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Just been refused the use of the birth centre at local hospital!! am gobsmacked!

(43 Posts)
stellamel Fri 20-Nov-09 11:02:54

Just been for a visit to the Birth Centre at Stepping Hill hopsital. I was literally there 1 minute!

The midwife who went to show me round said I had to have had a straight forward pregnany (which I have). She asked if it was my first baby and I told her it was my second and she asked about that birth and I told her I'd had pre-eclampsia. Where upon she refused to allow me to go any further. Just out right said I wouldn't be able to use the birth centre and would have to give birth in the normal maternity unit - which might I add is only on the floor below, so it's hardly like I'd be a million miles from medical 'help' if required. I did point out that just because I'd had PE before didn't mean I'd get it again, she disagreed and said they wouldn't book me in! shock

I had a horrible medicalised birth with my dd read here and there is no way on gods green earth I am going into the normal maternity unit. They'll have to drag me there kicking and screaming.

Is this normal? I thought we had the right to give birth where we choose?

Don't know what to do now, seeing MW later, not sure what options I have left now sad

MamaG Fri 20-Nov-09 11:04:13

I think MLUs have very strict criteria

hoxtonchick Fri 20-Nov-09 11:04:57

i'm afraid they will only take absolutely normal low risk women at birth centres generally. but you should be able to have midwife led care in consultant led unit.

OrmIrian Fri 20-Nov-09 11:05:57

It doesn't have to be horrendous in a mat unit. Mine were all fine. Very low key and calm.

OmicronPersei8 Fri 20-Nov-09 11:11:15

I have a friend who had her 2nd baby in a birth centre (2 hour labour, water birth) after having had pre-eclampsia/induction/forceps etc with her first.

So some units do accept people in your situation - although this birth centre was in a maternity hospital, so easy to transfer at any point in pregnancy / birth. My experience with a different birth centre is that they can be very rigid in who they will accept.

Try contacting the NCT - I think this is the kind of thing they can help with (based on my vague memory).

mazzystartled Fri 20-Nov-09 11:11:41

I know that the MLU here is very strict on who would be allowed to have their baby there partly because of the resources available, and partly because they have to maintain a fairly high "success" rate.

It may be that if you explain your circumstances to your MW she can help to argue your case, or you can take it up directly with the Head of Midwifery.

However, I'd say that just because you go to the maternity ward doesn't mean that you would automatically end up with a medicalised birth - far from it. You just labour in something that looks like a hospital room rather than something than looks like a travellodge. In fact at our local hospital the birthing pools are in the maternity ward not the MLU.

Is a home birth not an option? Can you use it as a bargaining tool?

Don't lose heart. Oh the doula idea is a good one.

hazeyjane Fri 20-Nov-09 11:11:53

They have every right to say you can't use the birth unit, if they feel there is a risk. However, I was refused when i first asked to use the birth unit in Slough, with dd1 because I had had a molar pregnancy and was seen as high risk, and with dd2 because I had torn badly with dd1.

I spoke to another MW and a consultant and eventually got them to agree to letting me use the birthing unit.

Unfortunately with dd1 I ended up having to go to the labour ward because dd1 wouldn't come out, so I had to have ventouse. With dd2 I was only in there for 5 minutes because they found meconium in my waters!

I would add I had an horrendous birth with dd1, and ended up discharging myself because the ward was horrible. When I was in there with dd2 it was a completely different and better experience. Were there any good MW's from your first birth who you could have a talk to about your worries?

OmicronPersei8 Fri 20-Nov-09 11:13:43

Just re-read your OP and the maternity unit is in the same building. I really feel for you on this.

OmicronPersei8 Fri 20-Nov-09 11:15:16

Try speaking to other people - sometimes speaking to someone more senior can help. Good luck.

theyoungvisiter Fri 20-Nov-09 11:18:50

I would ask to discuss it with your consultant and the head of the centre.

They can do a lot to predict whether PE is likely to occur (dopplers and bloods etc) so they might be willing to do some tests and make a decision in the light of that information.

theyoungvisiter Fri 20-Nov-09 11:20:12

sorry, should have been reoccur.

heth1980 Fri 20-Nov-09 11:23:54

My local MLU is really strict and they won't let me in. However they will let me have a home birth (!!!!) seems to make no sense to me at all given that the MLU is actually joined on to the hospital whereas my house is a 15 min drive away......

serenity Fri 20-Nov-09 11:29:51

I wasn't allowed to use the home-from-home birth unit at St Thomas because I have hypothyroidism, despite having two completely fine G&A/no complications/no stitches, births before. They can be incredibly strict (if it hadn't been 5am when they were refusing me, I would have argued, contractions or no contractions)

theyoungvisiter Fri 20-Nov-09 11:31:13

heth - maybe because a MLU can be closed down, but homebirths can't?

