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Choosing a Hospital

(8 Posts)
UpNorth74 Mon 08-Dec-14 16:19:50

Hi all, spoke to my community midwife this week about getting me in for my booking appointment next week and she mentioned that by then I should have made up my mind about which hospital I would like to give birth in. I'm only 7 weeks and to be honest I didn't think I'd need to worry about that until much later on! She did explain why (scan, appointments, etc) and it makes sense ... but how do you choose?!

There is an old school infirmary in the city about 6 miles away with a birthing centre or there is a brand spanking new hospital opening a couple of months before my EDD with a new maternity unit, also about 6 or 7 miles away.

Go tried and tested? Or go brand new?
What did other people look for in a hospital?

UpNorth74 Mon 08-Dec-14 16:21:15

I should say there is a third hospital involved - if I chose the brand spanking new hospital, I'd have scans in an old general hospital about 10 miles away.

I drive, so distance isn't an issue!

bakingmad83 Mon 08-Dec-14 18:35:07

Hi upnorth,

There wasn't really a choice for me as with geographical location it only makes sense to go to the local hospital, but I since came across this site when wanting to find out more about what it offered:
www.which.co.uk/birth-choice/units/

It lets you see what options are available at each birth centre/labour ward in terms of things like pain relief and facilities, and you can also see stats for things like the proportion of water births, assisted deliveries etc. I guess you might not have thought about what you want in terms of pain relief etc, but this site might be a starting point for comparisons.

comeagainforbigfudge Mon 08-Dec-14 18:52:05

Hello,

Do you have an option of touring the hospitals? Or even just go to them and get a feel for it.

I work in a brand new hospital (well fairly old but kept up well that it still seems new) and it makes me dread going to older ones. (Been spoilt in other words)

However appearances can be deceiving. The maternity unit I will have to attend is less than 10 years and has terrible reviews re staff.

Personally, I would choose the one where I have to travel the least and easy to get to if I get to point I can't drive anymore.

UpNorth74 Mon 08-Dec-14 20:25:58

Baking mad - that's really helpful, thank you! I'm totally out of my depth at the moment with pain relief options and various options for labour - hoping midwife will be able to shed some light.

I'm naively hoping for a natural birth, so guessing birthing centre seems like a sensible option.

Comeagainforbigfudge - as I'm so early on I don't think I can tour the maternity units ... More for time off work at short notice before booking appointment, as I can't tell anyone where I'm off to just yet! And I know this is really daft - but I think I'd feel a bit silly going for a look when I'm only 7/8 weeks!
And I know what you mean - the old hospital has loads of testimonials praising the staff, where the new one wil be a little unknown. I'm not sure how I feel about being Part of the teething process!

Roxie85 Mon 08-Dec-14 20:43:48

Wow that seems very early to be choosing. Surely if you have to choose for scans etc there would be an option to change your mind for labour.

I'm in the northwest and we automatically get sent to the local hospital for the first scan and then can choose from 2 hospitals for the 20 week scan. However we didn't have to book our choice of labour venue until much later and even then you could change your mind when you went into labour.

Most places don't do tours until much later. I went to the midwife unit to look round as they didn't have tours you just had to call to check they weren't busy with labours. My hospital tour was arranged depending on due date. As I was due in jan this year my tour was booked 1st week of December 2013.

Worth asking if you can change your mind as you may feel different as the pregnancy progresses. I loved the midwife unit but it was stand alone and a 20 min transfer to hospital so a lot of people are put off.

bakingmad83 Mon 08-Dec-14 20:53:27

If you're after a more natural birth, that's still an option if you opt for a labour ward - where I'll be having my baby they still have birth pools, birthing balls, bean bags, birthing stools etc, and on the tour said they aimed to keep women as mobile as possible in labour, though this will no doubt vary from unit to unit.

Home birth is also an option if your pregnancy is considered low risk, though it's not for everyone. My midwife was keen for me to consider it, but with it being my first I decided against it.

bakingmad83 Mon 08-Dec-14 20:54:44

Though obviously again, it depends on transfer time whether you feel comfortable with a home birth.

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