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Anyone gave birth at Lewisham or St. Mary`s - Sidcup hospitals?

(43 Posts)
aska13 Sun 16-Aug-09 01:04:13

Hi Everyone

Please let me know your experiencies at giving birth at Lewisham or St. Mary`s - Sidcup hospital? Which one to choose???? Thanks

aska13 Sun 16-Aug-09 01:05:31


Any opinion about Lewisham or Sidcup hospitals?

liahgen Sun 16-Aug-09 01:06:21


I'm a Doula and I cover Queen Mary's at Sidcup. I have supported ladies in the maternity unit and the birthing centre and have found them both to be well staffed, lovely friendly mw's who weren't in your face all the time.

I have no experience of Lewisham, sorry.


beautifulgirls Sun 16-Aug-09 08:50:20

I have had 2 babies at Queen Mary's. First time they were lovely and supportive in delivery and despite a few problems gave me a very positive birth experience. Second time however I had a technically straightforward birth, but I felt very alone and my wishes were just overlooked whatever I seemed to ask for and overall I consider the experience awful - a big shame when I was so positive about it all after the first time.
The postnatal inpatient care was pretty pants on both occasions too in QMH, though I get the impression this can be the case in many hospitals.

Also you aware Queen Mary's is closing much of the maternity unit at some point in the forseeable future? I believe they are keeping a midwife led unit there, but can't comment too much on that as no first hand knowledge.

For the above reasons I have decided to go elsewhere for the birth of my 3rd later this year. I can not trust a hospital that blatently ignored my wishes, and I do not feel comfortable using a unit where morale is perhaps not going to be as good as it should, and maybe facilities are not being as well maintained either due to impending closure. In terms of the closure this is a personal view about how I think things may be, so please if you work there and know differently don't flame me for it. I have another option locally to me (not Lewisham) and am going there instead.

aska13 Sun 16-Aug-09 09:12:33

Thanks for your opinion. What is the other option then in the area? I live in Bromley so not too sure which one to choose, but opinions about Lewisham are terrible. I am due end of October this year.


beautifulgirls Sun 16-Aug-09 11:30:46

As far as I know you have QMH, Lewisham, PRUH (Farnborough/Bromley) Queen Elizabeth at Woolwich and Darent Valley by Bluewater.

I'm due officially late October too, though my own dates put me early November. I'm going to Darent Valley. Perhaps I'll see you there wink

pagwatch Sun 16-Aug-09 11:51:48

I have given birth at both actually smile

DS1 was born at Lewisham hosp
Ds2 was born at Queen Marys sidcup

My DS's are 16 and 12 so info is not current but FWIW
Lewisham was horrendous - disinterested rude staff, told me I was making a fuss and being a 'pain in the arse' when er I was fully dilated. I nearly gave birth in the toilet because they refused to examine me or accept that I may be so far ahead so quickly. Took my DS away during the night because he was 'fretting' and fed him formula against my expressed wishes. In fairness midwife did come and apologise that my experience had been so awful but then when I asked nurse to assist me bathing DS1 for the first time she called me a 'stupid bitch'

I would not go to Lewisham if you paid me huge amounts of money to do so - not even for a blood test.

Queen Marys was loevely. DS2 was also very quick but the hospital were great and my midwife was brilliant. Nice memories.

Was all a long time ago though....

plantsitter Sun 16-Aug-09 12:07:33

Lewisham Hospital is still awful. I am definitely the kind of person who thinks people should make their own minds up about things, except NOT about Lewisham Hospital Maternity Services. Midwives are rude, stroppy and lazy, the consultants appear to think they are deities and the wards are not clean.

Started my pregnancy at QEH in Woolwich which was infinitely better, and friends who've given birth there say good things about it (didn't stay with them because I wanted a homebirth - sadly was not to be).

aska13 Sun 16-Aug-09 21:56:48

Thanks for your comments. It does not sound very well though. Need to check all hospitals and see what to do.


NeedaNewName Sun 16-Aug-09 22:12:17

Well I had both my girls at Lewisham and my experience didn;t seem to be different to any friends who had theirs at other hospitals.

DD1 - pre birth midwives were lovely, midwife during labour kept me to my birthplan (said no drugs - though changed my mind!) and seemed quite gruff at the time but realised after she was doing her job and was lovely after. In fact I had to have an epidural for the stitches and was told that I couldn't hold my baby on the way back to the ward, Doris very sternly told them that the babies place is whit her mother and very gently place DD1 in my arms - for that I was so grateful. The staff on the post natal ward were lazy and unhelpful, couldn't wait to get home.

