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How far is too far to travel for a good maternity unit??

(15 Posts)
Bee513 Thu 22-Oct-15 16:13:56

smile hello smile
Just wondering how far is too far from your hospital of choice to give birth? Ours is 40 mins away - could be more with traffic, BUT it's got a great reputation and we had a horrible time last time (this is our second) at a nearer hospital.
are we crazy to go with one so far away??
Would LOVE your thoughts as we just don't know...
Thanks xx

MythologicalPersonage Thu 22-Oct-15 16:41:17

40 minutes sounds reasonable to me as long as you have a back up plan too. It might get frustrating if the hospital sends you back home. However, the peace of mind in going to a better hospital might be worth it.

RedToothBrush Thu 22-Oct-15 17:00:53

I had an ELCS planned from the start (first child). That does make it slightly easier and slightly different, but had I gone into labour early, it could have been a bit of a drama. My hospital was roughly that far away - again longer in rush hour.

I choose my hospital, as I just wasn't happy with ones closer. I thought the risk was worth it, as the alternative was not something I was comfortable with and I thought could end up be damaging for my mental health in the long run.

The biggest problem I had was not the ball ache of travel, but the fact that my local community midwives were not used to dealing with my hospital. They had different policies and systems and a few communications such as appointments and test results didn't get passed on properly. We had to be on the ball and double check things were done correctly rather than sitting back and patiently waiting assuming things would get done.

So I don't necessarily think its a stupid idea. I think it comes down to the likelihood of an emergency or a fast labour and how you feel about a longer journey in labour. In the event of an emergency you can go to a closer hospital even if you are not booked in there anyway too.

Bee513 Thu 22-Oct-15 17:01:28

Thanks smile That's exactly what my husband thinks... I was just afraid of getting stuck in traffic, I think. We were induced last time, so we may well be strolling in like last time!

Bee513 Thu 22-Oct-15 17:08:04

Really helpful, RedTushBrush! Thanks, will be double checking if we do end up doing the 40mins. I'm leaning towards that, now I think. Like you say if there's an emergency, I'll have to go to my nearest anyway. But if not, then I can relax a little smile thanks for the thoughts x

Twinwife Thu 22-Oct-15 18:24:48

I live in a large county and am
Right in the middle of the two hospitals, each about 40 mins away. I made it last time with a quick labour but getting a bit twitchy this time! I considered home birth but the transfer is just too long in an emergency!

Bee513 Fri 23-Oct-15 22:45:01

Thank, Twinwife. I was chatting to a friend yesterday and she pointed out that her sister-in-law had a 3 hour drive to her nearest maternity hospital, and all was well, as it regularly is. Made me realise how many hospitals we have in London...

Bells2307 Tue 17-Nov-15 13:48:48

Hi, I have no choice but at least a 40 min drive away, just hoping all will be well. The midwives I've seen think all will be ok, and even they've said I've plumbed for my closest option, just hoping for a non rush hour labour run!

DowntonDiva Tue 17-Nov-15 14:56:17

Hi, my hospital is on the other side of London, potentially 90 minutes in rush hour. I've two back up plans 2) alternative closer hospital in an emergency or 2) the tube confused

Honestly, I'm just hoping for the best and staying positive.

ottothedog Tue 17-Nov-15 15:12:44

A 3 hour drive!! My second labour was an hour and a half start to finish (first was induced and ended in c section). I would set off as soon as contractions started if it was a 40 min drive

Florence85 Wed 18-Nov-15 11:53:14

I gave birth to my twin girls at 30+5 weeks, two weeks ago. Prior to that I had had two four day admissions for premature labour so was very glad that our hospital was only a 15 minute drive away, particularly as my partner was constantly having to go back and forth.

The girls are now on NICU so it's an easy journey for me every day, especially as I'm recovering from a fairly traumatic emergency c-section.

Given all of that, I am glad that our hospital was so close as it would have been a nightmare doing a 40 minute journey every time we needed to be at the hospital. Having said that though, I realise that this is far from the norm so shouldn't really need to be a consideration unless you have a high risk pregnancy.

Not sure how helpful that is but something to potentially think about?

AnneSansTete Wed 18-Nov-15 11:56:49

Mine is about 2 hours drive or just over an hour if I get the train.

Junosmum Fri 20-Nov-15 19:22:48

I had a bleed a few weeks ago. I have never been more pleased that I chose the hospital 10mins away rather than 40mins away (25mins and 1 hour in traffic respectively).

wonkylegs Fri 20-Nov-15 19:34:16

Mines 30mins away but so much better (regional centre) than the closer one (DGH) so I was never going to choose the one 10mins away as I'm high risk.
I'm going to be a planned section anyway but even if I did go into labour I'm not to worried as I was in established labour for over 3 days with DS (which was exhausting and ended in an emcs) so I don't have a past history of giving birth quickly.
40 mins seems reasonable, if you live rurally it's easy to be further away than that.

mrsleomcgary Sun 22-Nov-15 18:35:03

Theres only one maternity unit in my whole nhs trust,i'm a 40minute drive away but the edge of the trust is over an hour away in normal traffic,and no closer to the nearest maternity unit in the bordering trust. I admit i'm in a fairly rural area but 40 minutes is pretty good going round here.

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