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ante-natal and maternity experience of ERI

(25 Posts)
izchaz Sun 26-May-13 12:36:47

Hello all, was wondering if any of you have (recent, or not so) experience of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary as an ante natal unit and for labouring etc? DH and I are moving in the next little while and my care will be switched to the ERI, I am wondering about things like how they handle scans, early pregnancy issues, consultations for weight gain (nazi midwife has tattled on me for being underweight), parking, getting to maternity services within what I know is a MASSIVE warren of a hospital, later pregnancy, labour ward/MW led unit, breast feeding support dadalalalala, and on and on... Can't find anything through google and am hesitant to give up access to quite a good hospital that I could still reasonably drive to when we move if ERI care is going to be rubbish/stressful/patchy. Any help in terms of experience or pointers for info online would be much appreciated.

auchinlay Sun 26-May-13 13:35:18

Hello, here's a link to the attached midwife-led birthing centre if you're interested
My scans at the RIE have been fine, and I've heard good stories both about the birthing centre and the hospital.

galwaygirl Sun 26-May-13 13:46:25

Where are you moving from? I gave birth at ERI in 2011.
Your ante-natal care will be handled by your midwife locally not in the hospital although your scans may be there depending on where you live. It's easy to find the maternity section as it has it's own separate entrance.
You get extra growth scans at 28 and 36 weeks if you're underweight.
Is this your first baby? Of my group of friends who gave birth there in the same year all for the first time I think it was 7 of us (out of 10) that had forceps deliveries - none of us had any underlying health issues and all had differences in length of labour, inductions etc. There is a very high rate d forceps deliveries for first time mums there, they also use Keilland's forceps.
Have you considered St John's in Livingstone?

izchaz Sun 26-May-13 13:55:41

Auchinlay - thanks, I'll check that out :-)

Galway girl - yep, this is my first. My current maternity unit is in the borders, I'm keen to not have to drive over an hour to get to appointments etc, so would like to switch when we move and the RIE is the logical one to switch to. Would be on the wrong side of the city for St Johns, which is a shame, because I like it as a hospital. 7 out of 10 of you? Jeeez! Literally nothing terrifies me as much as forceps delivery, I would rather have both legs hacked off with a spoon! Right, so that's food for thought... Thank you!

galwaygirl Sun 26-May-13 14:02:18

Just re reading your OP, parking has always been grand for us at ERI but I think it can depend on time of day. We need had an issue with it. And if you're living in Edinburgh city taxis are cheap to ERI.
Breast feeding support again is something you get outside hospital through groups etc. They will help in hospital
But can be very busy.
I hope my post doesn't sound too bad - the sonographers there are nearly all lovely and we had great experiences with scans. I had a really unfortunate experience tere which coloured my views but have had apologies and know its not standard. Rate of forceps deliveries are very high though for first timers which I think is important to be aware of.

galwaygirl Sun 26-May-13 14:07:16

I cross posted with you there - what part if the city will you be in?
Do you know that ERI has to close when it gets too busy so you can end up being sent to St Johns or Borders anyway? I think if you go to St Johns you would literally only have to go there for delivery and it's easy to get to once you're out onto the bypass.
I bet their official forceps rate is a lot lower, one of my friends that had forceps first time just had her second without forceps, but it's definitely high first time.

weebarra Sun 26-May-13 14:14:21

I gave birth in the ERI in 2007, 2010 and will be again this year. I had two emcs and will have an elective this time. Had no issues with ante- or post-natal care (although I did have to wait two hours for a running late consultant appt last week).
Have had slightly complicated pregnancies and have found the sonographers and fetal medicine specialists to be great.

izchaz Sun 26-May-13 14:19:15

We're moving to East Lothian, so St John's would be a bit of a trek. To be honest I have multiple reasons to avoid having to give birth in BGH, but that's not a story for the boards here I feel twitchy eye and fretty face.
I'm so not keen on forceps delivery it's not funny, I work in health care and like reading the really dry sorts of medical papers that give most people a migraine, so I understand how archaic and dangerous the bloody things are. I'll probably crawl off the bed if anyone comes near me with them to be honest! Thank you for being honest though, I'd much rather have accuracy than sugar coating (hence the reading of endlessly dry medical papers!)

izchaz Sun 26-May-13 14:20:58

Cheers Weebarra, I crossposted all over you there! That's good to know, I have a sinky feeling about being pestered a good deal about my weight throughout this pregnancy, so am fully expecting lots of poking a prodding and measuring and lecturing. Woohoo!

