Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

St. John's St. Elizabeth - The Birthing Company

(11 Posts)
Katts Mon 24-Jan-05 13:45:31

Hi, I'm new on mumsnet and only 6 week's along, firs t time pregnancy. So I'm full of questions.

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with private maternity care in London? Does anyone know anything about St. John's & St. Elizabeth hospital? Or The Birthing Company (Dr. Gibb)?


Prufrock Tue 25-Jan-05 12:11:02

I had my second baby, a pre-planned but medically neccessary c-section, at John and Lizzies. It was the most wonderful experience of my life. The midwifes were lovely and I had one on one care at all times - they came within seconds of calling. Food was great. Assistant midwifes will help you to bath and massage your baby. All rooms have double beds, and your partner is encouraged to stay with you and treated by the staff as a full part of the process. You can even get all three of you in the birthing pool for baths afterwards.

The downsides are the cost (my insurance paid ) and the fact they do not have a scbu unit if anything is wrong with your baby. But because of this they will not deliver you if your baby is premature, and this is only the same risk you would take if having an NHS birth at home or in a birhing unit.

Please feel free to ask anymore specifics - because of my particular circumstances I didn't get to experinec teh ante-natal care, but I know it is considered wonderful - yoga and relaxation classes are included in the price.

Amanda3266 Tue 25-Jan-05 12:43:00

Hi Katts,

Used to be a midwife and have heard nothing but good things about St.John's and St Elizabeth hospital. Even cared once for a midwife who worked there (only after in the community though - all other care given there). They sound lovely - lots of emphasis on preparing you for birth by dealing with any negative feelings you may have picked up along your life - also do yoga and relaxation classes as mentioned below.


bundle Tue 25-Jan-05 12:44:34

a friend of mine had both her dd's there and was v happy with it. personally i would only have a baby at a large teaching hospital, where there are plenty of anaesthetists (if you need one) and scbu on-site. what about the private bit at st.mary's? are you

louli Tue 25-Jan-05 13:10:35

Hi Katts

I have had both my children at John & Lizzies and both times chosen Dr Gibb as my consultant. The birth unit is fantastic with some really excellent midwives. It is such a caring atmosphere and they really try their hardest to give you the best birthing experience.
With my first birth I had to have an emergency c-section as my son was not well. He did have to go to the Scbu at St Marys but we were re-united the next day. Because they knew he wasn't well they had the Mary's paed team in theatre to see to him as soon as he was born and we were looked after very well. Second time around I really wanted a VBAC and they really tried everything to help me (acupuncture, aromatherpy, homeopathy etc) and I did manage to get to 5cm but DD just kept moving around and time was passing, having had a previous section I couldn't have any drugs to speed things up. I still got to experience a wonderful birth and went into the birthing pool with her the next day. I know several people who have had great water births there.

The ante-natal care is great you can call the unit day or night with your concerns and they will always give you useful advice. The ante-natal classes and the yoga are great and they do baby massage classes for after the baby is born which are lovely.

As for Dr Donald Gibb he is brilliant. He is very experienced and very thorough in his care. He has seen me through the highs and lows and has always been supportive to both me and DH. I wouldn't hesitate to use him and the Birth Unit again. It is expensive but I would rather do without other things to have the care and experience they give you. You should call the unit and speak to Sandra she is head of the unit and they would happily show you around. You would probably need to do that soon as they get booked up quite quickly as it is only a small unit.

Good luck & hope it all goes well for you

Katts Tue 25-Jan-05 16:28:17

Thanks for all the advice! I have my first antenatal appointment on friday at my GP's so I figure I'll go along to that first and then sort something out from there.

Bundle, I didn't realise St. Mary's had a private bit. Is that only a private room for after the baby is born? Do you still go through labour and birth in teh NHS bit - and is it very conveyor belt-like there?

Louli, thanks for the information about Dr. Gibb. Is it best to phone him first or the hospital?

Any ideas about costs guys? I read somewhere I could expect £5,000 - £10,000. There's a pretty big difference there.

Thanks so much!

Sallie Tue 25-Jan-05 16:31:40

St John and Lizzies sounds wonderful....hmmmm.....just can't justify the expense

bundle Tue 25-Jan-05 16:42:22

it's called the lindo wing but i have no experience of it, nor any stories to tell..

louli Tue 25-Jan-05 16:59:26

hi. Because this is your 1st baby you could use the midwife-led service at John & Lizzies I think this costs about £6000 and includes everything (even if you had to have an emergency c-section)but if you have private medical insurance some companies pay the majority of the bill. The £10k is more for elective c-sections. At J&L's you used to have to pay an £800 deposit (think it may have gone up) and then pay for your bloods and scans as you go. You then pay the rest of the bill after the baby is born. They will send you a brochure and price list if you call them on 0207-806-4090. Consultant led is always more and you pay the consultant directly. Donald Gibb does his own scans aswell. I would call the Birth Unit first and ask to look around then you may decide to go midwife-led but if you then wanted Donald aswell you could tell them and phone him. The Birth Unit usually do the booking in appointment at around 10 weeks. If you have anymore questions let me know.

Katts Wed 26-Jan-05 12:15:49

Thanks for the information Louli. I'm still undecided as to consultant led or midwife led. I think ideally I'd like a bit of both. I certainly recognise the benefits of midwife led but think I'd just feel safer knowing a doctor would be there. There's so much to figure out all at once, it's a bit overwhelming. Thanks again for all the information!

Prufrock Wed 26-Jan-05 20:31:24

There is always a consultant on call at J&L - so if anything does go wrong you won't be left with just midwives. Only thing is it won't be a consultant you have had a previous relationship with.
Do be ready for your GP to be negative about a private birth - they will trot out teh "but they don't have intensive care facilities, it's so much safer in the NHS" line. But as I said before the risks are only those that you would have if using a birth centre or homebirth, and personally I would far rather take the risk of not having immediate access to Scubu if something goes wrong that the risk ofsomething going wrong, or just being a worse experience, because of the chronic understaffing in NHS units.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: