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anyone with experience of John Radcliffe Oxford/Spires Unit

(15 Posts)
duzzlightyearsmum Thu 07-Aug-14 12:03:17

So this is DC2 but I did not give birth in Oxford last time. I haven't had any antenatal classes or anything so wondering if someone on here is able to quickly fill me in on a couple of things please!

1) do they have birthing balls? I'm guessing so but just want to make sure!

2) do I need to take a towel with me?

3) any other general tips for labouring here?


Binglesplodge Thu 07-Aug-14 18:34:22

Posting to keep this visible in the hope that someone who can answer will magically appear - I'm having my first there in October and would love to hear what it's like as they don't do visits (says my midwife) so I've never even seen the inside...

ohthegoats Thu 07-Aug-14 18:45:41

duzzlightyearsmum Thu 07-Aug-14 19:50:43


duzzlightyearsmum Thu 07-Aug-14 19:51:32

Thanks for the links, very helpful!

I haven't seen delivery but have seen MAU and Level 6, I wasn't sure if they did offer visits or not in general!


CommanderShepard Thu 07-Aug-14 19:56:41

They don't offer visits. They're also very very strict on their admission criteria - I was ruled out on iron levels of all things.

ImNotAFlower Thu 07-Aug-14 20:23:17

I want to know too! I'm due to deliver there any time now and had last baby at the other end of the country!
Have heard good things about both but have opted for the ward myself (slight obsession with being close to intervention if necessary).
Will watch and hope someone comes along smile

roastpots Fri 08-Aug-14 16:18:02

I had a water birth in the spires last year. Can only tell you positive things about it - they were absolutely brilliant. However, I'm struggling to answer your questions....! I don't remember seeing birthing balls but I guess they might have them if you ask. I took my own towel and had an ensuite bathroom in the room where I stayed overnight. But again, perhaps they would give you one if you asked. Do feel free to ask anything else you want to know - sorry for not being more helpful. I was under the Blenheim (city) midwives and my mw arranged for me to have my 40w appointment and a stretch and sweep at the spires so that I could see around - I was back the next day in labour!

Cobo Fri 08-Aug-14 17:35:52

They do offer visits to the Spires unit - or they did 3 years ago when I visited when I was pregnant with DS. I was shown around by a midwife, it was lovely, but I wasn't allowed to actually give birth there in the end, due to having fibroids. I would imagine they'll have birthing balls, they had them in the main delivery suites.

roastpots Fri 08-Aug-14 17:49:51

I think they've stopped doing the visits now because it was getting too busy - but you might be able to arrange to have a mw appointment there.

mumto3beauts Fri 08-Aug-14 22:23:29

I am only allowed on delivery suite (level 2) at the John Radcliffe, but they do have birthing balls (I used one 3 years ago, just say you would like to use one) they also have wheat bags which are good too. They have scented oils -well they did when I had my last dc 3 years ago, am eagerly awaiting dc 4!! I have heard nothing but fab things about Spires and I'm rather jealous I'm not allowed to use it!

mumto3beauts Fri 08-Aug-14 22:25:38

Oh I also always take my own towel, but still ask for one of theirs for the first shower after having baby, they have plenty incase you forget yours though.

Churchillian Fri 08-Aug-14 22:45:38

Hi, Had my daughter in the Delivery suite there around 18 months ago. I did get a tour of the Spires where I was intending to give birth as they usually book you into one of your later midwife appointments there if you live in the city. I think there were birthing balls, I took my own towel. Didn't make it in there in the end (and most people I know in oxford didn't get in for one reason or another) as I had blood in my urine when admiited to the MAU. This was probably because I was in active labour and almost fully dilated but they didn't examine me for for 3 hours and just assumed that I had pre-eclampsia! (I was 40+8 too!) They are v short staffed at the JR so I think can't often spare the midwives for the Spires and tend to have one midwife between 2 or 3 women in the delivery suite which is more efficient for them, if impersonal when giving birth. So I wouldn't get your hopes up for getting in, even if you have had a straightforward pregnancy like me. You could go for a home birth or if you live outside the city one of the smaller MLU's like Wallingford if you want something more personal?

preggersbycheggers Fri 08-Aug-14 22:54:08

I had a water birth just over a year ago in the spires. They were absolutely brilliant.

The rooms are really nice with views right over oxford. I had complications after my DS was born and he was born in the caul with the cord wrapped round his neck three times but everything was dealt with really calmly.

My room had an ensuite which was really great.

I would say to take your own pillow and get your OH to bring food in for you if you are kept in.

Snook99 Fri 08-Aug-14 23:03:01

Hi ladies, I'm due November with our 1st don't know what mine says off the top of my head but what does your maternity book say when it says where do you intend to give birth? Mine has 2 letters (it's downstairs) do you have to request spires ornis it just if your luck and dependent on the day?

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