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Might prefer the labour ward to birthing centre?

(33 Posts)
MarmiteandToast Sun 03-Dec-17 19:28:37

We're really lucky with our hospital facilities and they have a lovely birthing centre adjacent to the actual labour ward

If you are low risk, the birthing centre is really recommended. I was a very low risk pregnancy but have now been seeing a consultant due to high nuchal translucency, although CVS clear and I think I've been "released" back into midwife led care

The weird thing is I think I would actually prefer the labour ward, with things going on and feeling like there are people around, than being in one of the lovely softly lit more private rooms

Am I just not that informed? I'm guessing that the birthing centre has more equipment like birthing balls etc for a more active labour, which is preferable. I'm sure at the time I'd like privacy... but I'd kind of like to know people are around too. Husband will hopefully be with me!

MarmiteandToast Sun 03-Dec-17 19:29:42

I suspect part of this is worry about being close to everything if something goes wrong, although I know the birthing centre is very close to labour ward

Justcallmecaptainobvious Sun 03-Dec-17 22:01:00

Can you book a tour of both? We did a labour ward tour recently and it was really helpful. Might help you get a feel of them, and you can find out what they have available.

IsaSchmisa Sun 03-Dec-17 22:03:49

Of course not. You like what you like, and you may prefer being in the CLU for any number of reasons.

DailyMaileatmyshit Sun 03-Dec-17 22:21:11

I prefer the delivery suite too. I find something reassuring about the medical side of things. Found in the MLU I felt like I was on count down to being transferred and couldn't relax! Different strokes for different folks.

helly29 Sun 03-Dec-17 22:32:32

I understand - for me it was about having everything that could be needed to hand (plus I work in hospitals so it felt more familiar!) I didn't want to be transferred in the middle of labour.

However, when I needed to come in, there was only space in the mlu so I went there first. It was nice, but still ended up in a lift going down to delivery unit at 1am! (prolonged rupture of membranes). Delivery unit was nice too, so would have been good to be there from the start.

So I think it's a very reasonable plan, but very prepared for things to change!

PeaceLoveAndDixie Sun 03-Dec-17 22:54:00

Have you been in labour before? Generally women labour better in a quieter, darker environment and naturally seek that out. Something to do with adrenaline vs oxytocin.

Crabbo Sun 03-Dec-17 22:58:22

Obviously it depends what your labour ward is like but I wouldn’t necessarily count on it feeling like a hub of activity - I gave birth on a very busy labour ward (London) on a night where there were apparently a lot of other women in but I didn’t see or hear another soul the whole time! Other than the doctors and my dh in the room of course. I’d choose based on which makes you feel more comfortable and has the facilities you’d like to use if you’re able to (e.g number of pools available)

sycamore54321 Sun 03-Dec-17 23:09:05

You are absolutely fine to prefer it. I hate that under the disguise of "women's choice" so much of the birth discussion assumes one-size-fits-all. this idea that women are terrified of bright lights, unusual sounds, to the point of obstructing labour is just bull. Sure, some women might be. Many more might feel like they should be because that's what the internet told them. But it is entirely legitimate to prefer a different approach and for what it's worth I entirely agree with you. I sought out the most high tech, qualified, experienced settings for the births of both my children. I would not have been comfortable with anything else.

Don't get me started on the lights. I hate being in dim rooms!

sycamore54321 Sun 03-Dec-17 23:10:53

Oh and I think it is unethical for this policy of midwife unit rooms being prettier or whatever, in an effort to sway women's choices. Opting for a lower level of medical care should not be influenced in this way.

Callamia Mon 04-Dec-17 06:31:20

I’ve laboured in both in a similar hospital set up.

My first needed urgent care after birth due to aspiration. A doctor came down, and he was on nicu quickly. We were allowed to stay and have a little sleep in a double bed together. Something I’m very grateful for.

The second birth was in a labour ward. There wa space to walk around and the bed allowed for a sensible position for giving birth. The room was quiet (apart from me), and I did both labours with my eyes closed anyway, so the decor was hardly important. It was a quicker and easier labour.

The only difference was that we were moved on to a post-natal ward much faster (1.5 hrs later). Possibly due to time (the first was 3am, this was early evening still). It wasn’t a bad thing, because it was nice enough to go and get settled for the night.

Go with whatever you think will make you feel most confident. I dreaded the labour ward, but my experience was a good one, and many of my concerns about it were unfounded.

hellofresh Mon 04-Dec-17 06:44:16

I preferred the hospital too. I looked at the transfer to hospital rates for first time mothers from the MLU. They were so high I figured I'd rather know I was safe in one place than had the risk of being blue lighted across town in the event of a complication.

The hospital was lovely. Delivery room was private, and the lights could be dimmed. It was small but with room for a birthing ball and mat, and some rooms had facilities for a water birth. The mid wives were kind, and I felt safe. I opted to have my second dc in hospital as well.

