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Staying in a private room of hospital after birth?

(47 Posts)
Ber2291 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:03:29

Am pregnant with my second and my dad has offered to pay for me to stay in a private room after I give birth.

My first labour took a very long time and was very exhausted but obviously very keen to get out of the hospital soon after (and they were very very keen to get me out). I was out of the hospital about two hours after the final push! I was very exhausted and ended up with PND etc etc.

A friend gave birth in Switzerland and stayed in a private room for a week after the birth (apparently this is standard there) and said she couldn't believe I was sent straight home. She send it was so incredible having help for a few days, being able to get some sleep and just generally be looked after.

So I'm wondering if this is something I maybe want to do. I have absolutely no idea at the moment because last time I was aching to get out of there. Probably because it was stiflingly hot, on a big impersonal ward with not very pleasant staff etc. Has anyone had an NHS birth and then had a night or two in a private room and could give me some advice?

I am very much of the opinion that it is important to recover from the birth (something I really regret not doing with my DS) but I just don't know how beneficial a stay like this would be. Is it how I am picturing it? I.e. nice nurses, clean sheets, chance to basically just sleep and breastfeed and worry about nothing else for a few days. Or is it really just being stuck for longer in hospital?

Any advice much appreciated!

readysteady Fri 07-Feb-14 14:09:33

I was put in a private room as my dd was poorly though I had her with me. It was nice to have privacy but care the same and no rest as cleaners in and out all the time. I would pay for the room for the sake of privacy but don't expect anything extra unless you are going totally private.

Meglet Fri 07-Feb-14 14:14:25

I had a private room after DD's planned section. Totally worth it IME. No extra treats, and I had to wander to the same toilets as everyone else. But having my own space for 3 days, not having to worry about looking presentable and not being disturbed by others was bliss. We just hunkered down in peace smile.

A million miles better than the hell that was the postnatal ward after DS's emergency section.

LemonDrizzleCake11 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:17:28

I have no experience/expertise in this area (unless you count having given birth in an NHS hospital once smile ) but from what you're saying maybe a doula-type figure is what you're looking for more than a hospital stay? I may be wrong but I can't imagine you getting the TLC you'd like in an NHS hospital environment, even with a private room - where I gave birth the only 'private room' option was to have a single side room rather than being on the ward, and then you were paying just to be alone rather than for more care, and you still had to leave once you were deemed fit (ie quickly!)

This link might help?

Good luck with it all x

Ber2291 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:18:21

Thanks for advice. Any idea of pricings? Did you pay a huge amount or was it a bit realistic?

Ber2291 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:21:35

I don't think Doula is what I'm really looking for. Don't mean that I need help caring for my baby because I don't know how to do it. Just already desperate for some rest. I think a maternity nurse is more like it!

WeevilKnievel Fri 07-Feb-14 14:23:09

I've done this twice now and would definitely recommend it! In the hospital I was in there were only 4 private rooms, which weren't all occupied and at least one member of staff on call to you.
After my last (c-section) birth I was in for a week and spent 4 of those nights in a private room. After being on the normal post natal ward, where everything is too much trouble ( I know they're understaffed but their attitude stank) it felt like being on holiday. Or at least like having your mum on hand to look after you.
It's much quieter so you can get some sleep,I had an en suite which was bliss!
They'll have the baby during the night so you can sleep, and have plenty of time to chat, advise, help with feeding etc.
The only downside is that you can't escape the hospital food!

Lj8893 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:26:03

I was in a private room for 3 nights as dd was in scbu for the 1st night and then under thier care but with me the other 2 nights.

Yes it was lovely having that privacy but I wouldn't have wanted to stay any longer than a night if I didn't have to stay.

I hated every moment of being in hospital and was so homesick.

MrsCakesPremonition Fri 07-Feb-14 14:26:38

I was in a private room after both my DCs' births.
Please bear in mind that in most NHS hospitals the private rooms are allocated by medical need. If another woman needs the room more than you, she will be allocated it even if you can pay and she can't.
The staff looking after you will be the same whether you are on the ward or in a room. In a room, you may find that you tend to be forgotten about. Private rooms will not necessarily be en-suite, it might be harder to leave your baby alone in an empty room while you nip for a wee (I worried that people would assume I had deserted my baby as there was nobody around to tell "just popping to the toilet, back in a minute".
You won't be allowed to stay for longer in a private room than on the ward.

AmethystMoon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:27:15

I had a private room for two nights after I had DD. Totally worth it, about £80/90 per night from memory.
Nothing fancy, but my own space was worth so much to me.
I could comfort DD during the night and not worry about disturbing others. If I wanted to I could put on the light and read, have a cup of tea ( they would bring me one when the nurses were having one if they could see I was up) during the night.
More room to spread out my bagfuls of 'essentials' grin
If you can spare the cash, treat yourself and your new baby.

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 07-Feb-14 14:29:14

Definitely money well spent.

AmethystMoon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:29:26

I would also add they were delighted when I asked about moving to a private room as it was a busy night in 'arrivals' and they had run out of beds on the maternity ward. So me offering to pay helped another lady get a bed!

