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Choosing maternity hospital - West Hertfordshire

(8 Posts)
justmetwice Fri 12-May-17 20:27:51

Has anyone recently given birth in West Herts? I live near St Albans, and in booking my first antenatal appointment with my GP, they told me that I need to advise which hospital I would like to give birth at the first appointment.

Any advice? How did you choose the hospital you went to? There are a couple (Queen Elizabeth II, Watford, Lister, Barnet, Luton and Dunstable) all in the area, which take a similar amount of time to get to. The online reviews all seem really scary! Would appreciate any insights/advice. What did you consider when deciding?


Jeneral Sat 13-May-17 07:36:34

Hi, congratulations!

I can't help you with picking between the hospitals but I had my first dc at the Lister two years ago and will also have my second there later this year - so I can tell you what my experience was there.

The Lister has a fantastic new midwifery led unit, so (although I realise you may not have had a chance to think this far along) if you are likely to want limited intervention or to try for a water birth, or try aromatherapy etc then they are really geared up for it. I didn't get to experience that as we had some complications, so we were on the consultant led unit. Largely throughout the whole pregnancy we got good care and had some excellent midwives and doctors. I will say the post natal ward was rather grim - busy, hot, loud and stuffy. But I can't compare it and I gather most are quite like this. We were unlucky and had to stay 3 days. All being well you could be home in a few hours so wouldn't need to spend time on the ward. Some of the staff were truly awesome but some were less so (rather not go into it here). That of course will apply anywhere!

I know several people who had the same choice as you and opted for the Lister. You could try joining local mum and baby groups on FB for St Albans, Welwyn, Hitchin etc and asking for advice there too.

Sparklyuggs Sat 13-May-17 07:41:34


You live in my old stomping ground smile

My friends tend to go to Barnet, but a couple of ladies have raved about Watford recently. Are there any which are more convenient for work? So if you had a scan etc it was easier to get from work to the hospital. Could be something to consider all other things being equal.

Ikillpotplants Sat 13-May-17 07:46:47

I have experience of L&D and Lister. Consultant led both times. Lister has nicer facilities (post natal ward in L&D a bit grotty, broken shower etc). Also en suite in birthing room in Lister whereas in L&D I had to keep walking down the corridor to the loo. Lister very short staffed when I was there but think that was time of year (Xmas) and luck of the draw with lots of women in at that time. Level of care similar at both.

justmetwice Sat 13-May-17 08:11:36

Thanks for all your info... This is greatly appreciated. As you say i am just getting used to it. Lister seems to have the best reviews etc, but is also the least convenient. The comments about convenience for work etc are quite good... Had not thought about that so thanks

Badgerbird Sat 13-May-17 08:12:04

Congratulations op!

I'm planning on a hb but live opposite Watford general. I've had very good care from them. I had 2 MMC's before this pregnancy and d&e's and they were good then too. I've been in a few times for monitoring with this pregnancy and they've always been friendly and as quick as they could. Great free ante natal classes and pregnancy club. Hear they have a very nice mlu too.

I know a couple of people in St Albans chose lister as drive/ traffic was better for them.

Good luck!

MrsBobDylan Sat 13-May-17 08:30:12

Just to add that the qe11 isn't an option anymore as they closed it down as an full service hospital a few years ago. You can have your midwife appointments and scans there though.

I found Lister fine, I had both my older dc at qe11 and found Lister quite big in comparison but the amenities are ok.

justmetwice Sat 13-May-17 16:42:56

Thanks so much

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