Starngely I had a friend have a proper go at me for my choice. I was told how awful hospital deliveries are etc. Not my experience at all.

Choose the place that feels right for YOU.

MarmiteandToast Fri 08-Dec-17 20:37:57

Thanks everyone, really interesting to hear your experiences! I'll keep open minded

Just worried about our hospital (and birthing centre) being full as apparently there's loads of pregnant ladies round here due March!

Marcine Fri 08-Dec-17 20:40:53

I had all mine on the delivery suite - room was dark and quiet and I never saw/heard another woman despite the ward being busy.

Cracklesfire Fri 08-Dec-17 20:46:03

I work in a hospital so I didn't think the noise/lights etc would bother me but I was induced on the maternity inpatients ward and by the time I went into labour it was visiting time - I had a birthing ball, music, tens and the four bedded room to myself but I managed about two hours and I sent DH to tell the midwife I needed to move to the midwife led unit. I just couldn't concentrate or focus at all.

deplorabelle Fri 08-Dec-17 20:47:04

They always tell you there's a baby boom on just when you're due to deliver! Don't worry (but talk up the MLU so everyone else opts for there wink)

hellofresh Fri 08-Dec-17 21:17:51

deplorable it's something to be taken seriously. When I had ds women were being turned away and redirected to another hospital 45 mins drive away. I was an induction otherwise I would have been sent away too. As it was I had to wait 3 days to be induced, and still wasn't able to get a bed on post natal. I was left in a freezing cold delivery room and kicked out before breakfast. ds cried with cold all night so I had to stay awake and hold him to keep him warm. The midwives were run off their feet and unable to help much.

If it is likely to be busy have a back up plan.

ScarlettInSpace Sun 10-Dec-17 16:51:20

I’m glad I’m not the only one! I’m 40 & pg filling ivf therefore under consultant care but everyone (including MWs) keeps telling as it’s been otherwise uncomplicated I can still request (and should get) a bed in the posh mlu at the hospital.

Thing is I don’t think I want to!

I’ve been through too much to get here (feb will mark 7 yrs since I came off the pill) to risk it at the last hurdle - I want to be where the drugs and the experts are grin and I don’t want to waste time transferring (albeit within the same building) if I go heed

ScarlettInSpace Sun 10-Dec-17 16:51:46

*do need help

Pressed post by mistake blush

alphabook Sun 10-Dec-17 17:03:51

I had a MLU birth which was in the same building as the labour ward. I had a really positive experience and found it much more comfortable and relaxing than being on the labour ward (did a tour of both beforehand), although I accept everyone's different and I don't expect everyone to feel the same way as me. The only other practical consideration is what is postnatal care like in your hospital? At mine everyone who gave birth on the labour ward went to a big, noisy postnatal ward where the reputation for postnatal care isn't great. Those who gave birth at the MLU stayed at the MLU until being discharged. There was only one other mum and baby in my bay, it was lovely and quiet, and I couldn't fault the care.

Oly5 Sun 10-Dec-17 17:11:17

I much prefer the delivery ward too. My children have needed resuscitation at birth and I loved knowing the facilities were right there with all the expertise to hand. I don’t care about pretty rooms and dim lights but I do care about getting to see a consultant within seconds

MrsPringles Sun 10-Dec-17 19:37:53

I’m the opposite. Medical things terrify me. So midwife unit was perfect, medical supplies/equipment was obviously there but hidden away and just a wooden crib ready for baby.

The labour ward was just down a corridor so I was very close should I have needed any intervention.

I think I laboured more comfortably (ha you know what I mean) because I felt much calmer and not overwhelmed

Nomad86 Mon 11-Dec-17 21:18:44

Have you booked a tour? It might help you make your mind up. Ultimately just go where you feel most comfortable. Also it depends on the pain relief you'd prefer. At my midwife led unit, you could really only have gas and air so if you think you'd like anything else the labour ward would be best.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Mon 11-Dec-17 21:26:22

Oh and I think it is unethical for this policy of midwife unit rooms being prettier or whatever, in an effort to sway women's choices. Opting for a lower level of medical care should not be influenced in this way.

I've never thought of it like this but you're absolutely right. I was induced and had some complications during pregnancy but even then the mlu was really bigged up as the be all and end all.

Lesley1980 Mon 11-Dec-17 22:01:42

I was in the MLU for my first birth. Things I didn't consider is what happens in a real emergency? The labour ward might be close by but what if they don't have time to move you? What if they don't have the equipment because it's upstairs in the labour ward? There are no spare medical staff? Not all midwives can prescribe so what if you need something they can't prescribe? They don't monitor the babies heart in the MLU so if the baby is in distress or the heart stops they won't know until it too late. I'm only saying this because that's my experience of being in the MLU.

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