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UCLH or Whittington Birth Centre?

9 replies

eljane · 12/05/2020 10:07

Hi everyone! New to mumsnet :) I've just found out I'm pregnant and am deciding where to give birth!

Being in London there's so much choice! I've narrowed it down to the birthing centres at UCLH and the Whittington and wondered if anyone has any experience of either to share? I'm worried that UCLH is big and busy and therefore the care might be quite impersonal, but not sure if Whittington is as modern in its facilities?

Any help would be much appreciated Smile

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LASandOtto · 12/05/2020 13:02

Hey OP!

Cannot share any real life experiences but I am at UCLH and so far they've been great (I am now 23 weeks). I lived closer to UCLH anyway but have since moved to Finsbury Park so would now be closer to Whittington.

I am on a yoga group with other pregnant ladies on Zoom and two ladies gave birth at the Whittington recently. One was a first time mum who said it didn't go to plan sadly and she felt there wasn't much staff to support. The other lady was a second time mum and was at the birthing centre, the pool was closed due to the virus but she said she was moved to the Labour ward anyway due to some issues and had a good experience overall. Her partner was allowed in with her for the whole labour duration.

Not sure this will help at all but didn't want to read and run!

CoolNoMore · 12/05/2020 14:32

I thought the Whittington was fantastic (apart from a few unfriendly staff members, but I think that's pretty standard). The birthing centre is lovely... but so popular that it was full when I gave birth Sad

I thought the aftercare on the ward was a bit hit and miss, but I didn't ask for any help and I should have. DS1 chose the busiest week to arrive, so that didn't help much.

They have a LOVELY mental health team too, which was my main reason for choosing it. Hopefully this won't be a factor for you.

Fisher1008 · 12/05/2020 14:39

I’m in Finsbury Park too, so these two hospitals would be our choices too. Only 6 weeks so got a while to go but will follow!

eljane · 12/05/2020 15:19

@LASandOtto thank you! Really pleased that you've had a good experience so far with UCLH and thanks for sharing the insight on Whittington, really helpful!

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eljane · 12/05/2020 15:22

@CoolNoMore thank you so much, it's really useful to hear your experience. What happens when it's full, do they move you to the labour ward?

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b0nnieN · 12/05/2020 15:55

I'm with UCLH now, and was with them with my first birth. I loved them so much I've held off moving to our new house so we can give birth at UCLH again. They were a great support during my pregnancy, birth and after birth. They helped my OH bath my first born, and then spent so much time helping me breastfeed (which I ended up doing for 2 years). I was with them for 2 nights and did not have a bad experience with any midwives that I interacted with. Even the night midwives, I always felt someone was there to help. Honestly I cannot rave about the hospital enough, however, I don't know what they're like in the current climate. I've been back to UCLH recently for other reasons with A&E and it was been a flawless experience if that helps xx

CoolNoMore · 13/05/2020 04:58

No problem! I don't know what they would have done, because my waters had broken and they decided I needed an antibiotic drip and then syntocinon, so I had to go to the labour ward anyway. The labour ward was also full (!) but it didn't matter as nothing was urgent. They found me a private room on a random ward while I waited and had a few checks. I suspect they would have turfed someone out of the birth suite earlier than planned rather than use up a labour ward if I'd been at that stage, but that's speculation.

It's funny, I would praise the Whittington endlessly and happily go back there if I were in the UK for this baby, but there were quite a few problems due to everything being so busy. If @b0nnieN is raving about UCLH, it might be the better option. Just not the Royal Free Hmm

ASNW5 · 13/05/2020 08:23

I’m having my baby at the Whittington any day now and cannot rate my care so far highly enough, but lots of my friends had their babies at UCH and have had great experiences too (although I’ve heard it’s been a bit chaotic recently). One thing I will say is that at the Whittington you see the same midwife the whole way through for your antenatal appointments which is so lovely, and I know that isn’t the case at UCH. Also, the rules are changing all the time at the moment due to Corona but as it currently stands your partner can stay with you on the postnatal ward after the birth at the Whittington, this isn’t the case at UCH or most other hospitals. My midwife told me they’ve had lots of women late transferring to the Whittington recently for this reason.

eljane · 14/05/2020 08:38

Thanks everyone! So helpful, it's great to hear you've had good experiences at both. I think I'm going to go with UCLH but will potentially transfer if the covid situation hasn't improved in a few months (fingers crossed it does)!

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