GingerMaman Fri 07-Feb-14 14:29:40

I had to stay in hospital for 5 days after birth due to dd not taking to feeding. My greatest regret is that I didn't know about the private room on offer. Staying on the ward is horrendous due to it being impossible to sleep! At night, the babies keep crying and in the day time, people make too much noise! I would say yes definitely book a private room, but don't stay on the ward unless you really have to! Bear in mind that not all hospitals have private rooms always available. It is nice to have that extra help, especially help with breastfeeding, but that's if you manage to get sleep. All the best smile

WeevilKnievel Fri 07-Feb-14 14:31:06

It actually varies by hospital whether you can pay for a room or not. ( it's certainly not the case in our hospital that rooms are allocated by medical need)
It was roughly £200 per night for a room with an ensuite. And both times I've been in only 2 of the rooms were taken.

MrsCakesPremonition Fri 07-Feb-14 14:32:33

I put my request for a private room in my birth plan (not bookable in advance due to the priority being given to medical need). I was happy to pay (approx. £50 at the time) but was not charged for either stay.

May be I qualified on medical grounds?

WeevilKnievel Fri 07-Feb-14 14:44:24

Our private rooms were obviously slightly different as we could book in advance. But also I wasn't allowed there if I had a high medical need. So after my first birth where I'd had an epidural, I was only admitted to the private section once I was walking.
After my second birth where I had a c section, I was kept in a private room off the labour ward for 2 nights ( with complications) then 1 night on post natal, before going to the private room. Where as I recall, the staff are health care assistants as opposed to medical staff.

MrsOakenshield Fri 07-Feb-14 14:52:10

I was moved into a private room (NHS though) as DD was poorly and was there for 5 days. I'm glad I was off the antenatal ward as it was grim, and I'm glad I was there for the mws to help me with bfing which we (me and DD, who was tiny and very weak) really struggled with - I can imagine if we'd been discharged after a few hours that we would have been back there within a few days!

Chocotrekkie Fri 07-Feb-14 14:54:50

I had a private room after my section with dd2. It was hell.

I kept buzzing and no one came - I had to pick up day old baby by the baby growas I couldnt get up. I ran out of formula for her and couldn't walk to get any.

The dinner trolley "forgot" about me - I was in pain and lonely and couldn't move.

I just remember feeling totally alone and abandoned in the middle of the night in agony with no milk and a crying baby that I couldn't pick up safely.

In the ward with dd1 it was much better - I think I was lucky as the other women (and the dads) were all lovely and helpful. Yes it was noisy and the babies cried and woke up mine but it wasn't so scary.

Meglet Fri 07-Feb-14 15:04:58

Our hospital only seemed to remember to charge people 50% of the time. I wasn't charged, but some other people were.

McBaby Fri 07-Feb-14 15:24:45

Surely you can only stay in the hospital if they feel you need to be there, therefore it wouldn't be possible to just stay for a few days because you want to.

I would have also thought a post natal doula might be more appropriate. The one I have had since my DD was born 18 months ago will do what ever you need to help you so make you food, tea, watch the baby, let you sleep, look after your other child etc it's about supporting you not nessersarily showing you how to look after the baby.

MrsOakenshield Fri 07-Feb-14 15:31:53

well, your DP can do that, can't he?

If you're paying for a private room, I imagine you can stay there for as long as you pay for it.

And actually, I think (if post natal wards were rather more pleasant places to be!) that probably a lot of women would benefit from staying in longer, to help with getting bfing established, rather than being swept out asap and ending up being readmitted due to baby's weight dropping dramatically.

GingerMaman Fri 07-Feb-14 15:40:07

Chocotrekkie, I can understand your experience too. I think it depends on where the private room is located. My 1st night was in a private room at the MLU and that was completely away from the nurse station and completely private, and I felt scared and isolated. But the private rooms on the post natal ward were opposite the nursing station and had glass 'windows' in them were nurses could keep an eye on you from, and had blinds that you could use to cover it if you wanted to.

Poppy7 Fri 07-Feb-14 16:08:09

I had DS2 last week by ELCS at Watford and booked into the private ward on a room only basis - this was following staying there for a week after having DS1 by EMCS and having to stay in after he spiked a temperature on discharge day (thankfully H was working at Watford then and we got a staff discount, otherwise cost would gave been crippling).

Obviously depends on the hospital but I was really looked after - ensuite facilities, midwives and HCAs very responsive to buzzer, had breakfast/lunch/dinner menus to order from (100x better than food on general ante natal ward) and endless pots of tea bought in. H could have stayed overnight if we'd wished. Was wonderful having space to ourselves and peace and quiet.

Having said that, I was still desperate to go home but having my own room made staying in hospital more bearable.

MrsCDNinUK Fri 07-Feb-14 21:28:00

I had my first two in Canada and having a private room (with shared washroom) was standard. DH or partner was expected to stay with me and I was there for 3 nights post c-section (2 nights is standard), never needed to leave the room. We cocooned in there, bonding with our babies and I didn't have to worry if our (very few) guests I'm expecting no. 3 in a few weeks and apparently can only request a private room after my c-section. I just hope we can get one. I can't imagine staying on a ward since my other experience was so quiet and calming.

poorbuthappy Fri 07-Feb-14 21:34:16

I was in a private room after my emcs with my twins.
They were in SCBU so it was decided I would be better on my own rather than on the ward without my babies.

And I understand it, but felt so abandoned and alone. No one to talk to, no babies to look after. I obviously spent most of my time on the unit, but had times where I was turfed out and would wander round the hospital simply not knowing what to do with myself.
Although I knew my babies would be ok - just simple premmie stuff nothing more, I felt so lonely.

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