London St Mary's Hospital vs. University College Hospital (UCL)(16 Posts)
Gave birth in UCH birthing centre last winter, had all my antenatal appointments there. Fantastic.
To address other comments upthread with my own experience of it:
- Only a couple of a/n appointments ran late, mainly for consultant appointments I had for specific health issues, usually very prompt and blood tests are super fast.
- Antenatal class and appts. were all geared towards promoting a natural and also positive birthing experience, they heavily promote use of the birthing centre and the pools, g&a etc, rather than the labour ward and epidurals etc (I remember because initially I wanted the labour ward and got annoyed at lack of info! In the end they won me over ).
- Seem to really delay as long as possible any intervention (ventouse, forceps) and don't like episiotomies.
> There was a 2 hour 'window' for the pushing stage (to keep things safe, prevent complications) and my contractions slowed right from the start, DS just didn't seem to be making it past a certain point, they did everything they could to help me, got DH involved, suggested the birthing stool which I did, and just as we were approaching the 2 hour mark DS came rushing out (!). They were so fast, controlled everything, stretched the perineum during his delivery to help stop tearing. So no interventions. Had 2nd degree tear, stitched very well, no real pain (just a bit swollen) and healed well. Had other vaginal laceration that did hurt but was also stitched well and healed well.
- Wonderful MW care during labour and post-birth, the MWs throughout delivery were great, friendly, made me feel confident, sensible, caring... the lot! Also got a free post-birth room!
- Birthing centre facilities were great, I had so many options, only ended up using a few but it meant a lot to know I had them there (Swiss ball, pool, couch/futon thing, massive bean bag, candles, dim lights...).
I have recommended it to everyone I know, I have friends who went before me all of whom had great experiences (on the labour ward as well) and others now pg having great experiences with a/n care.
Lying in UCH now after water birth with gas and air. Positive birth - tongue tie feeding related hell. Would of course prefer to be at home but under circs the hospital has been fantastic. Great staff, great facilities. I got my own room post birth for free too
Hi Newmama, I am in a similar conundrum, just the other way round. I am at UCH, thinking about switching to St Mary's. First pregnancy too...
Did you find out one way or the other?
Thanks all for your thoughts and feedback! I might ask for a tour at both hospitals and see if that helps. First pregnancy.. slowly learning!
PS I was 5 mins from St MArys at the time too, but had been recommended UCH.
Depends if you want birth cert to say Westminster or Camden too (!)
I had DS1 at UCH (in the older hospital) and yes the a/n appts did run very late but they were brilliant with the labour part - was in MLU and couldn't have had better care.
"The only exception to this I would say is if you want to have your baby by Forceps or Ventouse in which case UCH is the hospital for you."
I had a prem at UCH and they were fabulous and in fact seem to relish the tough/complicated pregnancies. Amazing care; however I think I'd go for st Mary's if you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy. Even during our stay in neonatal at UCH the nurses would talk about how st Mary's was more mother-baby focused than UCH. They are one of the leading centres in the country for developmental (ie thoughtful!) care of the newborn.
I had my planned section at St Mary's. Haven't a bad word to say about the place.
There's nothing shameful about a 'medicalised' i.e. doctor-led birth if that's what the mother wants or needs.
St Mary's, without a shadow of doubt. Just a quick glance at the comparison statistics will show you why http://www.birthchoiceuk.com/
and have you seen their beautiful, beautiful birth centre? Everything there is geared toward women having the best chance of birthing as peacefully as possible. UCH's is shamefully medically and interventionally oriented by comparison.
The only exception to this I would say is if you want to have your baby by Forceps or Ventouse in which case UCH is the hospital for you.
Thanks all for your feedback! Much appreciated.
Great feedback all around on UCH.. I wonder if anyone here has had any experiences / feedback on St Mary's Hospital (Paddington).
Great advantage for me is that St. Mary's hospital is literally a five minute walk from where I live...
I've had two babies at UCH (one EMCS, one ELCS). It's an excellent hospital and you'd be in good hands. I could carp about antenatal appointments sometimes running very late, but that's minor. You're unlikely to see the same midwife twice. Didn't bother me too much.
I'm booked in for a homebirth with UCH in a few weeks. The antenatal has been excellent. All apts on time, test results back quickly, lovely mws (and check-ups in local children's centre, which is v convenient), very detailed scans, inc 32 wk scan as standard. Even the antenatal and breast feeding classes they ran, which I thought would be rubbish, were great! Can't think of a single negative so far...
I have a friend who gave birth 6 weeks early at UCH last week. She wasn't supposed to have the baby there but it was the nearest hospital and it was an emergency. She said they were great and she felt in very good hands. She's a medic herself as well!
Just wondering if you have any suggestions (or experiences) on the above hospitals for antenatal and child birth?
I am trying to choose between the two of them but am not too sure. Can't see much on the internet on reviews, maybe I am not looking at the right places?
Any help or suggestion(s) would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
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