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advice about hospitals

(4 Posts)
tk79 Wed 17-Jul-13 17:48:20

Firstly apologies for the simplistic nature of my questions. Me and my wife are trying for a family for the first time and this is my first foray into finding some information. My wife is worried about not receiving good care through the NHS so...

The main things i wanted to clarify was:

- Some hospitals seem to have a bad reputation, is it possible to choose more than one hospital in our local area and if so is there any way of finding out more information on how good a hospital is aside from word of mouth

- Private seems a bit too expensive at 10 - 15k, someone i know mentioned you can get your own dedicated midwife and dooler ( i dont know that means) for 1k each. Is this a suitable alternative?

- Any other advice?

Bunnylion Wed 17-Jul-13 18:54:06

If you google 'independent midwife' and also 'doula' you will get more info on what both are, the costs and reason why people pay for them.

Where I live I have a choice of 3 hospitals, 2 midwife led maternity units and obviously a home birth. If you don't like any of of your local ones then when your wife is in labour she can technically go to any NHS hospital in the country and they have a duty to accommodate her there. But picking one nearer your home will probably be more convenient.

I looked into private and it's really not worth it. It's no better than the NHS services and can be incredibly expensive. They can also have higher rates of medical intervention and traumatic births as you are entering a system that is by definition a profit making enterprise.

When she is pregnant she will have a first booking in appointment with a midwife at your gp or local hospital at around 8 weeks (this is about 3 weeks after her missed period), they will go through her choices of where she can give birth locally and what facilities they have at each one. Many maternity units have regular open evenings so you can look around and find out more about them while you're there.

The main point is that you find the place where she is most comfortable to give birth. Read the AIMS books and research the local places that she can give birth. The good thing about the NHS system is that you can always change your mind, I'm currently planning a home birth but even on the day if I'm not comfortable at home I can call the hospital or local midwife led unit and go in and they will look after me.

Good luck!

Sanch1 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:11:11

It kind of depends on where you are in terms of where you can give birth. In my area I only have the choice of one hospital or a home birth. Other areas as the above poster says may have the choice of more hospitals and also midwife-led units (no doctor, you'd have to transfer to a hospital if there were an emergency where forceps or c-section were needed).

An independant midwife can be employed my yourself, and a doula is more of a birth support/partner/advocate who can support you wife and yourself and speak on your behalf.

From my friends experience of NHS supported home birth the midwife service is better, they come to your house, they are on call to you more easily, and you get longer and more relaxed appointments than the often rushed caseload of a normal community midwife. As long as your wife is classed as low risk she can have a homebirth even for her first.

Having said the above, I believe the NHS is amazing, have been more than happy with my care so far (i'm 39 weeks) and would be happy for the same with a subsequent pregnancy.

tk79 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:42:46

thanks for the messages, it does give me something to look into. I live in South London but might be moving soon. I've heard some hospitals e.g. Ealing are really bad but I guess I will have to play it by ear depending on where we end up living.

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