London St Mary's Hospital v University College London Hospital (UCLH)(11 Posts)
I am seeking opinions on the above hospitals for antenatal and birth. My GP has said I can self refer to either, so need to make a decision! I have seen good (and less good) reviews on both, but can't decide which to opt for...
Would appreciate any advice or feedback!
Gave birth in the labour ward at St Mary's last year. It was a straightforward birth and had a positive experience. Friendly and professional midwives, at one point when I was pushing I thought the senior midwife was going to leave the room (she wasn't) and I shouted out - 'Don't leave! Please don't leave!!!' so I must have been impressed.
My son was a bit of a reluctant feeder to begin with and I received lots of support from lactation consultants on the ward. Also no pressure to leave immediately afterward. So would recommend there but haven't experienced UCLH.
Hi jlr2017 - Don't want to hijack your thread, but UCLH would be one of my choices too, so I'd love to hear any info you find out about giving birth there... I don't know anyone who has given birth at any of the hospitals in my area, so I'm scrabbling around for info!
Hi jlr2017 and ElleMcElle
I gave birth at UCLH in January this year and I don't have a bad word to utter about them. I found my whole pregnancy I was handled with respect and dignity. I developed gestational diabetes towards the end of my pregnancy so I was seen at least on a weekly basis and they were great at listening to my concerns and helped me to deal with.
I had complications at birth and this is where UCLH really came into their own, the aftercare given to me and my son was world class. I knew when my son was being rushed to neonatal care that he was in great hands, the peadiatricians and baby nurses were brilliant and I really can't thank them enough. They talked to me and my husband and explained very well what was going on and they listened to us. They arranged for me to have one to one BF help to establish the breastfeeding to make sure that I wasn't discharged when my baby had to stay in for treatment for a further week. For the rest of the time we were there the staff looked after us so well. The midwives were all fantastic, the ones I had during birth and on the ward too as were the nurses. Being in a shared bay of four beds with only a curtain sure isn't ideal, but I feel blessed to have been given that week in hospital and all the great help that was given to us. And I came away with some funny stories to tell about the other people who were there!
Also, after birth care has been great. I'm still attending physio due to my complication (3rd degree tear that is healing very well and was not the fault of UCLH). A friend who had the same issue, but at Homerton and she's not been offered the same aftercare.
And lastly, the reason I chose UCLH was because two good friends have given birth there and they recommended them. One of which the husband is a paediatrician and he told me that they have the best neonatal care in the UK, possibly even in Europe. So IF anything goes wrong you're in the best hands. They are also very positive about natural births and have a lot of great midwives to help you with that if that's your thing, their birth enter is really nice and the labour ward is only one floor down. And another reason I chose it, I really don't like hosiptals in the UK as they can often be run down and old, but UCLH is super clean and in a new building.
Sorry for blabbing on for ages, but I wanted to share my experience in the hope it would help. And wish you both all the best of luck with your pregnancies and babies! x
@Januarybaby2017 - Thank you SO much for taking the time to write this - I really appreciate it! We were tending towards UCLH for many of the reasons you mention, and this has made me feel reassured about our decision. From what I've been able to research online, they do look fantastic.
Thanks again - and best of luck with the final stages of your recovery & physio.
I had my baby at UCLH last year and can not praise them highly enough.
We ended up being there for 9 days in total and can echo many of the previous poster's thoughts - their neonatal care is amazing and the midwives were so supportive and helpful with breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact.
Even my husband (who is the least emotional man ever) said he wanted to bring them all home with us!
It is a modern clean building and yes the postnatal wards are not particularly private or quiet but they didn't seem to mind me having my curtain constantly closed.
I would go back there for any future births in a heartbeat. I hope all goes well for you!
Thank you for your comments, sounds like good experiences at both! I was just about to complete referral form for St Marys today (for various reasons) and am now torn between the two again! Any advice on what aspects to prioritise when selecting??
You're very welcome, I'm glad that sharing my experience can help someone else! :-)
A practical reason in our choice of hospital was that it was easy for us to get to all the appointments running up to the pregnancy. My office was only two stops away on Victoria Line, this made getting to appointments a lot less stressful, which I was thankful for towards the end of pregnancy when inhad many appointments and a lot going on.
If you're really torn, why not pay both hospitals a visit, even if you just walk past outside or into their reception. The UCLH maternity is the EGA wing with the entrance is on Grafton Way.
@Januarybaby2017 - Thanks! Yes, this is definitely a consideration too. UCLH isn't the closest hospital to our house, but it is the easiest one to access from work (particularly for DH). In terms of driving distance, I think it's only a difference of 6 or 7 mins from our house - so won't make a huge difference in terms of getting there for labour (I hope!!), but we would be doing weekday appointments using the tube, so UCLH will be MUCH more convenient.
Hi, Forgot to update previously. Thanks for the advice and especially suggestion to visit them, to help decide. I have already been to UCLH for epu and found it to be a lovely centre in a good location (currently 20 mins walk from home). I went over to have a look at St Marys and that made me opt for UCLH, even though it'll likely be further away from where we'll be living later on (currently in a one bed flat!). I know they are both very good hospitals, so I'm sure either would have been fine. Glad to have made my decision and now just have to wait for appointments to come around (booking on 11th/scan on 22nd)...
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