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Experiences of midwife led units - 1st time mum ?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Julesk, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Hi the subject says it all really. I'm considering (long and hard) giving birth in a local midwife led unit and would so appreciate it if you could share experiences, opinions and any research you have done. I feel like I'm going round in circles at the moment. I have had negative experiences in large hospitals before and generally become anxious when in a hospital environment (lack of control and hate the institutionalised feel). However I want to make the best decision for my baby and will do what ever is best for her. I live 30 minutes from the hospital and that would be my transfer time in case of emergency. This is also my 1st child. My general experience of the midwife led unit ( where I have attended for all care so far) has been excellent save one negative experience. The midwife couldn't find a vein and sent me off to hospital after giving up! This has obviously caused me some concern!
    I really look forward to your wise words girls and thank you lots in advance. Sorry about lack of paras silly iPad!
    Julesk 25+4
     
  2. Hi the subject says it all really. I'm considering (long and hard) giving birth in a local midwife led unit and would so appreciate it if you could share experiences, opinions and any research you have done. I feel like I'm going round in circles at the moment. I have had negative experiences in large hospitals before and generally become anxious when in a hospital environment (lack of control and hate the institutionalised feel). However I want to make the best decision for my baby and will do what ever is best for her. I live 30 minutes from the hospital and that would be my transfer time in case of emergency. This is also my 1st child. My general experience of the midwife led unit ( where I have attended for all care so far) has been excellent save one negative experience. The midwife couldn't find a vein and sent me off to hospital after giving up! This has obviously caused me some concern!
    I really look forward to your wise words girls and thank you lots in advance. Sorry about lack of paras silly iPad!
    Julesk 25+4
     
  3. Hi
    I was scheduled to give birth in a midwife led unit when I gave borth in March. All was going really well until babies heart rate kept dropping and they decided that I needed to be transferred to hospital. This was managed in an extremely calm and professional way and I have no criticism of the care I received at the midwife led unit. However the uphevel of transfer meant that my adrenaline shot up and my oxytoxin dropped causing my contractions that had been happening every 3 minutes slowing to every 20 minutes. This meant that I required intervention to safely deliver the baby. I believe had I gone to hospital initially and avoided a transfer then my contractions would have continued while I could be monitored in an environment where the staff felt confortable they could act if necessary and baby would not have needed any help into the world.
    Having said that the care recieved at hosp after birth was terrible becuase the staff were so over stretched and so I transferred back to the midwife led unit asap to get breastfeeding established. The staff were simply outstanding in the care they offered at the midwife led unit as they had more time to each patient.
    If I could guarantee I wouldn't need a transfer I would definately opt for a midwife led unit in future. But as this isn't possible I will probably opt to give birth in hosp next time.
    Best of luck with whatever you decide.
    Hoenyapple
    x
     
  4. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    I really think you should go to the MLU considering your distaste for hospitals. There is a lot of evidence which shows that creating an environment which gives a labouring woman at sense of security is shortens her labour and reduces the risk of birth injury to her and her baby as well as reduces the likelihood a caesarian section. One of the main advantages of the MLU is that your partner can stay with you throughout labour and at hospitals they are sent home if you are in active labour at night. This greatly increases stress in women which brings in a cycle of fear and pain and lengthening of labour. MLUs are usually staffed by midwives who are passionate about that type of care and the attention you will receive there will be more attentive without being pushy and one to one. They are less governed by protocol and in hospitals the care can be more defensive. Great hospital birthing experiences exist but with your point of view on hospitals, it sounds unlikely that will get one there.
    For more information about what I am saying here, I greatly recommend a book called Birth Without Fear. I also recommend you looking for a Birth Choices discussion group in your area. They normally meet once a month so finding one which is meeting soon maybe in an adjacent area and attending it could be an option.
    Please don't put too much weight on the midwife who couldn't find your vein. There are all sorts of blood drawing bruising that happen in all sorts of settings. My horror story is the Team Leader of our community midwives sending me to hospital for a scan because she thought my baby was presenting shoulder first. (This is to someone who is phobic about hospitals.) After everyone had been saying for ages that my baby was head down.
     
  5. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    I had both my babies in hospital, and had good experiences both times. I've had straightforward labours and births both times, so would've been fine in a midwife-lead unit, but we don't have one locally. My first baby ended up on antibiotics and wouldn't feed at all, so i guess i would've had to have been transferred to a hospital anyway? It's easy to look back and say it would've been ok, but you never know what to expect with giving birth!
     
  6. I am considering homebirth with this one partly because I really dont want to end up on the postnatal ward. I do live pretty close to the hospital though - within 10 minutes. Tbh I'm less worried about the 'perfect' birth but want my own space to bond with my new baby without others crying, being worried I'm disturbing other people if mine is cryimg etc. We dont have the option of mw-led unit.
     
  7. Check their time for the transfer - our local MLU is normally a 20 minute drive to the hospital, the ambulances do it in 12 minutes with sirens and lights.
    I gave birth in hospital as I was induced and the care I received was excellent - I felt completely in control throughout, even when I was rushed into theatre for an emergency C-section. My friends have had a variety of experiences with MLUs, the ones who had uncomplicated births think they're great, the others who had to be transferred in an emergency say they would just go to the hospital next time as they found it stressful being transferred.
    Most maternity units let you go on visits - I would go and have a look at a couple in a hospital and then at least you know what to expect if you couldn't go to the MLU for any reason. My local maternity unit has midwife led rooms with a pools - home from home rooms that you can opt for - this was my original plan as I knew I didn't want the stress of being transferred. In our NHS trust, you can give birth in a hospital and than transfer to a MLU for postnatal care as well.
    If you are worried about the lack of control, write a detailed birth plan - they should read it and follow it, which should help you stay in control. (Mine was followed exactly by both the midwives and the consultant.)
     
  8. Not necessarily true - my OH stayed with me throughout the night when I was in labour - him going home wasn't even mentioned - the midwives seemed to expect him to stay. (He did need lots of strong coffee though!) He couldn't stay at night once I was transferred onto the post-natal ward, although he was allowed to stay later one night when I was in floods of hormonal tears!
     
  9. Personally, I would visit both the hospital and the MLU and see what you think after the visits. I gave birth at our local hospital, and have to say that the experience was very relaxed and not at all institutionalised.

    The delivery suite that I was in was large and airy with its own mammoth bathroom. It also had sofa, radio/dvd player, and tea/coffee making facilities were close by (free of charge and available to use at any time). OH was looked after as well as I was!

    I had 2 designated midwives, and it was only when things looked that they had the potential to go pear shaped towards the end of my labour that any doctors appeared. Then the benefits of being in hospital showed, because there was a theatre and emergency c-section team on standby should they be needed (they weren't!).

    We weren't rushed out of the delivery suite, and because I was going to have an overnight stop, I was given a private room (all overnighters are given a private room).

    I guess what I am trying to say, is that in my experience, the hospital staff worked hard to make it feel that you weren't on a production line of giving birth and then perhaps once you have visited the hospital and the MLU you will have a better idea of where you want to be.
     
  10. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences girls it's really touching.
    Unfortunately my asthma is really flaring up at the moment (have had to be hospitalised numerous times because of it during late teens/ early twenties). As a result I'm now classed as high risk so may not be able to deliver at MLU. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be? But thanks to your fab advice I will certainly be requesting a tour of the hospital and writing a detailed birthing plan!
    Thank you again xxx
     

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