Hi GYo - I had a conventional delivery at RSCH about a year ago. Everything I heard supported the rumour that no-one ever wants to use the pool.
The only thing I would say is to go in early. I kept phoning them up saying "ooh, my contractions are 3 minutes apart and really strong and should I come in?" and they were saying "no, we're really busy, see if you can hold on a bit longer..." in the end we made it with half an hour to spare and I only had one fairly junior (I think) midwife to help me and then waited hours to get transferred to the postnatal ward. So... my experience of RSCH was mixed, the staff were fantastic but they were rushed off their feet. I have sort of decided to try home birth if there's a next time - given that we were so close to having one the first time around.
Congratulations by the way and hope everything goes well for you.
DS was born at RSCH in June. Didnt have a waterbirth (was induced), but I have heard that the home from home rooms at RSCH are under utilized. Infact I think it was the mw who did the tour of the unit for expectant parents who told us that. Have you done the tour? They will show you the waterbirth room as long as it isn't being used.
Thanks for both of your replies and tips about going in. I've done the tour and saw the pool but I've since heard that not all the MWs will suppport a WBirth anyway, so even if the pool is free you cant necessarily use it!
My MW told me ladies in surrey are too posh to push without an epidural... did make me laugh.. which is why its under utlised.
Actually planning home WB now with the supportive community MWs.... so hopefully can do it at home but wont be too upset if I have to go in, just keeping an open mind...
I had dd2 at Royal Surrey in 2005, vbac birth and found it all really good. Have a good friend who has had 2 waterbirths there as well, in 2006 and 2008 and also problem free and she was happy with the care she received. I think the busy midwife problem is the same in any NHS hospital unfortunately, I noticed it more at Chelsea and Westminster in 2002 but there are so many variables that can add to their stress levels on any day. Good luck
I used to be a midwife there, I had a fair few waterbirths, but on the whole not many women did seem to want to use the pool and not all that many midwives were keen. It was a long time ago though, I believe that things have changed since then.