View Full Version : Advice on having a baby in the UK
Hi - any UK mums who can enlighten me on the best way to have a baby in the UK? I will be having a (2nd) c-section for the next one and after an amazing experience for my first which I had privately in Australia, I am VERY nervous about having it on the NHS, but I know that having it privately costs about GPB15K which is just a little over the budget! So, if anyone has any comments on the below, would be appreciated....
Can I choose my surgeon? Will I see him before the birth?
Do I see a different person (midwife) every time before the birth?
Can I pay for a private room? The thought of recovering from a caeser in a shared ward (particularly when I hear you are often advised to bring your own cleaning gear for the bathrooms) horrifies me.
Any advice or comments would be EXTREMELY appreciated
Hi, your best bet would be to look up http://www.nhs.uk/ServiceDirectories/Pages/ServiceSearchAdditional.aspx?ServiceType=Maternity
in this you can put in a postcode and you can compare the local hospitals and what they offer, their ratings etc.
When you register with your gp, each surgery has a midwife. You see this one midwife throughout your whole pregnancy. When the baby is born they send out this same midwife or another to your home for regular visits over the first few weeks you are at home. They then sign you off and you return to going to the gp as and when. They have a clinic each week where you can take your baby and speak to a midwife if you have any questions at all. Also you are given a red book at the hospital and you take this to these checks and they weigh the baby and write it in the record book.
Right regarding hospitals, you are able to choose whichever hospital you want but they are able to reject you if they are too full or not taking people outside of their area. SO be prepared and have a back up hospital. You will have to make this decision by 12 weeks pg. As far as I am aware you are not able to choose a doctor and will not know which doctor will be delivering your baby. It will al depend who is on at the time.
I had a c section thru the nhs and was put in a room on my own anyway, but this isnt common practice. I believe at some hospitals you can pay for a private room. Some allow partners to stay, others dont. Depends on the hospital. Visinting hours are generally quite reasonable tho.
They are very pushy regarding breast feeding so if you are not planning to breast feed be prepared. I didnt breastfeed and was basically left to my own devices.
I found the nhs to be perfectly suitable. I had a bad hospital expereince but that was because of my hospital choice- no matter what dont go to northwick park hospital. I can recommend a few good hospitals if you would like. Just pm me.
If you have any other questions please feel free to pm me and Ill see what I can help you with. :flowerz:
I honestly would not be that concerned about having a baby on the NHS, I'm not sure if you've heard some bad stories but that happens everywhere I'm sure.
First of all Hospitals in the UK are not as keen to give c/s as they are in Australia. Once you have chosen a hospital I would speak to someone there to make sure you will be able to have one. After that is sorted you will see midwives (generally at your gp or health centre) and yes they will be different although you could see the same ones out of luck. I'm not sure if you see a Surgeon before a planned c/s as I've never had one sorry.
As for the rooms, most Hospitals have rooms that you can pay for without going private. One Hospital I was looking at charged £200 a night which isn't that bad.
First, join the national childbirth trust, and they will have lots of local info for you. Then, have a look at the NICE website, and read the clinical guidelines on birth in the UK. You'll see that there are national guidelines, which are research based, [unlike in Australia where it's a complete free for all]. Honestly, private health care in the UK is a very different thing to here. I wouldn't really recommend it, unless it's a private wing of a public hospital. Basically this is because the private sector doesn't attract the best midwives, the doctors go home at night and in a private hospital there may be almost no medical staff at night. Unless you want a planned caesar, or your local hospital is really dire, there's no good reason to go private.
Have you considered a home birth? It's as safe, if not safer, as a hospital birth in the UK for low risk women, and you'll have our own midwife. If you give birth in the hospital you'll have to share your midwife, but if you're at home you get your own, and often more than one. Homebirth is free, well supported and safe. There's also 'domino' borth, where you stay at home til quite late, then go in to have the baby and stay for 6 hours. You'll find 6 hour discharges are very common, as home support in the community is vert good and mothers and babies who aren't sick are better off not being in hospital.
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