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Where to have my baby - St Thomas' or Kings College? Help!

(12 Posts)
BriBri Mon 30-May-05 17:18:45

I am 6 weeks pregnant, I haven#t told anyone yet as I'm waiting until after my scan. The bad thing is that I can't ask anyone's advice so I hope you'll help me!

I've been asked by my doctor whether I want to have my baby at St Thomas's and use the services of the Midwife at my local surgery...or have the baby at Kings and register with a midwife there.

I have absolutely no idea what do to, what i should look for, what i should ask or what difference it would make. Can anyone give me some advice - have you had your baby at either of these hospital?

a newly pregnant confused lady.

Eaney Mon 30-May-05 17:30:46

I had my baby at Kings. It was a very mixed experience. I thought my waters broke during the night so I went in the next day to be assessed. I was examined and was told that I was 4 cm dialated. I was then sent home. I stopped the car half way home as contractions were coming thick and fast but was told not to bother coming in as there were no beds. When I got home I had to turn around and make a journey in rush hour traffic back to Kings. I got to the labour ward with about 15 mins to spare - no time for any pain relief or monitoring.

Having said all this the midwifes were excellent and far superior to what I had experienced before at St George's but I think the Maternal Assessment Unit was dreadful. It turns out the midwife there had done a sweep without fully explaining it to me. I had to spend a week in Hosp and again the aftercare was much better than I had previously experienced. If you do choose Kings don't be fobbed off when you think you are in labour. You could try the Good Hosp Guide website

edam Mon 30-May-05 18:55:00

You can always register with one and then change your mind later on. So don't worry that you will be 100 per cent committed either way.

I had ds at Tommy's. Nice midwife-led birth centre (overlooking Big Ben!). Lovely facilities. BUT appalling, dangerous staffing rates - one midwife to SEVEN women in labour the night I was there. And the hospital birth centre was just as bad -they tried to transfer me there but couldn't. Heard later from community midwives that Tommy's has a reputation for being 'lucky' ie they haven't yet had an appalling tragedy as a result of their crappy staffing. Plus they charge you a ridiculous amount for parking (no waiver for women in labour - sounds trivial but bugs me that they are basically creaming money off women in labour who have very little option other than being driven. Grr.).

PS I had a similar experience to Eaney's at Tommy's with regard to sweep without consent. So it's obviously not uncommon. Complained and got decent response.

Mud Mon 30-May-05 19:02:53

you have plenty of time

register with your midwife at your gp practice as long as its nearer - it will be far more convenient for you to trot / waddle along to once a month, then once a fortnight

find out about all forms of birthing including home birth / water birth / hospital birth and see which suits you

BriBri Tue 31-May-05 00:16:17

Thanks Guys. It's just that when I went to the doctors last week he made me feel like i had to make the decision there and then and if i didn't there'd be no beds left, etc etc. It made me panic.

Still interested to hear of other mums experiences of these two hospitals.

many thanks


serenity Tue 31-May-05 00:27:24

I will come back to this later (will be offline for a week or so so bear with me)

I had all three in St Thomas's and was very happy despite staffing shortages. I only know a few people who have had babies at Kings and it wasn't great, but you'll hear good and bad at every place tbh! Personally I wouldn't hesitate to go back to st T's!


Lolasmum Wed 01-Jun-05 10:46:14

I had dd at Tommys. I gave birth at 12.30am and was left laying in my own blood until 6.30am when finally somebody came to clean me up. That bit wasn't positive, but the rest of the stay was. Definitely felt that they're understaffed. I'm having next one at Kings, for which I've heard good and bad.
I think the most important thing is being delivered by a midwife whome you know and have got to trust and feel comfortable with. Is their more chance of building up that bond if you use your GP midwifes?

Flossam Wed 01-Jun-05 11:00:14

I had DS at tommys. I also work there so I am biased. Must stress though that they did not know that i worked there. I was in too much labour for niceties!! I basically had the midwife with me the whole time I was in Labour. They didn't think I was in established labour and I think were trying to calm me down and must have thought I was a right drama queen. During the actual delivery which took place one and a half hours after arrival (not in established labour, pah!) I had two midwifes with me. And a HCA watching any1 could of watched by that piont! I didn't get the impression they were run off their feet that night. Maybe I was lucky. But you get your own room with en suite toilet, and the home from home centre is supposed to be where you stay for up to 24hrs after you deliver. As long as you feel up to going home after that, if not you can go to post natal ward. There is a sofa bed for birthing partners to stay. The aftercare was lacking, but in no way as bad as another hospital I stayed in after DS was born (not Kings). I loved the set up there, and I gave birth on all fours overlooking Big Ben, the midwife showed me the time of DS's arrival on the big clock. A memory forever. Good luck with your pregnancy, and don't feel pressured into making an immediate decision. I ummed and ahhed as tommys was quite far to get too, but they would rather you made up your mind and stuck to it than keep changing it! Apparently there is an awful lot of paper work involved for the midwifes if you change hospitals!

otto Wed 01-Jun-05 11:01:53

I had the same choice as you and opted for King's as it was closer to home and has a good reputation. I can't fault the care I received throughout my pregnancy and birth. I felt the post-natal ward was very short staffed though, but I was only kept in overnight, so didn't have to deal with it for long. Where do you live BriBri?

motherinferior Wed 01-Jun-05 11:29:26

King's has some very good midwifery teams. Tommy's has the birth centre modelled partly on the Sanctuary (this is true, the midwife who originated it told me!). New birthing suite at King's apparently v nice (DD1 was born there but four years ago).

whitie Wed 01-Jun-05 11:31:43

My gp gave me a choice between two hospitals when I was 6wks preg as well and I felt I had to decide straight away, but I asked for time to look into it. I phoned both hospitals and asked if I could look round their facilities, one let me join the official hospital tour that weekend and the other wasn't very helpful so I just turned up and once I was there they were happy to show me around. Maybe you could do that?

The Dr Foster hospital guide website was very helpful as well as it shows all the stats and you can compare hospitals directly.
Dr Foster

Good luck with making your choice.

BriBri Thu 02-Jun-05 22:05:39

Gosh, thanks everyone. It's been really useful. I live in Brixton so i've decided to opt for Kings College which is less than a mile from my house...although I was actually born at Tommy's..but I guess things have change a little since 1973!
bri brix

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