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St Georges Carman Suite

(13 Posts)
MiniLlace Tue 01-Sep-09 11:54:47

Quick question - have any of you visited or had experience of the new(ish) carman suite birthing centre at St Georges - was hoping to go and have a visit but due to swine flu all tours are currently cancelled! .. as well your thoughts on general feel/facilities I would alos be interested in knowing 1. do you go down to normal wards after birth or do they have their own rooms up in the suite? . if part way through a water birth the pain is too much (first timer and have no clue about my pain thresholds at this stage) can you pop down to a deliver suite and get further pain releif through drugs? .. I have always liked the idea of a water birth or at least water being part of pain control as normally with any pains i head for the bath - thanks in advance for any help!!

SassJ Tue 01-Sep-09 21:36:45

Can't help you on the experience of Carmen as I'm in the same boat as you - was going to do the tour last Saturday (blasted Swine Flu!). However, I can tell you that if you need additional pain relief at any time (up to the point of no return - around 8cm-transition I think), then don't worry, of course you can transfer to the Delivery Suite for drugs.
How far along are you? I was signed off for Carmen on Saturday, and had a really good chat with the Midwife about facilities - also, did you sign up for the Natural Birth workshop? There's an info notice up on the noticeboard (in Antenatal corridor).
Hope this is a bit helpful, don't worry!

MiniLlace Wed 02-Sep-09 09:32:30

Thanks SassJ - Im now 30 weeks - great news about switching over if the pain gets too much - I think that settles it and I will opt for the suite. I have a 32 week scan coming up (as with fibroids there is a possibility i need a elective c section - which will halt any idea of natural childbirth) - but if the offending fibroid has moved out of the way of the birth canal where it was lurkign around 20 weeks then i may take the opportunity when up on the 4th floor to have a quick look as i go past .. how far along are you??

Fruitbatlings Wed 02-Sep-09 09:42:10

I had a look before DS2 was born. I loved it. Unfortunately I couldn't use it because A. I'd had a previous C-section (I spent most of my pregnancy fighting with the HOM to use it angry) and B. It turned out baby was breech anyway so elective c-section (doubleangry)

They have two big rooms, each with a pool, a big bean bag and a bed.
Apparently there is normally at least one room free as no one thinks to ask to use it (assuming they are busy).

Yes you can go to delivery suite if it gets too much.
I think you go down to the normal wards after the birth but not entirely sure.

I hope you get to use the Carmen Suite. I would sell my soul for a natural water birth next time - will be using Kingston next time as their rules are much more lenient smile

thehouseofmirth Thu 03-Sep-09 21:15:42

My ears are burning! Hi Fruity- how are you?!

Carmen Suite is fab. I had DS2 there in Feb & frankly would have rather given birth in the cafeteria than on the regular labour ward.

I went back up (had to be sewn up in theatre) to Carmen Suite postnatally. Nice & clean and shiny but sadly post natal care as non existent there as on the regular ward.

If you are planning on breast feeding it's also worth asking if Elizabeth Thompson is running any workshops. They are fab but for some reason the midwives like to keep them secret!

Fruitbatlings Thu 03-Sep-09 21:20:35

Hey thom! I'm good thanks smile
DS2 is a dream baby, thank god!
Feeling shite about the bfing but we can't have it all can we! Busy busy busy preparing for my wedding on the 19th [eeek]

Everything good with you and DC's?

thehouseofmirth Thu 03-Sep-09 21:41:24

I'm sorry to hear you had bf problems. I read some of your posts about it and sounds like you were very unlucky, Fruity.

We're all fine. DS1 starts school on 15th! Am looking forward to spending some time alone with DS2 though. He is a little poppet. Maybe I could pop in & see you or meet you somewhere for a coffee one day?

Getting married! Glad to see he's making an honest woman of you. How exciting! Where are you doing it?

Sorry OP for hijacking your thread!

MiniLlace Fri 04-Sep-09 08:52:42

Haha no worries thehouseofmirth - glad you two caught up - anyway I got the info i needed on Carmen and definately will be off there is the c section isnt needed ! Hmmm giving birth in the cafeteria - theres a thought!

IsItMeOr Fri 04-Sep-09 09:18:01

Hi Mini,

Used Carmen and Delivery Suite in March. Although originally wanted option of Carmen, by the time I got to delivery day, I had decided that it wasn't for me. Turned up at St G and, lo and behold, delivery suite is full and Carmen empty, so my only option was to go up there until a room became free downstairs. There are actually three rooms on Carmen Suite, although I think only two have pools. They are lovely rooms with big en suites. I didn't have a midwife in with me full time while I was up there.

So I guess I am offering a word of caution. You can't assume that you will be able to transfer instantly to the Delivery Suite if you need an epidural. It will depend on rooms being free, and you may have to wait about an hour for the transfer anyway.

I don't know why people are so negative about the postnatal wards in terms of the staff - they were busy but incredibly professional and helped me with BFing - you need to ask the night shift as they have more time to help. However, no denying that sharing with three other mums was a bit wearing. If you have to stay in over night after the birth on Carmen you will be moved to the Gwillim Ward same as if you go into Delivery Suite, but they may let you stay a bit longer in the Carmen room if nobody else needs it.

I had an EMCS and the staff were amazing. My focus was always on having a hopefully healthy baby at the end of the process, so I didn't have a problem with this. The labouring and birth experience wasn't important to me in itself, but I know that isn't the case for everyone, so you need to think about what it means to you.

Hope this helps you decide what to do. It's so hard when it's such an unknown quantity, isn't it?!

thehouseofmirth Fri 04-Sep-09 18:58:37

IsItMeOr I cannot fault antenatal care at this hopsital but regarding postnatal care I speak from my 2 personal experiences and the experiences of the 8 or 9 women I know who have had babies at St G's in the past 4 years. Poor care has ranged from general lack of help to discharging one of my friends when her baby was not feeding (and not having checked to see if she was or offer any help...)

Fruitbatlings Fri 04-Sep-09 20:48:14

Yeah, sorry MiniLlace for the hijack!

thom - that sounds like a lovely idea smile

Does DS1 like Wacky Warehouse near me? Perhaps we could meet there so kiddies can play? Crappy coffee/tea but at least we don't have to entertain the littlies smile Email me:

thehouseofmirth Fri 04-Sep-09 21:33:23

Off on hols tomorrow Fruity so will mail you when we get back. DS1 loves evil WW so good idea. He's starting school when we get back but only mornings until half-term o we're free after 12pm. My email is

IsItMeOr Sat 05-Sep-09 09:01:43

Houseofmirth - I'm obviously only speaking from my experience, but I was honestly surprised given the reviews I'd heard beforehand. I subsequently met a midwife who had recently "whistle-blown" on the care, so I wondered if it had led to some improvements. Mind, based on the reviews, I was expecting something like the set of a war film based on the reviews, so perhaps I was setting the bar quite low?!

From the experience of friends who had their babies at the same time at St G's, Kingston and Chelsea, they all sounded much of a muchness, and to be honest, St G's sounded a bit better than Kingston.

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