Barkentine Birth Centre, East London(6 Posts)
Has anyone given birth/plan to give birth at the Barkentine Centre in East London? Went and had a look round and thought it was lovely - just a bit worried about the transfer in time to the Royal London if things don't go to plan.
I have not but I have heard many many many other women tell me how good it is and give it an a* rating.
I had a homebirth from near-ish and had to transfer last time, which would be the same as your transfer from the birth centre. The ambulances prioritise labouring women, and on a blue light would be able to get you to the RLH quickly as it is really not far.
HOWEVER, when I transferred we had to wait in the hallway 25 minutes for the ambulance to arrive so thankfully it was not a dire emergency. There is a website giving ambulance response times that I looked at recently (I am sorry I can not remember the link..) and it seemed I was very unlucky as they hit their targets of arriving within x number of minutes in about 99% of cases - mine was obviously the exception.
As well as getting feedback from here, have you asked the midwives at the Barkantine what their experience of response times are?
I almost had ds there in March 08. Brilliant place - can't recommend it enough. I did have to transfer to Royal London when my contractions all but stopped at transition. The decision to transfer, and the transfer itself, were managed well. "My" midwife and the senior midwife both discussed it all with me and DH and we had no sense that they would leave it until things became a real emergency before phoning the ambulance. I think it was about 2 hours from when things started to go wrong to when I finally arrived at the Royal London (where ds was born soon after in a normal delivery following a drip to restart my contractions). The ambulance trip is quick and they'll blue light it if they need to be quicker. But as quixotic says, ask the midwives themselves. And see http://www.bartsandthelondon.nhs.uk/maternity/barkantinebirthcentre.asp for statistics from the birth centre's first year. 27% of women transferred to hospital.
I gave birth to my beautiful daughter in April. I loved being at the Barkantine. I had to be transferred to the Royal London afterwards and even that was a good experience. When I was at the Royal London I saw lots of women coming in to give birth and i just could not understand it when the Barkantine was round the corner. My midwife Sarah was so lovely and gentle and I gave birth in my own time with my daughter coming in her own rhythm. There were no raised voices and no-one telling me what to do. The bath helps tremendously and my partner was included in everything - he felt a big part of it.
All in all a fantastic clean lovely centre with forward thinking staff who believe that birth is a natural process not a medical one.
Whatever you decide have a wonderful safe birth.
I tried to have my son there but ended up in the royal London and then emcs. According to my consultant midwife this time around, my early labour was mismanaged at the barkantine and that resulted in me being allowed to become dehydrated, vomit profusely and my body shut down labour. I should have been sent to hospital at least 8 hours earlier but was left to 'sleep' and then had to be induced, rehydrated etc... The whole thing went on for 40 hours. Not a positive experience I'm afraid and I definitely wouldn't go back so I just wanted to give you an alternative view.
The London was good though although not great postnatally.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
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