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Choosing between Lewisham & St Thomas' to give birth - help!

(14 Posts)
RozCapps Wed 06-Aug-08 16:29:22

First baby due in February and I am currently registered to give birth at Lewisham hospital, however, have been told today that because of where I live, my post natal care will be handled by Guys & St T's. Having looked at millions of websites, both hospitals seem to be pretty poor - can any one give me some advice as to whether one is better that the other to give birth in, or does it basically depend on the individual people your encounter rather than the building you are in? Help!! Thanks. Roz x

1dilemma Wed 06-Aug-08 16:35:27

I'd say the people
Tommies has the edge if problems
Private rooms at Lewisham are cheap grin
SIL had one and was happy
Rooms at Tommies are eyewateringly expensive

RozCapps Wed 06-Aug-08 16:44:36

Thanks - I hadn't thought about private rooms. wink. I guess it's all about the people - you get fab people and idiots wherever you go!

hellsbells76 Wed 06-Aug-08 16:56:15

hmmm i had my first at lewisham and it was one of the main reasons i had a homebirth second time around

my experience (bearing in mind it was 6 years ago) - midwives very out of date (pretty much forced onto my back for pushing stage, 'coached' pushing when i wasn't ready, 3rd degree tear as a result) and godawful postnatal care (stressed and unhelpful midwives, sheets not changed, blood all over the (shared) bathroom, couldn't get discharged for ages)

it may have improved though...

indiechick Wed 06-Aug-08 16:59:31

Had my first at Lewisham, emergency c-section, delivery was fine and staff were brilliant. Post-natal care was fairly average and staff were appalling, v. rude, lazy and after 3 days ended up discharging myself. In saying that if you have natural delivery, you'll be up and out within 24 hours so it shouldn't be a problem. Tommies will have the edge on special care though if you have any problems.

onceinalifetime Wed 06-Aug-08 17:06:36

I don't have experience of Lewisham but both dcs at St Thomas's.

Tommies is newer, has an excellent home from home birth centre where you stay for the entire time with your partner if you don't need any intervention. If you do need more care, they have a lot of resources and very good back up emergency care. Wards are small - 3-4 usually.

Gets very busy though and I know that if you have a c-section, they've cut the staying in time to the minimum, bit too short - 48hrs max, I think - in my opinion but you can probably insist on staying. Maybe that's a new policy everywhere, not sure.

Bizarre point but their parking is the most expensive of any hospital in the country!

Try going on tour of both and see how you feel.

Romia Wed 06-Aug-08 17:09:43

I had my 1st at St Thomas's - waterbirth - great experience - the home from home facility there is excellent. For my 2nd, I had moved and had the choice between Lewisham and QE2, and after hearing so many bad birth experiences from friends who'd given birth at Lewisham I opted for the QE2 which again was a good birth, good midwives and good care. So given all this, I'd definitely opt for Tommy's over Lewisham any day of the week.

Treeny Wed 06-Aug-08 17:10:07

Had DD2 at Tommy's after v bad experience at King's with DD1. Guy's and St T is the only maternity unit in London to get a three-star rating from the Healthcare Commission (the NHS watchdog), if that influences you at all.

Tommy's is pretty good. Clean, efficient, and the rooms have nice views! Seriously though, the quality of special care and neonatal intensive care is excellent, if you need it (we did). Antenatal care was fine, though I don't think they routinely offer team midwifery, so your antenatal care may be with different midwives to the ones who look after you on the labour ward.

Most of the midwives at Tommy's were OK in my experience - it's a bit hit or miss in most places what the midwives are like. The worst ones are on the postnatal ward.

I'm not planning any more babies, but if I were having another I'd go for Tommy's without hesitation.

onceinalifetime Wed 06-Aug-08 17:12:08

Similar experience - midwives fantastic during birth, postnatal not so good, particularly at night but they do get their fair share of over enthusiastic buzzer pressers sometimes!

motherinferior Wed 06-Aug-08 17:15:56

Lewisham...hmmm, it's not done brilliantly in terms of maternity care overall, ircc - do a quick google. I wasn't wild about it when I looked round - put it this way, it somewhat strengthened my determination to have a home birth; Tommy's, on the other hand, has vg reputation indeed. And the home from home suite was designed by a fantastic woman I know, who had the Sanctuary in mind!

legalalien Wed 06-Aug-08 17:16:52

I had DS at Lewisham nearly 4 years ago - the birth process was fine (including the theatre trip for removal of placenta - sorry if TMI), but the post natal experience was dire - pretty much as described by hellsbells. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Treeny Wed 06-Aug-08 17:17:19

Just to add that I think it's the quality of care that matters most. Going on a tour of the unit is interesting but doesn't tell you much. The questions I'd ask would be about whether you would be left alone in labour, how quickly you could get an epidural or other pain relief if you needed it, what the caesarean rate is and what proportion of those are emergencies, etc.

RozCapps Wed 06-Aug-08 19:36:46

Thanks ladies, all excellent and helpful advice - looks like a call to my GP is in order for a referral to Tommies. smile

1dilemma Thu 07-Aug-08 00:09:21

SIL had hers 3 yrs ago (Lewisham)
Seriously don't underrate the attractiveness of a private room.
There was a thread a while ago asking who had made it into the home from home clearly some on here have I think almost no one on that one had, apparently her NCT antenatal teacher was picking up that few births were happening there
Postnatal care seems to be random whereever you are
(I've given birth at Tommies and it was clean enough but not 'clean' IYSWIM- my one piece of advice take teabags and a plug if you fancy either a cup of tea or a wash after giving birth!!!)

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