy).

Does anyone out there have any recent experience with either hospital? I feel really overwhelmed because this is my first real encounter with the NHS, and I just want to be sure that I can make an educated decision. Thanks so much for any feedback/advice you might have!

UsingMainlySpoons Tue 30-Aug-11 23:05:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheWicketKeeperIsDown Tue 30-Aug-11 23:05:15

I think it's important that you don't overinterpret reasons for higher intervention rates in larger units. Obstetricians do not perform sections and forceps to get people out. The biggest centres are where most of the most complex cases are looked after, and therefore it's inevitable that intervention rates are higher there.

OverthehillsandfarawayNL Tue 30-Aug-11 23:07:28

The only thing I know about the area is that the midwife unit at Perth is v good. I don't suppose that's an option is it?

Momface Tue 30-Aug-11 23:30:56

Thanks so much for the feedback!

That's a really good point, TheWicketKeeperIsDown. I am sure that you are right that the complex cases needing to go there could really skew the numbers. I think I am so overwhelmed at the moment with all of this, I am not thinking very clearly. And who knows, I could be a complex case...

OverthehillsandfarawayNL: I also read good things about Perth but I am in the East Neuk, so it would be a bit far for me.

UsingMainlySpoons: I think that they just officially phased homebirth out as an option for women in Fife last month. Seems like a crazy decision, but there you go. They claim that too few women wanted a homebirth, but I think you are exactly right that they were just not forthcoming about it being a possibility---so of course there weren't many women signing up! In fact, a friend of mine tried on several occasions last year to get info on how to have her baby at home in Fife, and I don't think she ever got a straight answer. Personally, I am not sure how comfy I would be with it (first baby, 35-40 minute drive to the hospital if something did go wrong, etc), but it seems like it should be an option for people! And I would imagine that homebirths are far cheaper for the NHS.

Then again, I am American, so what the hell do I know about a health care system that makes sense! ;)

FannyFifer Tue 30-Aug-11 23:39:22

I had my dd in Forth Park, had a few pregnancy complications and every single person who dealt with me was great.
All my friends and family have used forth park as well and have all been pleased with the care.
There is a new maternity hospital been built at the Victoria Hospital so you would maybe go there, not sure when it opens.

FannyFifer Tue 30-Aug-11 23:40:19

Ultimately though, which can you get to quicker in an in labour dash?

UsingMainlySpoons Tue 30-Aug-11 23:40:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OverthehillsandfarawayNL Wed 31-Aug-11 08:15:10

You couldn't have an epidral at Perth, had to be Ninewells for that. Would that be the same for Forth Park? And if so is an epidural something you want to have the option of?

ginmakesitallok Wed 31-Aug-11 08:26:55

What about the midwife led unit at NWs? I had DD2 there 2 years ago and it was fabulous

I think the stats are flawed as Ninewells takes all emergencys from Perth MLU but Forth Park's obstretics and MLU are counted together AFAIK.

I have two friends who have transferred to Ninewells for c-sections and they complained it was full of teenage mums and their rather large and noisy families, however they got to transfer back to Perth MLU the next day for a couple of days before discharge (they had to do this in their own car though not by ambulance).

By the time you give birth will the brand new unit be open at Forth Park.

Oh and congratulations grin

TheWicketKeeperIsDown Wed 31-Aug-11 16:40:41

When are you due? The relocation of Forth Park to the new wing at the Vic will be happening some time between late December and late January.

KatieScarlett2833 Wed 31-Aug-11 16:46:05

My cousin is a nurse at Forth Park.

She chose to have her children in Falkirk. Was many moons ago but if she wasn't going there then neither was I (Am Fifer, was closest hospital). My 2 were born in the Simpsons in Edinburgh.

CrystalQueen Wed 31-Aug-11 17:08:21

My DD was born at Ninewells. It was three years ago (how did that happen?) so things might have changed, but it was fine. I had planned a homebirth but had to transfer and ended up with a forceps delivery. I certainly never felt forced into any interventions or anything, or forced out because it was busy. In fact I had a whole bay to myself in the post natal ward, where they put me up for a few nights when I was having trouble bf (a whole other story). Presumably you could end up next to a noisy family anywhere, not just in Dundee. There are teenage mothers in Perth too I'm sure.

I know a couple of other people have mentioned this, but the stats for Ninewells are skewed because people transfer there from lots of places, not just Perth MLU but also Arbroath MLU, and probably other places too (I'm sure there was someone from Dunfermline when I was in).

Remember that it is your birth, and that while it is important to consider medical advice you shouldn't be railroaded into anything. Assuming you have generally good health and no complications you should be able to give birth wherever you want.

Poppet45 Wed 31-Aug-11 19:22:58

Can I offer a huge vote for Forth Park? I was planning to go to there for a very progressive vaginal birth after an emergency c-section with my DS and they really listened to what I wanted and agreed to bend the standard rigid VBAC protocols so I could labour in an MLU, use a birth pool, not have continous monitoring, and all sorts of other very woman centric care. I was so impressed, and apparently they've won awards for this highly unusual attitude.
In the end my DD turned up very very early, she was due in November but I went into spontaneous labour 10 days ago, and obviously I had the most medicalised delivery possible. I was in the obstetric wing and then finally had a section after she turned breech and her heartrate started falling. The staff were amazing, I had my first child in Edinburgh (The Simpson) and had an utterly traumatic time with me ending up in HDU, this birth should have been much more traumatic as DD is just 27 weeks and tiny but because of the dedicated care and support I've received from day one I'm actually feeling wobbly but okay. I was so supported during the labour that I did it right up to the section (so 10cms and pushing) without any drugs - because it hurt so little I couldn't believe I was that far along. My DD is in their neonatal nursery now, and again the care is just outstanding, we can ring anytime night or day, they've given us nappies and little items of clothing and pictures for keepsakes, and I'm getting so much support to get breast feeding/pumping going. They really are superb. Oh and they take in babies from Ninewells if they are in difficulties.

HeidiKat Wed 31-Aug-11 22:09:44

I had DD in Forth Park almost 9 months ago now and I wouldn't hesitate to go back there. The MLU was fine, they let me stay in even when not really in established labour as they could see how nervous I was. I was in the observation ward after the birth and the midwives there were so lovely, couldn't fault them for their levels of care.

laracroft2001 Wed 31-Aug-11 22:40:42

i was born in Forth Park, as were my brother, and all of my cousins. My aunt is also a midwife there, and my cousin an ward nurse so I reckon you will be just fine there!!!

HotSummerNights Thu 01-Sep-11 00:46:08

Hi I had my DS at Forth Park Obstetrics unit and they were excellent.

I had a difficult pregnancy and IUGD so was induced early. The staff were excellent and I had three midwives with me at all times.

SIL however had DN at Ninewells and she only had two ante natal appointments during her whole pregnancy, then when she went into labour was found to be severley anemic and left on her own for long periods.

This was seven years ago so hopefully things have changed.

On my personal experience it would be Forth Park, but only you can make the decision on what is best for you.

Momface Thu 01-Sep-11 07:44:10

I want to thank all of you so much for all of the really helpful info! Ultimately, I suppose I will have to just visit both of them and see which seems like a better fit. Mostly, you've all made me feel much calmer about all of it. Thanks again!

And Poppet45, WOW! So glad to hear that your girl is doing well, and that your experience was good. I hope that she continues to get bigger and stronger every day! smile

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