With DD2 I had the opposite, the pre birth midwives were terrible and lazy - especially when I had to go to the hopsital for an assesment (potential problems that were luckily nothing) - they were particularly bad. The midwife I had during labour was wonderful and the post natal staff this time were great though I was still depsarate to leave!

Just wanted you to know that not all experiences of lewisham are bad

liahgen Sun 16-Aug-09 22:15:27

just for the record. I run the Doula stand at QM sidcup and although yes there are plans afoot to close nothing is written in stone at the moment, and certainly by October, all facilities will still be fully staffed and running.

beautiful I'm sorry you had a lousy experience but ime I wouldn't say that Morale was low in general at QM.

Pruh is an option too, again, cover there regularly and always pleasant Mw's

Yes postnatal care is always a bit hit and miss wherever you go sadly as needed mw's are often elsewhere, there are just not enough of them.

Perhaps as a Doula the mw's make more of an effort to be seen more if we are there ? Does that make sense? As if they have to show us they do a good job iyswim, hence why I have only seen mostly good things.

(maybe not, just a thought)

ask is Hb not an option?

Oumasrusks Mon 17-Aug-09 08:12:59

I had both my DDs at QM Sidcup - the first in 2006 and the second in 2007 and found it to be a good hospital both times. The postnatal care was not good for the first baby though, but when I had DD2 in 2007 it had improved greatly. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.

Oumasrusks Mon 17-Aug-09 08:14:50

Oh, forgot to say that one bad thing that happened when I gave birth at QM in 2006 was that the toilet I was given to use during labour hadn't been cleaned from the previous woman, so the seat had blood etc on it and was disgusting. Other than that, it was fine with regards to cleanliness.

TheOldestCat Mon 17-Aug-09 08:21:56

I had DD at Lewisham in 2006 and my experience seemed to be the norm among everyone I met while on mat leave - great care during delivery and terrible experience afterwards.

The midwives on the labour ward (and pre-labour) were FANTASTIC. The care was brilliant, I was never left alone (although spent most of it in the birthing pool, so that could explain that). The student midwife stayed with me for several hours after her shift ended so she could see DD born. They were all wonderful.

The opposite story for post-natal care - the midwives were rude, unpleasant, contradicted each other ('that's NOT how you breastfeed', 'why aren't you doing it like this? silly girl? why are you upset?', one would open a window telling me off for keeping baby too hot, then another would come in and tell me off and shut it, no help with anything at night). I had no sleep for three nights and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

I'm pregnant and if we were still living in the area, I would consider having the baby in Lewisham. But I would discharge myself straight afterwards (if possible).

Kyte Mon 17-Aug-09 11:12:48

To be honest, we moved, one of the reasons being I didn't want to give birth to our next child in SE London.

Queen Mary's was the best of a bad lot IMO.

The midwives were generally lovely, but overworked (they forgot to clean me up after a fairly horrific instrumental birth and my mum had to wash me down, 2 hours after the birth - luckily she used to be a midwife)

The HCAs (Health Care Assistants) dress a lot like midwives and I found some were very happy to let you think they were midwives and gave much more vocal 'advice' than the midwives. These same ones also made it difficult for me to talk to a midwife and I usually had to wait for the next shift (I was in 8 days). After the first few hours I had noticed that ds was getting floppy and listless and the HCA tried to refuse to get anyone to see him. I persisted, she got grumpy but eventually got the midwife, who called a paed, who took ds to SCBU for testing. Turned out he and I both had infections and ds was jaundiced.

The breastfeeding counsellor is fantastic, but many of the HCAs and midwives seem to ignore her advice/policies and looked at me as if I was stupid when I asked to cupfeed my jaundiced and infected baby who was too ill to breastfeed. I'm also pretty sure that ds was given a bottle of formula by them at one stage or else they forgot to feed him at all - they took him for the first night and were supposed to wake me up to feed him. No-one woke me for the first night feed.....

The whole staff also put me under a lot of pressure to switch to bottles and formula (except the head consultant guy who was very supportive) so that they could monitor how much ds was taking. We ended up cupfeeding with me expressing and then topping up with formula, but I now know that was unnecessary because they were trying to get ds to take far too much. Within a week of getting home we were exclusively breastfeeding and ds started putting on weight.

If you need any help breastfeeding, get the counsellor in as soon as possible.

Cleanliness was ok, but I did take in my own antibac wipes for the toilet seat and showers.

