"The staff are everything"
About: Queen Charlotte's Hospital Queen Charlotte's Hospital London W12 0HS
Posted by Lana
I gave birth in the Birth Centre at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in August 2015.
The fact that the birth went so well was testament to the skills of our wonderful midwife the night of the birth. They are very patient; in tune with me, my baby and my body; able to guide me and my husband through each step; and overall a wise and calming presence. After all of the horror stories I had heard from friends about their births, in fact mine went incredibly well, with no stitches or tearing and a speedy recovery.
Whilst the current facilities are less shiny than the hotel-spa like birth centres at some other West London hospitals, this is not an important factor in having a baby. The room was made lovely and dark and the pool welcoming. We were able to stay an extra night in a similar room without a pool as our baby was a bit irritated in the first 24 hours and we needed more support. It was great to be guided by the midwives through the early hours of breastfeeding, and we were so pleased my husband could stay overnight both nights too.
However, this is not the full story, as throughout the pregnancy and in the lead up to the birth, I was very anxious about the birth itself, to the point of very, very nearly having an elective caesarean. From my community midwife, who I saw at every antenatal appointment, to the consultant midwife, who I saw on a few occasions to speak about my anxiety, they were very supportive and did not force me beyond what I felt comfortable with. In the end, by allowing it to be my decision, I felt able to opt for natural birth.
Lana, Toby and Baby Oriana