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When's the best time in pregnancy to do maternity ward tours?

(7 Posts)
Seasidedolly Sun 25-Jan-15 20:20:06

Hi all
I'm 30 weeks tomorrow and am looking to book in to tour my local wards. I've been offered the standard delivery suite (Southmead Bristol) and also a stand alone midwife led unit (Cossham).

Trouble is we are fairly booked up for Saturday's during almost all of February, if we visit early March ill be at least 35 weeks . Is this too late to make my decision? My midwife said she can book me in for my 36 week appointment at Cossham but I'd like to do the tour too to get a better idea plus I have a load of questions about transfer times etc.

Also any thoughts or experiences of either ward much appreciated! This is first baby

Thanks smile

Honeybear30 Sun 25-Jan-15 20:23:04

Does it have to be a Saturday? My local birthing unit does evenings to accommodate working parents to be. 35 weeks does seem a little late, you are getting close to when you could potentially have baby and not have made a decision. My baby came at 37+3 which was very unexpected but j started having signs (a show) just after 35 weeks.

tiggy2610 Mon 26-Jan-15 12:04:17

Our local hospitals won't do tours until 36 weeks. This never made sense to me! Especially as I went into labour at 36+2 and the day before we were due to go to the birthing centre to look around!

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 26-Jan-15 12:07:51

It sounds the perfect time to go to me. If you've given birth pre 35 weeks they won't let you be in the MLU, so that's not an issue. And you'll have a better idea of whether complications like breech or high blood pressure mean that they wouldn't take you at the MLU.

Our area won't put you down for the MLU officially until post 36 weeks anyway.

Seasidedolly Mon 26-Jan-15 13:28:12

Thanks all, I've looked into it and Cossham do evening tours but southmead only Saturdays. As OP mentioned I guess it will be good to go when I have a better idea of position and if any complications etc have developed. Would hate to set my heart on the stand alone unit then not be allowed go go there anyway!
Was just worried I may miss the boat so go speak if I left it to late

Honeybear30 Mon 26-Jan-15 13:41:09

I would also say try not to 'set your heart' on the unit anyway because you never know what will happen and you may end up not being there. speaks from experience! it's easier said than done though. And tbh looking back it really didn't matter where I was as long as we were both safe which we were in hospital. I also now wouldn't opt for the birthing unit again, but where I live it's a good thirty minute drive to the nearest maternity hospital from the birthing unit so not a decision to be taken lightly!

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 26-Jan-15 15:32:31

You won't 'miss the boat'. They can have you down as expressing an interest in the MLU. You always have the right to decide to go to the labour ward instead, even if everything is totally low risk and straightforward.

And it's not as if you can go to the MLU with a (medically) early baby, so it's not like you could 'miss' antenatal classes or whatever for booking them at 36 weeks.

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