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pls help me decide- Lindo wing or Liverpool womens for elective c

(18 Posts)
henrie Mon 21-Jan-13 18:39:21

I am in my late forties and after many years of trying am finally pregnant with my first child. After carefully considering my options I have decided to go for an elective c as statistically am more likely to end up with an emergency one anyway.
I am feeling nervous about it, and am tempted to opt for a private birth at the Lindo as would like my partner to be able to stay over with a private room and have decent reliable aftercare with support.
NHS Liverpool Womens just told me they will approve a c section for me with a consultant , but will be in a ward unless an amenity room happens to be available, and am just worried about how it will all be after reading stories about poor aftercare or noisy wards with no sleep and exhaustion.
My insurance will be unlikely to pay for private, so would be a big cost, but maybe it is worth it for more peace of mind although I know nothing is guaranteed wherever you go.
Was told that if i went into labour early and attended the Lpool Women's, I would be put on a list for the day for theatre so if it was very busy or understaffed I worry that I would get too far into labour and possibly end up with an emergency c anyway. Probably have a better chance of being taken straight in if private?
I was advised to travel and stay in London about a week to ten days before the planned date just in case, and then after discharge would go to stay with relatives which is less of a drive from London ( about 1.5 hrs )and we could get some help with baby there. Discharge is 2 days for NHS and more like 3-4 days at Lindo.
Just wondering if this is a foolish idea and if anyone else has travelled from further away to London for a private hospital? Am I overlooking some aspects that would make it more difficult - for example the 1.5 h drive with a newborn after a c? Has anyone had an elective c at Liverpool womens and can share their experience ? I can't decide what to do...
Thanks so much for any input !

emsyj Mon 21-Jan-13 21:51:05

If all you want is a private room post-op, are you not able to book in at Arrowe Park? It's entirely private rooms on post natal there. The food is shit, tho. I'm on the Wirral and I can book into the Liverpool Women's if I choose, several of my friends have had their babies there (and report good care received) so imagine you could book in at Arrowe if it's a private room you want. I don't know what their policy is if you're booked for an elective section and you go into labour as I've only ever had an emcs.

I would be nervous of having a baby in a private hospital unless I was confident that they had every facility and specialist on hand - Liverpool Women's is a highly specialist place with experts in their field available if you need them. I have no idea what the Lindo wing is like at all, I am not familiar with it, but be aware that many private hospitals do not have equivalent facilities to NHS ones. A close friend of mine lost her DMum due to a routine operation at a private hospital where they had no crash team - apparently all they do if something goes wrong during surgery is call an ambulance, which comes from the local NHS hospital... I don't know how common this situation is, but I would research it in detail before going private. Look into all of this before you decide.

I would have felt fine sitting in a car for 1.5 hours (with someone else driving) a few days after my c-section, but would have been less keen on the idea of staying with friends or relatives tbh - I just wanted to be home, in my own bed. I'm expecting DC2 now and honestly you couldn't pay me enough to either stay in hospital a moment longer than necessary or go from hospital to being a house guest. I am having my own bed at the earliest possible opportunity!

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 21-Jan-13 22:05:49

Can you definitely not book a private room at LWH? So many slebs give birth there they must have them.

WannaSplitAPineapple Mon 21-Jan-13 22:12:36

I had an emcs at the women's and the care was brilliant. I was in a ward after but bar 1 midwife they couldn't do enough. I was discharged after 3 days and that was at my insistence as I just wanted to be home. I personally couldn't have stood a 1.5 hour car journey home as my insides were in agony when driving home but DH did insist on going along the dock road which ain't exactly smooth!

Welovecouscous Mon 21-Jan-13 22:21:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

emsyj Mon 21-Jan-13 22:31:34

"The Lindo wing is part of st Mary's NHS hospital "

That's reassuring, the hospital I referred to in my post above is a wholly private site so a very different proposition.

I wouldn't fancy travelling that distance for birth though, is there not something equivalent closer to home? Possibly not, I've never looked into it, but that is a long long way to travel - and the comfort level of the return journey may well be dictated by how happy the baby is to be in a car or on a train for a long period. My DD was a very easy going baby in the day (she didn't sleep at night tho) and would have been fine, but some babies need to be constantly held/fed etc and that might make the return journey quite hard work.

