Stoke Mandeville or Watford General?(13 Posts)
This was the first question my GP asked after I told him I was pregnant. He suggested I ask around for a recommendation but this is my first baby and am new to the area so know no-one at present. Any advice?
I had my DD at Watford General - at the midwife-led bit (the Alexandra Birthing Centre). Arrived at about 11am, had DD at about 2:15pm and went home at about 9pm (my choice - we were offered the option of staying the night). Was very happy with the care I received.
I don't know if Stoke Mandeville has a midwife-led part but I'd say that's definitely something to recommend Watford General. And if you have any complications, the consultant-led labour ward is only just on the floor above, so it would be very easy to transfer if you had any complications.
Watford also has birthing pools (2 I think) and a dark room with lots of squashy mats for relaxing in early labour (although given they don't let you come in until your contractions are 2-3 mins apart I'm not sure when you'd use that room!).
You can always book to go on a tour of both, and see which you prefer. If there's anything else you'd like to know about Watford (or rather, my experience of it!) then let me know!
And there's always the opton of homebirth of course (see one of the Discussions of the day on the right of the page).
Thanks so much. I think I'll take your advice and ask for a tour of both before I make up my mind :-)
I would definitely say stoke mandeville! I had DD there. I've not been in hospital before to compare it with anything and was planning a homebirth but it really was fine and I can't decide whether to try for homebirth again or just go there this time. I stayed in overnight and had a private room (costs about £70 if one is available)
Since I had DD they have had a revamp and now have a midwife led part with ensuite birthing rooms, I'm not sure what they're like exactly as they are not doing tours anymore (since the swine flu thing) but apparently there will be some pics / videos on the website at some point.
In contrast my friend has had two babies in watford. It seems like a very depressing place! It was bad enough just visiting. They also fed both babies formula without even asking my friend beforehand (she had a CS and was asleep I think).
Recently had DD at Stoke, and would recommend it. The en suite rooms are really nice, there are 2 birth pools, all the rooms have rocking chairs, couches and birth balls / stools. There is a midwife led birth unit next to the labour ward (so its not far to go if you need to get further intervention).
Recently had DS at Stoke at the midwife led unit and was really impressed. Facilities were good and the staff were fantastic.
Stoke's facilities were brand new 2 years ago when I had DS2. They looked FAB!! I never got near as had to have a section but the care there was just fantastic.
(Had DS1 at Wycombe and wouldn't go back there if baby was already poking it's head out as we drove past the door!!!)
I had my dd at Stoke and was also very impressed with the midwives and the facilities
Had both mine at Watford in the ABC (birthing centre), both in the birthing pools there. Care and midwives were brilliant, very hands on when you needed them. We were able to stay overnight in the ABC after dd born which was great - private room (which we didn't have to pay for) with private shower and toilet. Food was quite reasonable. DS born in pool too, (was v quick on both actually so didn't get to use the relaxation room etc but saw it on our tour and active birth weekend course and looked great) and ended up staying in private Knutsford Suite overnight as ds needed a few breaths of oxygen after he'd shot out (main maternity ward was heaving and very noisy and ABC weren't sure they could guarantee us a bed overnight - it was end of Nov, a notoriously busy time (Valentines Day babies!)). K Suite was fantastic and definitely worth the cost if you can spare the money.
Stoke is very nice. Watford, not so much. I'm surprised your GP was so noncommittal- mine recommended Stoke and I have to say he was right. Watford is grubby and the staff are unhelpful- they sent me home when my waters had broken and I came within a few minutes of having to deliver the baby myself, alone, at home- luckily the ambulance showed eventually and I got to Stoke with zero minutes to spare, giving birth literally the moment I got into the delivery room. We stayed overnight and staff couldn't have been nicer. Even the food was fine.
Too late for the OP, but for any other local pregnant ladies, my view is that Stoke Mandeville is great. There is a midwife led unit but just round the corner on the same corridor is the consultant led unit, so you barely have to move if you are on the midwife unit but need a bit of extra help etc during labour. There were few agency midwives when I was there (for three weeks) which makes a huge difference in terms of consistency of care etc. There are private rooms if you want them, birthing pools (fixed and inflatable), balls etc. They do tours again now (phone the community midwives team to arrange this - you may need to leave a message). Watford may be good too, I can only speak about Stoke Mandeville based on my experience, but it was a good one!
I chose Watford as had a great experience there in 2010 with my DD, next baby is due in Nov and I was offered Stoke. We stayed in the Knutsford suite in Watford for 3 nights as I had a C section and it was a fantastic experience - no regrets and money well spent.
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