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Anyone given birth at the Spires unit in Oxford?

(11 Posts)
Kward83 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:03:12

Hello fellow Mums, I'm hoping to get some information from anyone out there who has had a baby at the Spires midwife led unit at the JR in Oxford in the last year or so.

I had my little girl in 2013 and, following a lovely tour of the unit, really wanted to give birth at the Spires. However, when my labour came, we went in and were basically ignored, neglected and accused of lying at one point (when we had been told to wait an hour before being re-examined, another midwife came in and insisted that we would never have been told that). I ended up downstairs in the main delivery suite where they put me on antibiotics and made me lie on my back in agony. Basically, my birth experience was pretty horrendous.

So I'm pregnant again and the thought of going back there makes me want to cry. But I'm wondering if we just had awful luck and if other people have had good experiences there?

I'd love to hear from anyone else? How did you find it? Or can anyone recommend anywhere else in / near Oxford where it's not so rushed and the midwives are a bit more caring?

Thank you!

FlamingoEscape Tue 27-Dec-16 20:34:33

I haven't given birth at the Spires but am watching with interest. Having moved to Oxfordshire my second birth is likely to be at John Radcliffe but on the consultant-led labour ward owing to having had an emergency section with the first baby.

Your experience sounds awful. Have you thought about using a doula to help support you and your birth partner and help to communicate your wishes to the healthcare professionals? Having experienced poor care myself I will be using a doula for the second birth (when we are ready to have a second). I would hope that having a doula present means that staff are more aware of their actions and how they treat you.

I used a water bath first time (before being transferred to the labour ward) but next time I would want to try active birthing as I feel that there is more chance of a malpresented baby changing its position and not having other interventions. So this time round I will go to an active birthing class and also use the Spinning Baby resources for daily exercises during pregnancy.

MrsH87 Wed 28-Dec-16 11:39:21

I considered the Spires, but have heard lots of mixed things about the JR - some very positive, recent, experiences though. You could consider the MLUs around the county. I'm going to Chipping Norton and my (limited) contact with the midwives there so far has been excellent.

Unicornsarelovely Wed 28-Dec-16 11:47:27

I went to the Spires although 6 years ago and it was fantastic. Really helpful midwives and as good as I could have hoped for.

MaryJonesSpaceDetective Wed 28-Dec-16 12:46:27

I had DD in the JR delivery suite in 2013 and DS in the Spires in December 2015. The contrast between the two experiences was amazing. I had previously tested positive for Group B Strep and in 2013 they advised intravenous antibiotics during labour. The midwives on the delivery suite were good and professional but - shall we say - businesslike. I had a long but manageable labour, but they felt it was taking too long and the head midwife, who was monitoring from another room, kept sending requests for me to have things speeded up with a drip. They didn't have me on my back but wanted me to be still for monitoring. Eventually I consented to have my waters broken, and when this caused the labour to become very painful they delayed the epidural after I thought it had been requested. Was great when it arrived though! Still, everyone safe, good recovery, but some hard memories. DS' birth, in contrast, was amazing and although it was very painful I remember it with pleasure. GBS guidelines had changed so no antibiotics meant I could labour at home for longer. It felt very peaceful on the spires and the midwife and student were very calm. They measured me at 4cm when I went in and I was devasted at the thought of another 7h or so (conservstive estimate based on DD's birth). When I requested an epidural they took me seriously and booked it immediately, but it turned out I was already in transition. When I felt the urge to push minutes later I was horrified as I thought it was too soon, but the midwives said if I wanted to push I should go ahead, and DS was born with a couple of pushes 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Only had G&A for the stitches! Private room, en suite, quiet, respectful, calm, wonderful. Of course the difference between a long labour and a short one is always going to be marked, but lots of people have faster second births. Even if you end up on the delivery suite again I found the staff competent and kind if a bit too concerned with stats and timing. I hope you get the birth you want, but it is a means to a wonderful end and the JR has a good track record generally speaking. Good luck!

HamletMouse Tue 03-Jan-17 00:47:14

I've just come home from having giving birth at the JR on Saturday. I wanted to go to Spires but I had to be induced in the Delivery Suite.

Saying that, I went to the spires for a false alarm and they could not have been more lovely and helpful whilst basically telling me I wasn't in labour yet.

My labour was awful due to being back to back and ending in an emcs, however, the staff did everything they could to keep me comfortable and listen to what I was worried about and what I wanted. Even when on the drip I was allowed to stand if not be too mobile. I only had to stay lying down once I had an epidural (obvs). Honestly the whole thing was pretty traumatic but i kept it together throughout the birth due to the awesome Midwives, obstetrics, anaesthetists and surgeons. Everyone did all they could to make sure I was ok.

Also aftercare was faultless, so much reassurance when I was pretty much zonked out of it on the first day that they were watching my baby and that everything was fine, so much pain relief and advice offered. Midwives were happy to help with breastfeeding queries again and again and again and when I was having a bad night, they took baby into the office for a couple of hours so I could have a sleep. I'm pretty hormonal today and have cried on every professional that came to do basic obs and they all took the time to make sure I was ok and knew I could buzz them for absolutely anything.

If anyone has any questions about my experience, I'm more than happy to help in between looking after baby.

Cranb0rne Tue 10-Jan-17 19:36:15

I gave birth at the Spires a year ago and it was a fantastic experience. Sorry you had such an awful time there.

The midwife who looked after me was wonderful and I had a private room afterwards for no charge. It was the polar opposite of the thoroughly miserable time I had in the Horton.

jellyspoons Tue 17-Jan-17 23:06:35

Have you thought about wallingford? Would advise a tour. Friends of mine have given birth there and I've been on a tour, and seems really good and all midwives seem experienced and really nice. Good luck!

Silentelf Wed 18-Jan-17 21:12:50

Had one birth in JR delivery suite and two in Spires- fantastic care from both places, good luck

Swearwolf Wed 18-Jan-17 21:44:26

I went to the Spires in 2012 and it was amazing, I loved it. Sorry you had a shit time. Whereabouts are you? I had my youngest in March at the maternity unit in Wantage and that was great, I was the only patient there and had the full attention of about six people the whole time!

greenlizard Sun 22-Jan-17 08:13:51

I gave birtg at the JR in March 2015 and October 2016 but on the labour ward under consultant care. Both were tricky births and not what I planned for but the staff were amazing on both occasions. My sister gave birth on the Spires and felt compelled to write in and express her thanks such was her positive experience!

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