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Epsom Hospital: midwife care during labour

(20 Posts)
yogagirl Fri 17-Aug-07 12:23:35

I'm due to give birth at Epsom Hospital next January and would love to hear anyone's experiences of the midwife care there. I've heard horror stories from other hospitals of overstretched midwives having to leave women and their partners alone for ages during labour and really don't like the idea of that. This is my first baby - and first time on mumsnet too, so hi everyone!

AttilaTheMum Fri 17-Aug-07 12:31:43

Hi - I had both my two at Epsom, but I'm afraid I won't be much use to you, as it was almost 20 & 18 years ago! (The midwife care during birth was excellent then, incidentally, though there were major problems with staffing on the wards afterwards - at one point there was only a 14 year old on work experience!)

HairyMaclary Fri 17-Aug-07 12:56:50

Hi, I had my DS2 at Epsom 12 weeks ago and the care was fantastic, I even wrote to them to say thankyou! I had a lovely midwife and student as well. I was a bit annoyed at first to have a student as I had a high risk pregnancy due to DS1 being very prem. However the student was never there by herself and they worked really well as a team. My labour progressed really well until it stopped altogether for 3 hours and they didn't push me for any intervention and just helped me patiently until it restarted. As I had had no painkillers at that stage they suggested I had something to eat and that did the trick (after throwing up!!)
I was keen to avoid other pain relief apart from gas and air and they were understanding and helpful. I also said that if I only had a small tear then I didn't want stiching and they agreed to that too even though they would normally stiched.
They gave me and DH periods of privacy where it was really lovely to labour 'together' but came in frequently enough to keep and eye out for any probs.
I had consultant led care for most of my preg and the consultand was absolutely fantastic, really set my mind at , while reminding me that if this one decided to come early too there was not a lot they could do about it.
After the birth i had to stay in for 48 hours for monitoring due to having GBS and they were a bit overstretched on the wards tehre. I had no probs with breastfeeding but they did only cursory check s on that. I would keep asking for help though if yu need it as most of them are knowledgable (as I found out when I had probelms later!).
Sorry for the essay! ButI was really pleased with my 'normal' happy birthing experience there. hope this helps.

HairyMaclary Fri 17-Aug-07 12:59:28

Meant to say - are you sure you will be giving birth at Epsom? I thought that they were closing down the maternity services befoe the end of the year and you would be transferred to St. Heliers? I may have my timings wrong about that though...

yogagirl Fri 17-Aug-07 13:45:52

Wow, thanks for your quick replies, both of you: they're reassuring to hear. If all goes well I'm hoping for as active a birth as possible with minimal interventions so your experience sounds great, Hairy.
Re maternity unit closure, my GP told me that it wouldn't be till August 2008. Really hope it doesn't have to close, though. My nearest hospital's St Helier but my friends' birth experiences sound like they've been much better at Epsom, which is why I've opted to go there instead. I must say the antenatal midwives there have been lovely so far.

Cakehead Sat 18-Aug-07 15:24:35

I had DD at Epsom two years ago, and DD2 there seven weeks ago. They're terrific and it's a real shame it's closing (yes, is August 2008). Like you, I jumped St Helier as well, although most friends seemed to have an OK time there. First time around I was constantly with a midwife, although they changed shifts midway through my labout, so a new came along. Both were lovely. The first one even said she'd work longer and not leave me if I was due to deliver close to her shift finishing, as she liked to see a whole labour through if possible. Alas, wasn't the case - DD was taking her own sweet time. Second time I had an emergency c-section but was still given really good care.

crokky Sat 18-Aug-07 15:41:49

Hello yogagirl, I had my LO at Epsom last year. I agree with you that the antenatal care there is fantastic.

Re the labour, the care I had was very good and I was never left. However, this may have been because I had complications and was labouring with a premature baby. I ended up with an episiotomy and forceps, but it was done well and it healed up with no problems very quickly so I don't regret that intervention.

I actually do think it is 'normal' for women to be left whilst in labour sometimes. I presume this is in uncomplicated cases. Whilst I was in labour, I was continuously monitored (this means wearing 2 thick elastic belts, one monitoring and tracing out baby's heart beat and one monitoriing contractions). If you feel uneasy being left, this is a reasonable reassurance that baby is OK.

Whilst I was in there, one woman + baby had to be transferred to St Helier and this is because it is protocol to do so if certain treatments are required (sorry don't know what). St Helier has better special care baby unit facilities.

