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Royal Berkshire - experiences please

(12 Posts)
PennyBenjamin Wed 05-Aug-09 16:23:38

I am currently pregnant and in the process of moving from London to Buckinghamshire. Having to move hospitals was panicking me slightly until I realized that London hospitals have horrible reputations for maternity care, and I'll probably be better off out of London!

Would be very grateful for anyone's experiences of the Royal Berkshire, as I think that will be our closest hospital. I have read some old threads on this, but they all seem to be a few years old, so would really appreciate any recent experiences.

Thank you!

Bettymum Wed 05-Aug-09 16:31:03

Oh, oh, something I can answer!
I had DD at the Royal Berks last January, and all my antenatal screening there. I would be wary of old threads perhaps as I believe it has changed a lot in the last few years (for the better).
Did you have any specific questions?

Bettymum Wed 05-Aug-09 16:31:46

And where in Bucks are you moving to? I'm from Bucks originally .

Picante Wed 05-Aug-09 16:33:50

I had ds there 3 years ago. It's a nice hospital - has a nice feel to it i.e. feels clean and airy.

Didn't have too bad an experience with the birth - my main issue was the number of different midwives I saw from beginning to end. They were crap at breastfeeding advice and even took ds away to give him a bottle. However they do have a good breastfeeding clinic for after the birth which is open every weekday.

I'm planning a homebirth this time - have you thought about that? The community midwives are lovely from what i've seen so far and RBH is very pro HBs.

HensMum Wed 05-Aug-09 16:36:40

I gave birth in the Royal Berks in Oct 07. I wanted to use their birth pool or the "home-like" suite but ended up being induced so couldn't. I just about sraped in before they had to close the maternity unit as it was full.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the care that DS and I got. It's really hard to know as he was my first baby, and I don't have a lot of experience in hospital anyway.

I was monitored after I was induced as DS's heartbeat was dropping. The midwives kept saying they'd come back in 25 mins then leaving me for an hour but that's just down to low staffing levels probably. When it was clear that DS was in trouble and I'd have to have a ventouse, I had excellent one-on-one care from a midwife, and then what seemed like every other member of staff around.
The registrar that delivered DS stitched me up afterwards and did a fabulous job!

I spent a day and a night on a small ward and was out the following morning. Nothing really to complain about other than the food was fairly rank but that's to be expected...

There's a brilliant breastfeeding clinic at the Royal Berks. I went to a session when I was pregnant and dropped in a couple of times when DS was tiny. The woman who runs it is very friendly and it was well attended.

Is there anything in particular you wanted to know? We went on a tour of the maternity unit before DS was born and that really helped.

Picante Wed 05-Aug-09 16:40:22

Hensmum does Claire still run it? Lady with pouty lips?! She's fab fab fab.

Bettymum Wed 05-Aug-09 16:49:15

The food in Royal Berks is Michelin Starred compared to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon
I started out having a homebirth...but transferred to RBS after three of the community midwives had been out to see me at home. I did see a lot of midwives in the time we were at hospital but that was because we were there for a long time. I ended up having an epidural and a ventouse, by this stage I loved everyone, particularly the anaesthetist.
Post natal breastfeeding support on the ward wasn't great but yes the clinic is fab. I think my difficulties stemmed from the amount of drugs in my system (and therefore DD's).

HensMum Wed 05-Aug-09 16:50:20

Argh, I can't remember her name! Or her lips! Just that she was very helpful and supportive. This was nearly two years ago though so no idea if she's still there.

Picante Wed 05-Aug-09 16:52:26

Well I shall find out shortly as baby is due in 2 weeks - even though I'm having her at home I'm definitely going to the clinic.

wasabipeanut Wed 05-Aug-09 16:55:38

I had DS here in Sept 07. Would agree with the comments re midwife turnover - I got through 3 sets due to shift changes but by and large I think its a good hospital. They are a very busy unit but my experience was that it was very clean and the post birth care was generally good. I had an em cs and the 1st night when I was pretty much immobile I had a call bell which was answered promptly. Only real criticism was that they really pushed DS to have top up feeds before my milk came in which could (but luckily didn't) screw up my supply.

They also screwed up a weighing which led to us having to stay in an extra night - thought DS had lost 10% of weight but then appeared to gain it so amazingly fast in 24 hours that it was obvious there had been an error.

This all sounds quite negative - believe me I have heard a lot worse.

PennyBenjamin Wed 05-Aug-09 18:13:27

Wow! I didn't expect so many replies so quickly! Thank you all.

I don't really have any specific questions, more wanted to get a sense of whether you had a good experience or not. This is my second baby, so I'm not a total novice. Last time I ended up with a lot of complications, both with the pregnancy and birth, and a major post partum hemorrhage, so unfortunately I'm not really a candidate for home birth or the Wallingford unit (which I've heard is great).

To be honest, the criticisms mentioned here are nothing I wouldn't level at my London hospital (and much, much more....!). A hospital tour sounds good, then at least I'd feel a bit less lost.

Bettymum Thu 06-Aug-09 09:22:10

It is a huge hospital but I thought the maternity ward was very good. I did find it difficult to get BFing support on the ward just because everyone's so busy, but when I wandered down to the BF clinic in my dresing gown and DD in her cot they were lovely.
One thing I appreciated, although maybe all hospitals have it, was a separate sitting room with a kettle and newspapers so you could go for a cup of tea for 10 minutes while the baby was sleeping and read the papers, it was a nice break.
Just a thought, aren't you nearer to High Wycombe? Not that I know anything about their maternity services.
Hope this birth is less complicated than the last!

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