lewisham birth centre criteria(19 Posts)
Does anyone know what criteria the Lewisham birth centre uses? I've just been booked in for a 'risk assessment' on saturday and I'm feeling anxious.
Last pregnancy I had diet-controlled gestational diabetes and they wouldn't let me use the birth centre. This time it hasn't returned but I'm worried they're going to pull some kind of 'well you had it last time' stuff. Plus placenta was low at 34 weeks but moved up by 36.
Argh, trying not to stress about it but last time it felt like the birth centre was this carrot being dangled in front of me that I never got to have.
I will be 38+2 on the risk assessment day so I'm also starting to feel anxious about the wait. What if baby is early? 37 weeks is still full term isn't it?
I know the labour ward would be fine but I really wanted a water birth and they seem to only have one pool on the ward (but one in each room at the birth centre).
I know that your age and weight are factors. Don't know about historical gd, I'm afraid. Any major interventions for first birth?
I'm 36, normal BMI. They used forceps and episiotomy first birth. Surely that wouldn't be an issue....
Did you have yours at the birth centre?
Annoyingly the midwife just told me to wait until they call but I caved and called them and got an appointment that way. Feel like I am going to have to be pushy to get in.
It might be worth saying you want a home birth and then thye may offer you the birth centre as a halfway house, kind of bargaining. I know that has worked for others.
But hopefully you won't need to.
I had ds2 there (after ds1 on the labour ward) and all I remember them asking was about first labour, did I understand I couldn't have any drugs other than gas & air (that's all I'd had for ds1 so not a prob for me) and they weighed me and examined me (I think - can't remember!) and that was about it.
I did have v straightforward birth with ds1 though and even more so with ds2.
However if your mw has referred you there for a risk assessment you must have met the basic criteria as I remember when I asked early on with ds2 about it my mw said she would only refer me if I met the criteria so fingers crossed it works for you - it is a much nicer environment and the mws are much calmer/more flexible in meeting what you want (though I couldn't have a water birth as ds2 was too quick).
I agree that if there were any key issues you wouldn't have been referred for the assessment so you can be optimistic
In terms of timing don't worry at all. I was unable to have my assessment as they had stopped conducting them due to norovirus and they simply reviewed my notes and checked urine and bp when I arrived in labour (which I guess they do anyway?).
I had a wonderful birth there, I hope it works out for you.
No, I was at King's but I have had several friends give birth at Lewisham, all but one of whom started in mlu and transferred to labour ward. I'm sure a previous instrumental delivery won't be a problem - was thinking more along the lines that you probably can't have a vbac at the mlu, for example.
It's worth pushing for it. AFAIK one friend described the assessment as a tick-box exercise so as long as this pregnancy has been straightforward I'm sure you'll be considered sufficiently low-risk. Good luck.
As others have said, the referral & appointment must mean you meet criteria. Birth centre is only possible after 37 weeks. I went for assessment in 2011 while pregnant with ds & it was really just a tour plus chance for q&a. I didn't get to use birth centre as ds was stillborn but that didn't stop me meeting criteria to use birth centre if I had wanted for dd last year.
My experience suggests you'll be fine although I'm not at Lewisham.
I had gestational hypertension in my last pregnancy which required BP medication so not dissimilar in terms of risk to the diet controlled diabetes. Previous instrumental delivery also.
I've been approved for local birth centre provided I understand I would have to transfer if my GH comes back which is far more likely than your diabetes coming back at this point.
Starch1e I'm so sorry for your loss.
Starch1e I didn't read your response before posting.
I am so sorry for what you must have been through.
Thank you. Despite it being the end of her shift, one of the birth centre midwives came with us to the labour ward and stayed with us till ds was born approx 2 hours later, which I think shows how good the midwives are there.
The labour ward staff at Lewisham were good for both ds & dd; ante-natal and post-natal wards are another story - which I won't go into unless OP wants to know!
They mentioned to me that your iron level needed to be over 10 the other day. If you are accepted then do be prepared for being transferred if you get meconium in your waters (like me with dd) or other things that aren't as straightforward. Good luck!
Starch I am so sorry for your loss. Your post has really touched me. I totally agree with you - Lewisham birth centre midwives are wonderful. I was due to give birth there but unfortunately couldn't as my hind waters broke couple of days before there was any sign of labour. I ended up having the induction gel on the antenatal ward but until then the Birth Centre midwives were fantastic.
OP they are a positive lot over at the Birth Centre and I got a feeling that they genuinely want to offer their services to as many women as possible. I don't think they will be nit picking and looking for ways to pass you on to the labour ward, quite the opposite I think. I had the risk assessment in December at 37 weeks and found it reassuring and very helpful. Those pools look amazing
and I really hope I get to use one next time
Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and here's hoping you get to give birth at the LBC.
Thank you for all your responses and experiences, that's reassuring. I had DD in Lewisham labour ward and couldn't fault it. I found the post natal ward okay if a bit understaffed at night.DD hadn't latched on and I was stressed and emotional.
Starch1e also sorry about your loss, I'm impressed with how open you are about it. I always think it helps to share experiences, good and bad.
My iron levels were normal but on the border last midwife visit so I've been taking floradix.
I suppose ultimately I just don't want to end up with another instrumental delivery as it felt out of my control and unnecessary but we'll see. Most important thing is baby being okay obviously.
Just an update. We went in on saturday and they did a checklist. My concerns weren't an issue at all. Much relief, thanks for all the feedback.
Yay OP I'm so pleased for you! They are great. If everything goes smoothly you may even avoid the postnatal ward this time (which I had a very bad time in too)
starch just read back, I'm so sorry for your loss.
Funny though, I just met up with a friend who had her newborn two weeks ago. She was planning to have it at the birth centre and got turned away because they were full!
They assured us in the induction that they always have space but I'm not sure now. Ah well, no sense worrying about it now.
Her labour was really quick so that's a relief.
It does happen but it is rare. You'd have to be quite unlucky
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