mrsyattering Sun 26-May-13 14:27:16

I gave birth in 2007 and 2009 in Simpsons (ERI) both my experiences were great, stayed in 3 days with dd, as she was my first they wanted her to be established bfing before I left, mw's where all great, student stayed to watch her being born despite finishing her shift 6 hours earlier! With Ds was admitted at 530, had him at 730 and was home for 1700 both very pleasant experiences imo. I only know two people who've had forceps out of at least 20 ladies.
Sister, had a EMCS and had to be readmitted a week afterwards due to infectoion, but her care was great also

galwaygirl Sun 26-May-13 14:42:43

Well if you work in healthcare then you have a better chance avoiding forceps I'd say. I probably would have had an EMCS instead if I'd been firmer but 56/57 hours in all I could do was cry hysterically at that stage!
My friend who had her second was told by the consultant she saw when considering section for number two due to the bad forceps experience that the only way to guarantee avoiding them at ERI is to have an ELCS. Basically no matter what it says in your plan etc.
I had no forceps all over my notes, but there is no option to consent to EMCS without consenting to trial of forceps. They told me it'd be an EMCS more than likely and once prepped in theatre it was forceps...
My friend who just had her second had a great natural birth in the MLU though, completely different to first time round.
It's really difficult to predict what could happen first time as you've never done it before. Another of my friends who had Kiellands forceps in 2011 had her second with no instrumentation. The rest of us are still cooking our second but I'm in a different country having an ELCS and another of us is going to St Johns. Three of us are going back to ERI so obviously didn't find it too bad overall...

Ipp3 Sun 26-May-13 15:14:06

I gave birth in eri in march this year and the staff were fantastic. I had a sudden onset on very intense contractions and frequent contraction and bleeding. The staff monitored me as unobtrusively as they could an quietly supported me to labour in the way I wanted which was using active birthing alongside breathing and hypnotherapy techniques. I felt they pushed it as far as they could in terms of waiting to see if I could deliver naturally before advising I needed a c section as they thought he placenta was coming away. Everyone I know, except one person, who has given birth there in the past few months has spoken positively of the staff. The one who wasn't positive went to 43 weeks and felt pressured to accept an induction.
People had more mixed stories of staying in hospital post. Birth and these were linked to staff shortages where people had poor vexperiences. I would say to ask what support is available whilst in hospital, physio advice, baby care etc, as no one explained this to me.
I was very unhappy with early pregnany support from the pregnancy support unit as they told me my pregnancy had failed as they never bothered to read my notes properly orto ask me questions to establish the correct length of the pregnancy and their response to my complaint was offensive lying drivel.
Excuse typos as typing with baby in one hand!

izchaz Sun 26-May-13 17:45:05

Galway girl I'm snorting with laughter at the idea that there's a HCP secret handshake or similar that ensures excellent medical care - if it exists I've not been inducted into NHS Illuminati just yet :-) on a more serious note, it sounds like you had a really rough time of it, I'm sorry to hear it, and I cannot get over the use of Keilland forceps, those things could be used to deliver a confession under torture! I'm glad you and some of your friends feel able to go back there though, that does improve my ideas about the place.

Ipp3 thank you for such a detailed response, I'm so glad you felt listened to and (for want of a better word) humoured as to your wishes where possible. I'm dissapointed to hear you had such a rough time with the EPU - it's not an exact science, but you'd think they'd take that into account when breaking what they believe is bad news wouldn't you? From your signoff though it seems you have a baby stealing your limbs, so not the worst outcome :-)

izchaz Sun 26-May-13 17:47:24

mrsyattering I missed you up there some how! Thanks for sharing your positive experiences, it's great to get a rounded idea of the place.

Dynababy Sun 26-May-13 18:27:04

Hi I posted on a similar thread recently. I had an EMSC there in 2011 following failed induction (very far post dates). Whilst its a very busy unit and staff are stretched the care I received was great, very good midwives and good feeding support. I'm having an ELSC there this time in 3 weeks. I wouldn't worry about going there at all, staff are great. Your ante natal care will be in the community as others have said. Good luck and don't worry about the move. Good luck.

weebarra Sun 26-May-13 18:49:23

And I think there is still a very supportive breastfeeding clinic run by Karla Napier. Was fantastic when I was struggling with DS1.

LemonBreeland Sun 26-May-13 18:58:50

It is a very busy place. And Galway is right that you aky end up being sent to the BGH or St. Johns anyway.

A colleague of mine lives in Dunbar and ended up at St Johns. That is 2 hours from her home. shock

Interested to know why you don't want to go to the BGH. I haven't given birth there myself as I had home births, but did have to go in after one of them and it was a great experience, much better than than the busy maternity hospital in Glasgow where my first was born.

