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Which hospital for a Kent Birth - Pembury, or Farnborough (PRU) Hospital?

(34 Posts)
wethree Sat 08-Aug-09 18:21:11

hi everyone. i live in sevenoaks and i'm expecting number two in Feb 2010.

i had a long but uncomplicated birth with my DS at the Pru in Nov 06. complaints were that the ante natal care being shared with Kings is disjointed and difficult to get to and hte post natal care i received was shocking (non existent). however, it was clean, food was ok and nothing disastrous happened! i did pay for a separate room after i'd delivered which was nice but i was completely ignored to the point where i thought they'd fogotten about me. no help with breast feeding offered.

i've heard mixed things about both hospitals and was looking for any advice or tips on which to go for this time round? i realise your perception can be hugely influenced by the handful of people you happen to encounter during labour but tyring to work out whether to give Pembury a shot this time.

Thanks in advance

BonsoirAnna Sat 08-Aug-09 18:22:49

I had DD at Pembury in 2004 and loved the whole thing! I didn't eat the food though - my mother brought me things in twice a day as I didn't want to get constipated and so ate loads of fruit.

BonsoirAnna Sat 08-Aug-09 18:23:47

Paying for a separate room is a big mistake in an NHS hospital - you will be lonely!

thedolly Sat 08-Aug-09 18:33:44

Pembury was fab IME (2001 and 2003). They had a great team of midwives. I didn't stay in long so I can't comment post delivery. No experience of the other.

redboxer Sat 08-Aug-09 21:29:58

I gave birth at the PRU on Friday 31st. It was an induction due to Gestational Diabetes. The care I got from all the midwifes and my consultant was excellent, couldn't fault it. Facilities are good too. Okay the food was as could be expected for hospital food.

I had to have the placenta manually removed and lost a fair bit of blood so I was told I must take it easy. The midwifes kept telling me I must press the buzzer if I needed anything but I'm one of those people that would rather do it myself if I can . I liked being in a room with other people, it was nice to talk and helped me get over the trauma of the operation.

The actual birthing room is brilliant, has fairly high tec stereo where you can play your own CDs. I was told by the NCT midwife that they also have good facilities if you want a water birth but because I had to be hooked up to drips for the insulin I couldn't opt for that, but I was still happy with the room.

Hope this info helps but if you would like anything else answered let me know


liahgen Sat 08-Aug-09 21:34:15

I am a Doula and cover both of these hospitals.

Can't fault the maternity care given to my families at either hospital, Postnatally, bit of pot luck these days wherever you go.

Pembury is old, they haven't finished the new wing yet, ie the G&A is still in canisters, and the canteen is only open till 3.15pm!!shock whats that all about when I'm at a long birth

I have always found them friendly, professional, quite hands off for natural birth so long as things are well, this particularly Pembury.

Sorry thats not very helpful is it?

wethree Sun 09-Aug-09 20:27:46

Thanks everyone. that's all useful info.

liahgen, do you know if i'd be able to get an epidural at pembury? i was in labour for 3 days with DS so i was desperately tired and needed one by day 3 especially when they gave me oxytocin..

canteen shuts at 3:15! OMG!

also, does anyone know what is the latest point at which you can change your mind for your choice of hospital?

liahgen Sun 09-Aug-09 21:36:48


Yes you can get epi at Pembury, and very quickly too. Very well administered the times I've seen it done, all dome and dusted quickly.

If you know you are going to have drip, then you can get the epi in before they set up the drip.

I think you can change your mind at anytime can't you? ( ready to be told different though)

Good luck. If you want to have a chat

SecretSlattern Sun 09-Aug-09 21:45:53

I had DD in 2004 and DS in 2008 at Pruh. First time was fine, second time I wish I had gone somewhere else.

FlyMeToDunoon Sun 09-Aug-09 21:49:18

Hi I had two at Pembury. 2004 and 2006. Good experiences both times. One an induced labour, epidural etc and the second well that wasn't technically at Pembury but in the car park!
Midwife [Maggs] was lovely dealing with the aftermath though.

sahara78 Tue 11-Aug-09 15:12:06

I would be interested to hear some more opinions on this. I am conisdering a vbac birth this time after emergency c-section with my daughter at the PRUH.

Antenatal care at the PRUH was very poor. My care during labour was fine but I have heard that Pembury is better for vbac births.

Feel nervous about going to a hopsital I don't know, but scared to go back to the PRUH

liahgen Tue 11-Aug-09 18:34:01

sahara don't go there then. Simple really, choose another hospital. Where are you roughly? Is pembury doable for you?

