Do I go for a 'natural birth' option at Bloomsbury Birthing Centre (or Queen Charlotte's Birth Centre) or choose a more 'traditional' maternity ward option at either UCLH, Queen Charlotte's or Westminster and Chelsea? First child and a little lost on what choice to make....main thing seems to be whether I want easu access to an epidural..Do I? Any advice so much appreciated X
hello, don't think epidurals are an option in the bloomsbury birthing centre, you'd have to be on the labour ward for that. they do have birthing pools/gas and air and i think pethidine/diamorphine would still be an option cos it is midwife-led. hope this helps
of course sometimes you don't get a choice. i would love to have access to a birthing pool (I was due yesterday!) but i have to be on the labour ward because i've been taking a blood-thinning drug throughout my pregnancy so any sign of a risk factor and they are supercautious. that said, the midwives are keen to stress that you can still have an active birth and use balls/stools etc etc
newM2B - obviously don't know if this applies to you, but if your BMI is over 30 you won't be able to use the birthing centre at UCH. just thought i'd flag it up, because i wasn't told this by anyone i'd discussed my birth plan with (and there were several of them) until wednesday just gone (when i was 39+0) & i wouldn't want anyone else to go through the stress & upset i've had this week.
For what it's worth, I loved the birthing pool and the Bloomsbury Birthing Centre, but the minute my baby's heart rate went up, I had to walk down to the Labour Ward and, although his heart rate went back down and we were in great health, I wasn't allowed to continue the active birthing. I was told to stay on the bed, and they even made me use stirrups. Labour slowed down a lot as a consequence. Plus, the staff on the Labour Ward were awful compared to the Birthing Centre. It all ended with forceps and an epidural.
I went to UCH because I did want easy access to an epidural, if I needed one, but I did 22 hours of labour without an epidural, using the birthing pool and gas and air - and when I did get an epidural for the forceps, it was pretty anticlimactic - all that work, and then at the end, I couldn't feel my baby being born.
In hindsight, they probably wouldn't have been so quick to shunt me down to the labour ward if it hadn't been so convenient to do so. In some ways, being far away from an epidural might have been a safer option. Will consider a home birth next time.