Ethlinn Sun 26-May-13 19:01:06

I gave birth in ERI in January this year. Had to move from the birth centre to hospital (they couldn't monitor baby's heartbeat). Midwives were fantastic during labour. I have nothing to complain about. I was in hospital for a couple of days as I wanted to bf and it wasn't going well. The one thing I've learnt was: if you want help, keep pressing the buzzer besides your bed until you actually get it. I was all shy and quiet on the first day and it took me nowhere. The day after I acted a bit differently-buzz buzz buzzzz and I got all the help I needed. All the midwives were lovely though, it was just really really busy.

izchaz Sun 26-May-13 19:11:11

Cheers ladies, that's really stuck a positive slant on things for me, I'm not looking forward to moving and really not looking forward to having to fartarse about with new GPs, midwifes, consultants etc. Ugh, if only I could just move the stuff we need to be nearer to, rather than us having to uproot EVERYTHING. Never mind, I'm going to drown my packing/moving/pregnancy woes in a large vat of frozen yoghurt.

RuckAndRoll Sun 26-May-13 20:44:28

Really interesting to read this thread. I'm currently 29 weeks with our first and due to give birth at RIE.

Wrt antenatal care, I can't praise maternity triage enough. I've been up there 3 times so far, 2 lots of PV bleeding and 1 lot of reduced movement and they've been fantastic. I've also phoned them for advice a few times. Like I say, can't praise them enough.

I got kept in last week with the bleed and the ward wasn't great, but find me a hospital ward that is. The staff were all really good and I had confidence in them but the food was awful and it was a very noisy ward but I suspect that's perfectly normal!

Rowboat Sun 26-May-13 21:33:01

Hi OP. I gave birth there in 2011 and I thought they were great. Antenatal care was fine, I had consultant led care due to preexisting condition and extra scans. Waiting times to see the consultant were pretty terrible at times, but I reckon this is pretty normal with v busy centre but something to watch for if you need extra care for weight? The midwife I had for my birth were faultless. I was v determined not to have pain relief other than gas even though on drip for non progression. They were so supportive and unobtrusive. The prenatal ward was hot and noisy but again I think that's pretty standard. All in all I was happy with the care and more the happy to book in there again in this pregnancy. Also, as an aside their early pregnancy support has been great. They've dealt with a mc and mmc with me and about early scan.
Parking is mixed. Wednesday is clinic day and it can be difficult parking in the maternity carpark, but usually fine.
I just missed the new mw led birthing centre opening but I know of people who have used it and they said it was amazing "just like a hotel".
hth grin

Rowboat Sun 26-May-13 21:34:46

postnatal ward not prenatal.

bowlingforsoup Sun 26-May-13 23:58:57

I had my first baby in the BGH. I found them amazing and they supported me so well all the way through a difficult pregnancy. It's a relatively small hospital so the midwifes rememberd me and i always saw the same doctors.

I am due to have my second baby in 3 weeks time and because I've moved, I'll be going to the ERI. I have had 3 scans and they went really well, I've had loads of appointments (im resus negative) with midwives etc but I have never seen the same midwife twice, even at my local GP surgery and ive found it less personal than last time. The birthing centre at ERI is amazing and I am really looking forward to giving birth there if i manage without an epidural. It's all new so clean, fresh and state of the art equipment smile

ConfusedKiwi Mon 27-May-13 02:17:59

I gave birth to DS1 in 2010 at ERI (so before birth centre available).

Antenatally service was good, often had trainee docs/midwives at appointments (which imho was a good thing as how else do they learn and they were always very polite). Scans were fine although usually running very late, had a trainee for one of those too and he just couldn't get it to work and eventually the supervisor told him off and sent him out of the room.

Was scheduled for induction - they got me in that morning, did a scan (I guess to check position etc), monitored for 1/2 hour, gave me the pessary, monitored for another 1/2 hour and sent me home.

Waters broke later that day and they said to come back in, then sat in admissions for nearly 2 hours as they had no beds available and were trying to decide whether to transfer me to st johns. Thankfully a room came free, they took me up examined me and said I was ready to start pushing - then the midwife had to push the emergency button as nothing was there (no cot, no gas...) as it had only just been stripped from last patient. Thankfully all good and fairly quick birth.

Midwives during induction/labour/delivery seemed nice. Postnatally the wards were busy and the night midwifes were a bit rude. Lovely paediatrician (Ms Phillips) checked ds1 before leaving.

Breastfeeding support in hospital wasn't great - I think as midwives were too busy. They tended to just push baby onto nipple and not stick around. However, ended up with a trainee sitting with me for 30 minutes which finally got it to click.

Excellent breastfeeding clinic was run by health visitors round back of Mackenzie Medical Centre - once a week - very supportive plus they made tea/coffee for us :-)

izchaz Wed 12-Jun-13 21:06:38

Cheers all, very helpful encouraging stories. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back on the thread. Bowling hope you're holding a wee bundle by now, and if not that you're not too big and uncomfortable!

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