Birthing Centre - Advice Needed

Since I got pregnant - I was planning on having baby at my local hospital - adament in fact! I want a water birth but my hospital only has one pool which is first come first served. I'm wonding if I would be better off going to one of my local birth centres. They are about 25 minutes from the hospital.

I wanted a hospital birth as I knew there would be drugs, doctors and operating theatres there should anything go wrong. But, touch wood, I've had a very straight forward preganancy so I don't see why labour shouldn't be the same. Plus - its only 25 minutes (by car so I'm thinking ambulence would be quicker) from the birthing centre to hospital.

I'm just a bit nervous, as is DH, that should anything go wrong (touch would it won't) I will have to travel (which takes time!) to get to someone that can help.

So - should I risk going to the birthing centre so I can have my water birth (its my first baby by the way) or should I just go to the hospital and hope the birthing pool is available ???

K xxx


  • do the birthing centres DEFINITELY have more pools??

    [Modified by: Craftycharli on August 20, 2009 11:50 AM]

  • Well - funny you should ask - I've got to call them and ask - but was waiting until I'd spoken to my midwife about it next week.
  • Just because it is first come first served doesn't mean you wont be able to use it, as there are still relatively few people who want to use a pool, and of those lots can't due to complications, or being induced (etc).

    Personally, if it is your first baby, I would go with the hospital, as a 25 minute journey is a long time if anything goes wrong, or if you can't cope with the pain. I had planned to use the birth centre, but I had to be on an anti-biotic drip before being induced, so it was out of the question, and appart from a water birth (I had to be continually monitored) I still got everything I wanted. I was able to keep active and use a birthing ball, and was allowed to pace up and down (which was a logistical nightmare with all the equipment I was strapped to!).

    Most delivery suites are set up to make you as relaxed as possible, you can usually dim the lights, and play music - anything you want really, and you have the added security of knowing that help is just a buzzer press away!

    It is such a difficult decison though hunny. At the end of the day, do what you are happiest with, but don't set your plans in stone, as you just can't predict what will happen, and you will be so disapointed if you set your heart on something and it goes a different way.

  • I only asked cos my birth centre has NO birthing pools. I had planned for the birth centre last time around - like you I had a very easy pregnancy and there was no reason to think there would be any complications. I knew that I risked not having epidural but having concentrated one to one midwife care seemed like a good choice. Like you it would have been about a 25min drive to get to the hospital if there HAD been any complications, my hubbie told me it was my decision but I really felt he had to be a part of the choice too cos I didn't want him panicking etc if I had to be transferred. At the end of the day we chose to go for it becuase the unit are used to added complications and won't leave it till the last moment to move you to hospital if they need to - they will be used to things happening and know what to do.

    In the end my lo put in an appearance 6 weeks early so the birth unit wasn't an option as I needed a hospital with a Special Care Baby Unit. Iwas very well looked after there and it was all ok. I think what I learnt was NOT to have your heart set on anything as lo may hvae other plans!

    I really fancy a water birth next time round so will head for the hospital (again only one pool) and keep my fingers crossed.

    Sorry don't think that's any help! :lol:
  • Hi,

    We swayed wildly from birth centre to hospital and back again a million times. We had a look round both and talked to our midwife which sealed the deal for us. She is based at the birth centre when on call and we also thought it felt more relaxing and home-like there so that's where we went.

    We knew the hospital was about 20 min away by car but 5 min by flashing lights and we knew we'd be transferred early if it was thought to be needed. We also knew that the centre was staffed by very well qualified midwives as it was a stand-alone centre.

    In the end I had maconium (?) in the waters and would have been transferred so the paramedics were called. However, my second stage went so quick that the midwife and a student monitored me every 5 minutes and I delivered at the centre - the paramedics got to sit in the waiting room watching Emmerdale and drinking tea just in case!

    I was so so glad we hadn't been transferred as the care we got was brilliant and as we were in our own room afterwards my husband never had to go home as there was a fold down bed just for him. It was a very positive experience for us.

    If it helps at all the midwives deliver babies. It's what they do and they know what they're doing. And they have more equipment than you think. The day after a baby was born who struggled to get started on the breathing so they wheeled out an oxygen thing and got it breathing pretty quickly. Also, if they think you're not coming on at a decent speed they'll transfer you to the hospital in case you need an epidural.

    Have you visited both places? That helped us decide but like the post above says you can't set your heart on anything because in the end it's lo who decides!!

    Good luck with everything

    Clare x
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