QTPie Tue 22-Jan-13 02:36:49


I live in Bath, but went private in London. After panicking about quality of care (prenatal, during birth and postnatal!) in my local hospital.

My inlaws have a house in central London. We stayed there sometimes the night before antenatal appointments. Then moved up to London two weeks before my ELCS (breech).

Was in hospital for 5 days, then spent 2 days with the inlaws at their house in London, then husband drove us the two hours home - no problems (left straight after a feed, DS slept all the way home).

Trying to conceive number two now and would do the same again: it is worth the hassle to me - "a very good start" can mean everything .

Personally, if I was you, I would try to get home after only one night "mid-way - I don't see a lot of advantage to being stuck midway (and you will need midwife checks post birth). Also I was hugely unimpressed with the postnatal NHS care (possibly after such good private care). I would look at local private midwife postnatal care for when you get home (money allowing): just didn't feel reassured by the NHS care.


emsyj Tue 22-Jan-13 09:23:01

Another tip for you OP, if you are in the Merseyside area (which I'm assuming, possibly totally wrongly, that you are if you're looking at Liverpool Women's) is the One2One Midwifery service that is being piloted on the Wirral. I have seen the same midwife throughout my pregnancy and she will come to me at home when I go into labour, visit me after the birth for postnatal checks etc. It's free, it's NHS funded, just a different way of working. If you google One 2 One Midwives Wirral you can find the website and self-refer if it's something you're interested in.

henrie Tue 22-Jan-13 14:25:45

Thanks so much for all the great input everyone! I had thought about the possibility of Arrowe park too but apparently from what I hear at all the local hospitals you go on a ward after a c section unless there happens to be a private room on that floor available on the day and no advance booking.
I could be lucky and get a room and great aftercare but its the not knowing and the possibility of a really stressful time that worries me. As you say QTpie a good start would make all the difference.
Thought the staying with DHs parents afterwards could be an idea as I guess won't be able to cook and clean and Im afraid DH is not very skilled in that department at all, and a few extra hands to watch the baby while i have some naps to recover sounded good...but its true I might find it stressful and prefer to be back at home in my own bed. Need to think carefully about that one.
WannaSplitAPineapple did you manage to get any sleep on the ward with all the visitors and babies? Did they help you with picking up the baby or were you able to do it yourself easily? And how were the bathrooms? We would have to do the dock road too on way back so I ll keep that in mind haha!
emsyj thats great info on the midwives - will definitely check it out.
Really appreciate all your responses in helping me decide- it took me so many years and a lot of struggle to get this far and would like to try and make it as nice a start as possible!

lovelychops Tue 22-Jan-13 17:36:11

I'm under the consultant MW at LWH and he told me that Liverpool Women's are introducing a scheme where you can pay for a private room. I think starting next month. No idea about prices, but someone may be able to help with more information? Good luck

henrie Tue 22-Jan-13 19:50:23

lovelychops I saw the consultant MW there too ( really great guy actually- wish everyone was like him !) and he told me the same, but when I went for the hospital tour they told me you can't book in advance . It it is 100 pounds a night plus extra 30 for DH's bed and breakfast. Sounds great but just wish you could book it and be sure rather than this as available scheme.
Ladies who go through normal labour automatically get a private room apparently.

RugBugs Tue 22-Jan-13 20:02:12

I had my booking in at LWH earlier this month and have a leaflet that says people on the low-risk ward can book rooms where partner can stay with them for £25 a night.
I gave birth there Nov 2010 and emcs ladies were in 2 nights post op.
There were 6 beds in the ward and visiting times are quite limited. I got a great nights sleep the first night, staff were rushed off their feet and there was a day long queue to be discharged.

MerylStrop Tue 22-Jan-13 20:13:37

I've had 3 children at LWH (1 EmCS, 1 ELCS, 1 VBA2C).

It's a busy hospital but I think they are very good at being sympathetic to women's birth choices, and I think the scenario of being too far along in labour is unlikely unless you have a very fast labour. It would be worth clarifying but with my ElC/S I was told I would go to the top of the list.