So if they don't keep their stats impressive, they might risk their funding...? Not sure really, but that would be my guess.

Tangle Fri 20-Nov-09 11:32:33

I'd recommend talking to people - may be able to point you in addition to the suggestions you've already had. There doesn't seem to be a good medical reason for not allowing you in at the moment, but ultimately it is up to them

heth1980 - as it is their MLU they can choose whether to let you in. They have no legal powers to deny you a HB if that's what you want (although most would put up a fight to get you into hospital...). Anyway, whoever said the NHS had to make sense hmm

gorionine Fri 20-Nov-09 11:36:25

stellamel, I gave birth to 3 of my 4 Dcs in Stepping hill hospital, I do not remember once having been asked if my pregnancy was straight foreward is the "Birth Center" the same as the "woman's Unit" or is it a new/different thing I have never been told about ?(DD4 was born 3 years ago)

FWIW had a fabulous experience there for the 3 of them (DD1 was born in St Mary hospital in Paddington (London) and my memories of it are not so good.

stellamel Fri 20-Nov-09 11:50:19

Thanks for all your replies, seems I was misled about the right to give brith where you wish.blush

I would actually like a home birth, but thought I'd be sensible and try the MLU as it's above the normal maternity unit and medical help.

Think I'll talk to MW about homebirth then. Sounds like I have more chance of that happening.

I am not giving birth in the normal unit, I had a v. v. traumatic birth last time that left me PND and a multitude of other issues. I am too scared to go through that again. I am not a wimp but I still feel traumatised by it 3 years later.

Gorionine - it's farily new addition within the last 2 years I think.

I will read all your posts properly later - got to go and get my dd from pre-school.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and post

gorionine Fri 20-Nov-09 12:06:14

I really hope that you will get the birth you want! I think the "I would actually like a home birth, but thought I'd be sensible and try the MLU as it's above the normal maternity unit and medical help." is very sensible, I do not understand their reasons as like you said, you would be much closer to the normal maternity unit than if you had a home birth (unless you live on one of the wardsgrin).

How long have you got until your new baby arrives to try and convince them? Hopefully your MV will be more understanding and helpfull. Have you always seen the same MV? I saw a different one every appointment and found it very ennoying as you have to go through the same explanations every time.

flybynight Fri 20-Nov-09 12:45:53

I know that a woman gave birth to twins in our local "home from home" unit after threatening to insist on a home birth otherwise. You can use it as a bargaining chip. Good luck.

LadyTeasmaid Fri 20-Nov-09 13:28:36

Does it matter if you've got mood lightening and plinky plonky music?

If they say its safer to do it one way, I personally would be giving thanks on bended knee for the safe hospital I can still give birth in even though I'm not paying for it.

I know it's hard now. But once baby is here it wont matter, thats what this should be about, baby, not you. They wont remember where they were born. Long as they get here safe.

DaisymooSteiner Fri 20-Nov-09 13:32:39

LadyTeasmaid, you've obviously never had a traumatic birth then or you wouldn't be making such simplistic, patronising comments.

Tangle Fri 20-Nov-09 13:35:54

But LadyTeasmaid - they haven't said that being in hospital would be safer. From what stellamel has said she's been given no justificatin whatsoever as to why having PE with her last child makes her higher risk this time round. The baby may not remember where they're born, but if the mother is left with PTSD its not really ideal, is it? There is research that shows that the more relaxed the mother is the easier and less stressful the birth (for mother and baby) - if the mother feels stressed just thinking about going into hospital its not setting things up for a straightforward birth. If there are two options that are equally safe for the baby and one is much better for the mother, why not take it?

gorionine Fri 20-Nov-09 13:39:48

LadyTeasmaid, as I understood, Op does not wants a homebirth, she want to give birth in a less medicalised part of the hospital that is one flooor up to the medicalised one. Is it really taking too much risk? If somehing should start to concern the staff there, surely sending her in the lift 1 floor down would not be that challenging?

I do not think she wants that particular center so her Dc can have fond memeries of where they wre born but because her last experience was all but nice for her so she would like to have a more pleasant on this time round.

MrsHappy Fri 20-Nov-09 13:40:07

You need to speak to the consultant midwife and (if different) the person running the birth centre. The midwife showing you round was probably just repeating policy, but policies can be bent...

LadyTeasmaid Fri 20-Nov-09 13:45:07

Not safer? Oh they obviously turned OP down because they felt like upsetting a pregnant woman with a history of dificult birth.

African woman have a one in 16 chance of dying in childbirth and pregnancy, and we complain.

Daisymoo, I had horrid birth, 3 days then intervention. And I'm glad I was with medical professionals who did what they could to help me. Hence how I think they should be listened to and respected, rather than assuming all they are doing is stopping you from getting your own way.

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