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Any recent birth experiences at King's College Hospital, south London?

(11 Posts)
MissMitten Sat 17-Sep-11 14:01:56


I'm due at the end of November and am planning to give birth at King's. The antenatal care has been great so far. However, I just came across an article from the Daily Mail from last year recounting horror stories of women giving birth in the waiting room on a regular basis at King's. OK, so it's a story in a newspaper and probably needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, but does anyone have any recent experiences? We're going on a labour ward tour next week to get some idea, but of course it depends how busy it is at the time.


metalelephant Sat 17-Sep-11 16:47:46

I've heard there were problems when the catchment area for the hospital was quite big. Apparently, it's not as wide now, so less women actually give birth at King's and there are no such issues anymore.

BackwardsInHighHeels Sat 17-Sep-11 23:52:25

I'm due to give birth there any day now and had read the same thing. But my worries were massively reduced when I did the tour of the labour ward. The midwife doing the tour told us that it's a rarity for women not to have a private space to labour in, and any public deliveries are true emergencies where birth is imminent and mum can't be moved.

She also said that the labour ward is currently overstaffed ( a good thing, IMHO). Though obviously it depends how many women are labouring at the time. Though I think November is less "high season" than September, so hopefully you'll be fine.

Two of my antenatal group gave birth there recently and had nothing but praise for the care and facilities.

Lastly, don't know if you've been up there, but the waiting area is pretty small. I honestly can't see them doing a delivery there.

If you want some more recent stories, try searching the East Dulwich Forum, family room discussion section. Lots of local mums post there.

MissMitten Sun 18-Sep-11 10:04:52

Fabulous, thank you! That's very reassuring and helpful. I hope it goes really well for you - very exciting.

Mogama Sun 18-Sep-11 20:50:02

Hi there. I gave birth at Kings 13 days ago and was really impressed by them. I had a failed induction at 40+1 (as I had symptoms of pre-eclampsia) followed by a Caesarian and, whilst it was nothing like the birth I had imagined or hoped for, I felt that the doctors and midwives acted in my and my baby's interests at all times, both in the lead up to the birth and afterwards.

I was in hospital for 48 hours before the section and 3 nights after and my husband was allowed to stay with me at all times. I sent him home whilst on the pre-natal ward, but having him to stay afterwards was unbelievably good - I'm sure I would have coped if he hadn't been there, but it made a world of difference that he was. The breast feeding support was also excellent - our son was only 6lb1, swallowed a lot of fluid on his way out and didn't feed much for the first 48 hours and we were given a lot of encouragement.

The experience wasn't perfect and there were a few niggles along the way, but all told, I was really impressed by Kings and wanted to sing their praises as I was also a bit worried by some of the bad press I had read before going in and think that they deserve much more than that. I wouldn't hesitate to have any subsequent babies there.

MrsHoolie Sun 18-Sep-11 21:05:33

I had my first baby at lewisham which was pretty horrendous.
I chose King's for my second and it was like paradise in comparison.
I had an emcs and DS was in special care for a week. They were fantastic and I stayed on the postnatal ward for the whole time too.
They have two breast feeding specialists there and they gave me loads of help. They showed me how to hand express colostrum and then on day 3 supplied me with my own pump/sterilising stuff....none of which I had to ask for!
Good luck with it all.

minxofmancunia Sun 18-Sep-11 21:31:07

Hi, I can't give you recent birth stories but I was born there in 1974 grin.

My mum had to go there because she'd had probs and it was the only hosp in the south east at the time with specialist facilities, there was a problem with my heart during labour and they had to do various interventions to make sure I was ok...out of what was available in 1974, they couldn't pick it up prior to labour,no scans then smile.

I was born after a touch and go 8 hour labour...following 8 years of fertility treatment (at Kings College). My parents were the happiest couple in the world, and have been eternally grateful grin

I hope that story cheers you....all big inner city hospitals have scary reputations...I gave birth to both of mine in St marys in central manchester, but the staff also have the experience, the specialist knowledge and the extra of luck!

BeeBread Wed 21-Sep-11 11:59:02

I had my DS there in November 2009.

I happened to go in on a quiet day. There was meconium in my waters when they broke I was allocated to the consultant's team and given my own room with ensuite. The care was fabulous - midwives gentle, caring, attentive etc, consultant buzzing round every couple of hours. Everything was clean and tidy.

I took comfort from the fact that King's is well set up in case the baby does have problems. DS had a few difficulties breathing initially and there was a crash team there in seconds who had him up and running very quickly.

However my friend had her DD the day before when the ward was absolutely run off its feet and she had a completely different experience. Not that the staff weren't nice, but she could barely get there attention, had to wait hours for an epidural which then failed, and had to wait further hours after that for it to be fixed etc.

So luck of the draw, really.

gluttom Wed 21-Sep-11 14:53:39

I have had 2 Dc there in 2007 and 2009 - am expecting dc3 anyday now and am at kings - the care was adequate the last 2 time - a very surly midwife the second time but I feel it is a good and safe place to be.

MissMitten Sat 24-Sep-11 13:34:33

Thanks all for sharing your experiences! I'm feeling a lot happier about it now. Didn't do the labour ward tour last week as planned, but going in on Monday to have a look.

Stangirl Mon 26-Sep-11 21:04:55

Had 2 DC there - last in July this year. Both by ELCS. Excellent CS team - saved my life this time as I haemorrhaged badly with placenta accreta and spent a night in High Dependency Unit. Excellent breastfeeding support as others mentioned but I personally found post-natal (after the HDU) support rubbish. I couldn't get out of there fast enough and said I was going to discharge myself the next morning - which they then did anyway. They weren't life-threateningly awful but they were rude, slow and incompetent to both me and the other women on the ward.

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