Post natal care at Epsom is generally not that good in my experience and that of my friends. They are short staffed, but you just need to be well prepared for it and it is likely you won't be there long anyway.

yogagirl Sun 19-Aug-07 10:26:56

Thanks again everyone - hearing your stories definitely reassures me that I've chosen the right hospital. Re postnatal care, I guess I'll just have to keep pressing that call button if I need to - and have DP close at hand to help!

turtle23 Sat 01-Sep-07 09:34:45

yogagirl...Whereabouts are you? I'm in Carshalton Beeches and due in March...would be nice to know another mum!
I am planning a home birth, but will be at St. Helier if things go pear-shaped. Have heard good things about Epsom but I have heard that it's important to bring a birth plan there and be adamant that they stick to it, though.

magnolia1 Sat 01-Sep-07 11:40:25

I have had 3 of my 5 at Epsom Hospital. Ds1 was born there 9 months ago and the care is fantastic.
I had a fabulous c section and stayed for 5 days with great aftercare smile
Its such a shame it's closing and I am quite glad I have had all my children already as going to St Helier from where I live would be awful.

39andcounting Mon 03-Sep-07 19:03:13

Hey Yogagirl,

Am also new to this mumsnet, its cool eh?

I had my DD there 7.5 years ago. Firstly I am shocked they are closing, is it just the Maternity Unit ?

I was very ill after the birth of DD and needed a blood transfusion. At that time there were private rooms (think it was bout £80 per day) this was money well spent as I was wired up to bags of blood for a day and also was struggling with feeding. It gave me the time and space I needed to get some energy back, rest and to just simply look at my DD.

Can highly rec these rooms and if you could afford it get one sorted as soon as you go in, as long as there is one available and they still offer them.

Hope your pregnancy is progressing nicely and keep me posted.

Best Wishes grin

Sarahjct Tue 04-Sep-07 12:49:19

I'm also due to have my first there in January so I'm hoping they're friendly because I'm terrified!

My MW said they've just opened their Early Pregnancy Unit - wonder why they've done that if it's closing in a year?

yogagirl Thu 06-Sep-07 18:02:37

Hi Turtle23 and Sarahjct - good to hear from two local mums-to-be, hope your pregnancies are going well. I live in Sutton, so not far from you Turtle. Is this your first baby btw? My GP nearly fainted when I mentioned home births: think I'd have had a fight on my hands if I'd wanted one!

Sarah, I agree it's terrifying - I'd been feeling OK until I realised I'll be halfway through my pg this week. Already! shock Now the hormones are flying and I keep panicking about pointless things like having no clothes for the baby yet...

39andcounting - thanks for the advice about private rooms, I asked the MW about them and if they're not too expensive I'll try and get one.

Not sure what the latest news is about the Epsom maternity unit - I think the original plan was to keep the MW-led unit open but move consultant-led care to St Helier. I know there's a new trust chief executive so maybe she's reviewing the plans, let's hope so.

turtle23 Fri 07-Sep-07 16:47:36

Yogagirl...you're not far at all! Can I ask, do you in fact know a lot about yoga? Been trying to find a yoga for pregnancy class locally...?

yogagirl Fri 07-Sep-07 17:19:22

Yes I've done yoga for a few years now at this studio in Sutton. You just pay as you go and don't have to book ahead or sign up for a course or anything.

I go on a Mon or Tues at 5.45 - which are fine for beginners and mums to be. But there's also a pregnancy class on Wed evenings, and I think there's a daytime pregnancy class starting soon (which will be great when I start maternity leave!)

I'm hoping the yoga will help with the whole giving birth thing - hmm - but even if not it feels like perfect exercise to do while pg.

I'll be away next week but give me a shout if you fancy coming along to a class.

turtle23 Fri 07-Sep-07 17:55:39

Thanks so much for that! I think I'll go along to the preg one next week, but I'd love to come to the 545 Monday one in future as it's my day off. Thanks again!

yogagirl Mon 17-Sep-07 21:46:24

See you there - and say hi if you see me. You won't miss me, I'm the one with the rapidly expanding bump!

Lossy Mon 24-Sep-07 09:29:39

Hi Yoga Girl!

I am also having my first baby in January at Epsom. What date are you due? I am the 20th.

It was nice to read all the other posts to you and hear that the care is good.

I too would love to do a yoga class, but work evenings so will have to hold out for a daytime one to start. Or maybe after maternity leave but I am not finishing until mid December and think I may be too exhausted by then!

Would be great to have someone to compare stuff with, so drop me a line... dancer@lfleet.wanadoo.co.uk . It's hard trying to talk to other friends about all the pregnancy woes, they try to be sympathetic but it must be boring for them! Any other new Mums drop me a line too!

Thelittlesoldiersmummy Mon 24-Sep-07 13:38:55

Gosh its nice to see there are so many of us here! I am due to have my second DC at Epsom in April

yogagirl Mon 24-Sep-07 16:39:43

I'm due on 24 Jan (eek!) - I'll drop you a line, Lossy.

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