In terms of after care, I don't think that you can book a private room, and you will likely be on the ward, at least at first. Which is not so bad, to be honest. I preferred it the second time. They are quite strict about visitors in terms of number and noise, but were happy for me to have one person - my mum of DH with me all day. You are pretty much left to get on with it. TBH the recovery post section is never going to be a barrel of laughs, wherever you do it. I am not sure the pleasantness of a private room etc that going private would offset the considerable cost and inconvenience of travelling and being so far from home for so long.

The consultant MW there is brilliant. He made my VBA2C possible.

Rolf Tue 22-Jan-13 20:27:55

I had DC3 at LWH in 2005. I gave birth on the consultant-led unit, then post-natally went to the MLU so I could be in an en-suite room, but I wasn't very well so was transferred to the consultant led post-natal ward (where the caesarian patients go). I must say that although my care was excellent, I absolutely hated being on the ward. I found it really noisy and hated the lack of privacy. They needed me to be on the ward so they could keep an eye on me. I'd had a PPH and the midwife had come into the lovely single room to find a puddle of blood and me tottering around the bathroom. So it was all for very sensible medical reasons that I needed to be on the open ward.

After a day on the open ward I was transferred to a single room but it wasn't en-suite. The bathrooms weren't that nice (or clean). I hate to post this, as I think v highly of LWH and have generally had really good care from them.

If I was going again, I'd want to look round and find out what's on offer for single en-suite rooms. With all 4 of my children having a single room has been uppermost in my mind, even in the throws of labour (princessy I know, but I know how you feel!). It may be the case that immediately after a c-section, it's medically necessary to be on the open ward at first as probably there aren't the staff to keep such a close eye on you in a single room? I'd imagine that in a private hospital you'd have 1:1 care immediately post-natally? I've never had a c-section but these are the sort of things I'd be asking.

If you live near LWH, for what it's worth I'd have found it very stressful to know that I had to get to London for appointments and for the delivery. I'd be worrying about going into premature labour, feeling ready to leave hospital but nervous about being home....

Good luck, and congratulations on your pregnancy.

Lostonthemoors Tue 22-Jan-13 21:03:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

emsyj Wed 23-Jan-13 19:21:55

You only go on a 'ward' at Arrowe after a section for post-op recovery - literally until you are conscious (I had GA) and have recovered from any anaesthetic so that you are able to get out of bed to be wheeled to a room. It's not really a ward, it's a post-op area with 6 beds - it was not described as a ward on my tour of the unit when I was expecting DD. I was the only person in there when I came round after my section and I was moved within 2 hours of coming round. I imagine it would be fast transfer if you have an epidural or spinal, but you would need to ask as obviously I didn't have either of those so my situation was different.

There is no post-natal ward at all at Arrowe Park, all post-natal mums are in private rooms, the only 'ward' area is the post-op 6 beds I described that are solely for post operative observation in the few hours after surgery - then you would be transferred to a room. If you go for a look around (call and ask when the next tour is, you don't need to book, just turn up) they will show you the area I'm talking about, it was described to me as the 'post-op recovery', it's not a ward and you wouldn't be expected to stay there for more than a couple of hours. There was nobody in it when I looked around and I was the only person there after my section - it's not stuffed to the gills with screaming babies (or mums)! grin

As I said in my earlier post though, the food is dreadful (other than breakfast, which is ok).

WannaSplitAPineapple Wed 23-Jan-13 22:29:00

henrie I found the ward to be ok. Most of the time I had my curtain pulled around and you do hear people talking but it didn't disturb me. I found i wasn't sleeping properly anyway because I was too busy checking on my DS. I'm a bit fussy about using public loos so I was dreading using the bathroom but it was really clean. If there is a student on ask them for help, they have more time than the midwives. I couldn't get out of bed until the 2nd day and my bell was answered pretty much straight away when I buzzed it. During the day DH was there so he was able to help me.
Also bear in mind for the journey home my legs were unbelievably swollen so it was very uncomfortable having to bend them in the car. Don't know if this is a common post CS issue or if it was just me!

henrie Thu 24-Jan-13 00:47:28

Thanks so much for all the comments. I think I will check out Arrowe Park again and go on the tour I think. I also have a consultant who will accept me at Lindo and would book for care from 36 weeks so cost is a few thousand less , and then have the hospital costs for Lindo. Im still so torn as to what to do but need to decide soon. You are all so helpful, thanks so much!

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