Food was dull but edible.

frisbyrat Mon 17-Aug-09 12:28:23

I had dd at Lewisham in Oct 2004, and then chose to go back there to have ds in 2007, instead of going to King's, which is also close to me, as I felt the care was good (it is possible that I don't have very high expectations of the NHS). grin

The midwife from Lewisham who ran antenatal sessions at the GP's was excellent, and took lots of time to be reassuring when I was a first time mum. The actual birth was ok (I asked for an epidural from the outset); I went in with some bleeding (which I now realise was actually a show blush), and was kept in until I gave birth 30-odd hours later, rather than being sent home, as I know sometimes happens at hospitals that are busy. My birth plan was kept to, my German midwife did some excellent stitching afterwards (only a small tear), the food was pretty dire (but the puds were good - think old school food!), and I got masses of help with breastfeeding, shown how to bathe dd properly. All very professional.

Downsides: I thought the postnatal floor was grubby, but not a problem as I just used anti-bac spray when I got there. I also got a private room (about £30) after one night of listening to three other people's babies crying, which made life much more relaxed.

With ds, I was urged to try for a home birth! I prefer the safety of being near plenty of experts and all medical stuff in case of emergency, though, so chose to go in. And all went well until he had shoulder dystocia, and there was a team of, I'd say, about 5 people waiting at the back of the room in case it all went wrong. But I was too tired to care, and the mws dealt with it, did Roberts(?) maneuvre, only told me cord had been wrapped twice round ds's neck when he was peacefully bfing an hour later and were, all in all, excellent. They also had a crash team in the room within 15 seconds after dh fainted (the anaesthetist's description of epidural risks was a bit too graphic for him, poor dear grin ). It's a shame the delay he caused meant I never got my pain relief though. hmm

My neighbour, otoh, had a terrible time at Lewisham, so I guess it's luck of the draw.

cassell Mon 17-Aug-09 12:49:49

I had my ds at Lewisham in April this year. The labour ward was fine, I went straight into a delivery room when I got there, had a nice helpful mw and no problems - although they did rush me up to the post natal ward afterwards as needed the room (not a problem for me as I was feeling fine - considering... - but may be an issue for some). The post natal ward was awful though, kept us in for several days, made my ds have unnecessary antibiotics, lost his test results, mixed up records, never saw the same person twice, mws were unhelpful and rude. However on the plus side both paeds I saw were great, the bf counsellor was really helpful and spent ages with me which really got bf established and was able to have a private ensuite room (I think it was £35/night) as they weren't that busy which was a bonus.

TheOldestCat Mon 17-Aug-09 16:06:03

Frisbyrat - I think we may have had the same midwife (German lady). She was great!

sprogger Mon 17-Aug-09 20:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlepiggies Mon 17-Aug-09 21:32:26

Agree with most of the posts about Lewisham - it's understaffed and definitely doesn't feel like a 5 star (or even 3 star) birthing experience. Do try and get your own room - it's definitely worth it. The one thing which it does really have going for it is its neonatal intensive care facility. I hope you have no reason to experience it yourself but we thought the care our daughter received there was fantastic, as was the support they gave us as parents.

aska13 Mon 17-Aug-09 23:21:57

Thanks a lot. Hopefully when I get to the point they will be not too busy, than it sounds it could be fine. Will see. Any tips more than welcome

Singstar Mon 17-Aug-09 23:31:13

I had both mine at Queen Marys and changed to there from Croydon, I thought it was wonderful, the midwives stayed with me through both difficult labours (beyond their shifts) and with my first as it was so difficult the midwife even sent my little one a teddy bear in the post when we arrived home. The drs were brilliant and its one the safest maternity units in the south east. I couldn't recommend them enough.

aska13 Mon 17-Aug-09 23:43:39


Do you know how many labour rooms both hospitals have and how it looks like after givung birth - I mean all facilities and any option for a private room? Do you know when there are tours through the ward?


SolidGoldBrass Mon 17-Aug-09 23:57:45

I had DS in Lewisham in 2004: mixed opinions really. I had to be induced as he was late and my blood pressure was soaring, most of the ante-natal care was OK though one MW was a cow who strapped me to a monitor and forgot about me for 90 minutes. When they transferred me to the delivery room my friend was sent back to get all our luggage and bring it into the birthing room, not exactly hygienic. Then the day after DS was born they forgot to give me any food till about 5pm. It wasn't very clean and I got an infection, but the MWs on hand for the actual birth were lovely and funny and helpful.

plantsitter Tue 18-Aug-09 10:31:57

I would add the Lewisham Community Midwives are brilliant so a home birth in Lewisham seems like a good idea.

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