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UCLH or Warwick(5 Posts)
I'd really welcome any opinions on this. We normally live in London, and I'm registered at UCLH for maternity services, but my OH is a freelancer and I've just found he will be based in Warwickshire in the month we're due. There is a possibility of renting a house there and giving birth at Warwick, but when he raised this as a possibility my immediate reaction was negative - I don't know the hospital or even the area at all, whereas I'm confident with UCLH, it is familiar, my friends and family are nearby, I'd be in my own home etc. etc. Anyway, there are obviously big advantages to being with my OH, and I'd hate for him to miss anything (he's incredibly supportive but doesn't get paternity leave), so I just wanted to hear whether anyone has any experiences of Warwick, good or bad, or any other advice that might help me to make the right decision for us.
I had all 3 of my babies at Warwick. It is a nice, little unit and my experiences have generally been very good (3 sections - 1 emergency, 2 elective). It is small though and can get very busy, especially as another local unit has recently closed and become a MLU (Solihull, if you're interested in a MLU). I live in Warwick and it is a lovely area, although it will seem very sleepy if you're used to London! My hubby often commutes to London and it is only an hour and 20 mins on the train or around 90 mins driving, so not so very far for family to visit.
Warwick is a consultant led unit - average 2600 births a year. Facilities include birthing pool and midwife led care (not separate unit) if you require it. Good community mw teams which support Homebirth if you want that. Has full consultant obs, anaesthetics and paeds team , SCBU onsite . Like all units can get busy (esp Sept!) but is not as busy as larger regional units ie Coventry UHCW. PM if you want more details
What sort of birth are you envisaging? i know nothing about Warwick but I had my youngest child at UCLH. I would say the following about it:
- The antenatal clinics are packed and almost always running late, which can be annoying, and because they are so busy, you can feel a bit rushed and shoved in and out very quickly.
- If you have a high risk pregnancy of any sort, you are having a c-section or your baby is likely to need special care, there is honestly nowhere in the world (including private care) that i would choose over UCLH. It is fabulous in that respect.
- If you want a 'natural' birth - low intervention, birthing centre etc - I would investigate Warwick and see how they stand up to UCLH, as imo, UCLH isn't the best hospital for this type of birth.
- Postanatally, UCLH is big, its busy and the care can be hit and miss (although post section, I find them wonderful...but I have heard other stories). Again, can you ask around and see what others make of Warwick in this respect?
I agree with Merry re antenatal care (can't speak about postnatal as I'm not delivering there) and would add that a few weeks ago I waited 2 1/4 hours to see my consultant only to find he'd forgotten about me and finished his clinic without seeing me! I was rescued by his registrar who found my name on his clinic sheet, realised I hadn't been seen and sought me out. But I have found the FMU amazing - I am always seen on time, and they are incredibly reassuring and competent there.
Can you have a tour of Warwick and see if it fits with the type of birth you're envisaging and vice versa with UCH?
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