I am 16 weeks pregnant with my first baby and am thinking of having my baby at homerton, mainly because it is my nearest hospital, and I was also treated at the EPAU there for my mmc last year.
I wanted to know of people experience of having a baby there, about homebirths and about the birthing pool. So far I have heard that the delivery suite is very good but the after-care in the post-natal ward is very bad and that the midwives dont help with anything at all. I am thinking of hiring a private room there, but wanted to know what are the chances of it being available.
Also does anyone have experience of what assistance you get with breastfeeding there?
Apologies for the millions of questions, but would like to be well-informed!
I'd be very interested in this, too. I'm 29 weeks, and have had all my ante-natal care there. I actually live nearer to Whipps Cross, but had such a dreadful miscarriage experience there (they made me carry the baby in a jar on my lap down an endless corridor, for example) I never want to set foot in there again.
I've found the midwives, sonographers etc to all be excellent, and feel in safe hands. They also have the best SCBU in the south east, apparently, which is a comforting thought.
I too have heard that the aftercare is patchy, at best, and depends who's on duty. There is a breastfeeding counsellor, who I've met, but if she's not working that day, I'm not sure how much help you get. However, I think crappy aftercare is pretty much standard issue for large London hospitals...
I've no direct experience of Hommerton, but I wanted to say hello and welcome to mumsnet. I used to live in Hommerton and remember the hospital as having a relativly good reputation. You may find this site useful.
herbaceous nice to "meet" you. So sorry to hear about your horrendous experience at Whipps cross. I live close to WC too (well in between both homerton and WC), but have also heard negative stories about the place, so have decided to stick to homerton.
I have had my scans at homerton, but have a community midwife at millfields children centre, rather than at the hospital, which i prefer because the appointments seems more personal.
How did the breasfeeding counsellor seem? How do you go about arranging to meet her?
slug thanks for the link. Will check it out. Thanks for the welcome. Have been on mumsnet since last october!
The BF counsellor actually approached me, while I was waiting for my first MW appointment. I'm not sure how else you get her... She was very nice, though in a wheelchair, meaning she can't access everywhere in the hospital, which can be a problem, she said.
I've looked at the various feedback sites, but the trouble is, only people who've had bad experiences tend to use them, so you get a skewed idea of what it's really like. No-one bothers to sign on to say 'it was OK'.
The ante-natal care is good and the one on one care during labour is also good - you get the feeling the midwives are all very experienced and know what they're doing. The post natal care on the ward is pretty shocking and I couldn't wait to get out of there. Didn't see a breastfeeding counsellor! I ended up almost having an emergency c section in theatre but ended up with a forceps delivery - at 4 in the morning there was plenty of medical staff around who were all pretty cheerful and unphased by my slight hysteria!
I was in the pool for a while which is big and did help.
The ante-natal classes were a bit patchy but its just pragmatic and no nonsense.
Friend had a baby in SCBU and couldn't praise them enough.
aren't they building a whole new maternity unit at the moment - I would say its a bit crammed - especially in the post natal ward. I'm definitely getting a private room this time around!
Had DS2 at H at the beginning of Jan -fab birth (in the MLU with one of the homebirth mws), postnatal care a bit more iffy as we were in the temporary ward. No complaints though. DS1's birth was a bit more problematic, but I think they've had a big overhaul of theor mat services since.
Antenatal care (scansd etc.) was very good apart from them losing my results a couple of times . Also the mw helpline is EXCELLENT, it's staffed by experienced mws and was a godsend for me in this last pg.
BF support: didn't really need it this time, did hear some suspect advice being doled out to new mums on the ward. Better to get the numbers of local BF counsellers for advice.
I had all three of my DSs there but this was back in the day - the youngest was born in 2004. So I don't know how relevant my experience would be. Certainly back then everyone just tried to get out of the postnatal wards as quickly as humanly possible. All the delivery suite midwives I encountered with DS2 and DS3 were fab.
I didn't give birth there, but was treated there postnatally for various issues ( was my nearest hospital). The staff I encountered (midwives and doctors) were all nice and (I felt) professional and trustworthy, although the ward was woefully short staffed (I suspect like a lot of London hospitals).
My main complaint was that the ward was absolutely filthy. The toilet was disgusting - bloody sanitary towels all over the floor, overflowing bin, blocked loo - and when I complained (very politely and meekly) to the ward sister I was told it wasn't the job of midwives and nurses to clean toilets and that we would have to wait until the cleaner came back that evening. I thought that was piss poor, considering I had an open wound from my c-section and many other women were recovering with things like stitches etc. I refused to use the toilet, and so had to hobble down to the toilets near the cafe in my hospital gown when I wanted a wee!
I don't know if they were just 'having a bad day' or what, but it completely put me off going to that hospital again.
I think they were hauled up about their cleanliness a year or so ago, and have since turned it around, according to their website. I'm going for a tour of the facilities over the next few weeks, so can report back, including on the state of the loo. Though I wouldn't be surprised if they cleaned them up on touring days!
This may be tmi, but after I had DS3 I had a bit of a bleed on the bed - the midwife made no effort to actually wipe up the blood, she just covered it up with a clean sheet! I was rather ! (But not really in a fit state to suggest she should clean up properly)
The midwives in the Fetal Medical Unit are also very good should you have any probs - which you won't I'm sure.
One thing - if you're on the ward after you've given birth and someone calls out 'breakfast!' don't sit there waiting for someone to give you bacon and eggs - it means you have to drag yourself out of bed to go and get some cornflakes and weak tea....