"Maternity - VBAC"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

I delivered my second child at King's - it was a successful VBAC and I had an amazing experience. The midwives I encountered were supportive, kind and professional in their care, I felt that they were all going out of their way to make me feel safe, secure and confident. I arrived to the hospital with strong contractions 2-3 minutes apart. We had to wait in the waiting room for a while, maybe half an hour, which was a bit uncomfortable, since I was surrounded by random people who had come to visit their relatives, but it was not too bad. The woman at the reception reassured us several times that we were not forgotten and would be seen to soon. When we got in, we were shown to a labour room (lack of other space I think), where I was assessed - it turned out that I was only 2 cm dilated, but because of the previous cesarian and other risk factors, they decided not to send us home, but to the antenatal ward. There I was offered a warm dinner (which I could barely touch by that time) and the midwives offered and prepared a bath for me. I could finally relax in the water and could bear the contractions much better. I received a pillow to rest my head on. I think I stayed for over an hour (perhaps two?) in the bath. My husband kept me company, they provided a chair for him by the bathtub. Meanwhile, they came to check up on me several times (the midwives wanted to assess my progress with an examination), but when they saw how comfortable I was, they left it up to me when I wanted to come out. By the time I made it out of the tub, I was 6 cm dilated and quickly progressed to the transition stage. They took me up to the labour ward on the bed - all this with kindness, encouragement and support from several midwives. In the labour ward I was encouraged to take a shower to help space out the contractions. I was fully dilated by then, and so too late for an epidural. Looking back, I am happy to have substituted that for the long time in the bath, which felt crucial and just the right thing for me. After some gas and air (which gave me just the relief to be able to continue), I began pushing - in a position I wished to do it in, with minimal interference by the midwives, who were encouraging and keeping me updated on my progress, made sure I was hydrated and that everything was going well. My son was born soon, was placed immediately on me, and soon started breastfeeding. The short stay (half a night and the next day until the evening) in the postnatal ward was ok. We were in a room with 4 beds, out of which only 3 were occupied, but it was still a bit noisy. I was impressed that you could order lunch and dinner from a menu and that all the staff we were seen by were courteous, kind and caring. With all the frustrations of attempting a vaginal birth after cesarian, I always felt in good hands, trusted the midwives fully and felt looked out for. I feel that I received the best care possible.

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Response from King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

Thank you for sharing your experience and for your positive comments about it.

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