IME mw at Pembury very hands off so happy to let you labour naturally, ob as you are vbac you ill be reqd to have some monitoring but you are in charge ultimately so have a frank discussion with mw before the event.

Have you a Doula on board? For support

KittyTN Fri 14-Aug-09 17:50:18

Flyme - I remember Maggs - very experienced and did a great job with my second degree tear - bless her. She took over from my actual delivery mw (shift change)

Had ds1 in home from home at pembury 2007 and I am grateful to the mw for being so 'hands off' as liahgen says. I think I was minutes from having a drip at the end. However, the mws at pembury also sent me home in labour as they felt I was not in established labour - I lasted less than 2 hours and they were really huffy about me coming back in, but when I did get back there I was 8 cm - and had had no pain relief and felt pretty unsupported and vulnerable. I found the hospital postnatal experience less than pleasant - not at all patient centred. I had a private room - curtain hanging off rail etc.

So abit mixed really. This time I'm seriosly considering home birth. It seems ungrateful to say that I was unhappy with Pembury as I have a healthy and wonderful ds. I felt that I was treated as a number in hospital and had to fit mw adgends and hosp rules. Does that sound precious?

liahgen Fri 14-Aug-09 18:07:40


That doesn't sound precious at all, it's not just the actual giving birth that makes your experience, it's the whole package. Mw's are often busy and sadly do treat you like a number. Obviously you have a great pain threashold if they wouldn't believe you were established.

Home birth is obviously a great option for anyone with an uncomplicated pg.

Postnatally it's all too often the same story, tatty, mediocre service.

Get yourselves Doulas ladies.

KittyTN Fri 14-Aug-09 20:02:28

Hi Liahgen

I have to confess that I was pretty keen on the G&A when I got it! I dont know much about Doulas - what you do and dont do - and what you charge! Do you have a website or any info you could email?

liahgen Fri 14-Aug-09 23:11:35

G&A, great stuff, just enough to take the edge off.

if you wanna have a chat. If you had a less than great experience last time, might just be nice to have a chat and a bit of a debrief, no strings.

KittyTN Mon 17-Aug-09 17:48:02

Hi Liahgen

Thanks for the offer - I've just seen you on another thread talking more about the role. I'm going to make a note of your email address and will probably contact you when I'm a bit further on. Thanks!

FlyMeToDunoon Mon 17-Aug-09 18:07:22

Kitty I felt awful when a few days after the birth of DD3 I was out with the whole family and a woman came up and said 'how nice to see the rest of your family. How are you?"
'Erm fine [thinking, friendly weirdo]'
And it was Maggs. I just didnt recognise her in clothes other than scrubs. She seemed a bit sad that I hadn't realised it was her.
Did a great job on my tear too. The doc commented on it at my check.

KittyTN Mon 17-Aug-09 21:08:08

Oh poor Maggs - I have to say I'm not sure I'd recognise her out of context either! But I certainly appreciated her. Your GP sounds very thorough. Mine checked my BP and had a quick feel of my tummy to check the uterus was well contracted but nothing any further south! Each to their own, I suppose!

FlyMeToDunoon Mon 17-Aug-09 22:12:17

Was meaning check before leaving hospital. GP barely asked how I was. 6 week check was for DD mainly. That's fine with me. Flashing the old ladygarden at anyone six weeks later isn't quite the same. Reticence has kicked in.
Good luck with your birth!

KittyTN Wed 19-Aug-09 14:20:27

Hi Flyme - thinking about it, my GP did offer to have a look at the 6 week check - I think I said something like 'thank you but I'm quite happy with it'!

eightisseventoomany Tue 25-Aug-09 08:40:16

Hiya ladies....
was linked to this thread
(never thought of coming off the pregnancy thread & looking elsewhere !!)
doh !!

so have started a thread there too...
will take time to look in futre

Also weighing up the options re: these 2 hospitals....

Still undecided though hmm

liahgen Tue 25-Aug-09 17:15:35

mums where do you live?

Might be a case of closer for you as you are expecting twins. Well that's if you are going to let nature take its course and they arrive when they arrive, ie not induced

eightisseventoomany Wed 26-Aug-09 16:36:21

Just had my scan today.....babies lying breech & transverse !!!

looks like a c-section for me anyways !!!

liahgen Wed 26-Aug-09 18:18:03

Oh mums WHen are you due? Am assuming you mean one is breech and one is transverse?

Which hosp did you choose in the end?

Do you have date then?

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