Giving birth in hospital | NHS

The most important thing
with maternity care is that women are under the care
of a midwife. All women need a midwife. Midwifery care for delivery
can take place at home, or in a midwifery unit if there is
a free-standing one, or in hospital. I would like to think
that we can provide the most basic but full midwifery care
in the hospital unit, but should there be a problem, there
are doctors around to help to intervene. There are some people who we would
recommend, because of complications, have a baby in hospital. There are others
who would choose to have it. The underlying benefit is
that if there were to be some reason that they would be better off
with help from a doctor, then they’re in the right place
to get intervention if necessary. I’ve got a blood condition that causes
my blood to be slightly sticky, which means that sometimes it can clot, so particularly in pregnancy
that’s not a good thing, so for me I felt that I needed
to be at a hospital. I’d like to think
that the philosophy in a unit and what the midwives
and what the doctors want is for women to have everything
as normal as possible. The sorts of things that
we’ve tried in this unit, for example, we have cupboards in the room
so we can hide any hi-tech equipment if it’s not needed. With a hospital birth you’re not at home
but you can still make it feel home. You can take your own things in,
and taking my music in helped. The fact that we had that en-suite room and we had an area that we could use and we didn’t need to go outside
the room, it was our space, was nice. We’re here to make everything
as normal and natural and wonderful as it possibly can be, and only to intervene
if really necessary. It was the labour that I wanted
because I did want a labour where I had minimum pain relief, and in actual fact
I managed to have a TENS machine. I think I had a couple of puffs
on gas and air while I was examined and that was it, so
I didn’t really have much pain relief, but actually that was good for me. There are times that we know
we need to assist the delivery, and that means using
either forceps or a ventouse. This is a modern form of ventouse. It’s disposable, it’s suction equipment
for delivering a baby and it’s commonly used
for assisted deliveries now. People can choose to have an epidural
if they want to, if that’s what they’d like
for pain relief, and sometimes we will recommend it. But if they have an epidural, they have to have a drip in their arm
just to have some fluid. Then they have the epidural, which involves putting local anaesthetic
in the back and putting a needle in. We try very hard not to give
general anaesthetics to people. We try hard to use
what’s called regional anaesthesia, which is either an epidural or a spinal. I’ve got diabetes, so… Women with diabetes have bigger babies. So I had my first baby, she was induced, but then I ended up having
an emergency Caesarean section. And then my second baby, we decided with the advice
from the consultant and midwives to have an elective Caesarean. The vast majority of elective
and emergency Caesarean sections are done under spinal anaesthetic,
so the woman’s awake. It’s an enormous advantage that if she’s
awake she’s involved in the experience and her partner can be there. You can kind of feel something
pressing on your tummy gently, but it’s not painful and… It’s quite comfortable, really,
you just can’t feel anything. I couldn’t drive or hoover
or carry heavy things for a good four to six weeks and after that
I was completely recovered, I didn’t have any problems. Often, and perhaps most often
with a vaginal delivery, there’s enough space
and the tissues will stretch, so there’s no damage
and no stitches necessary, but there are times that clearly the opening to the vagina
isn’t going to be big enough and it might tear
just to make room for the baby, and sometimes it tears
and that’s fine and we sew it up. There are advantages and disadvantages
to having a tear or deciding to do a cut
called an episiotomy. We don’t do them unnecessarily. Midwives are the experts in trying
to protect the vaginal opening, to try and stop any tears or damage. But if it is necessary
then there’s no harm in it, it’s easy to repair and then
there’s no problems with it afterwards. Our overwhelming desire is for women
and their partners and families to have what they consider
is a successful and happy outcome. I think the biggest thing is not to be
afraid of having your baby in hospital because it’s the reassurance that you’ve got all of the medical staff
on hand to help you if you need it. And I did need it
so I was very grateful. I have given birth in hospitals twice where I’ve had all the facilities
and all the medical services there because there was a chance
that I might need it, but both times
I’ve given birth naturally without any kind of assistance. So you can still have
all kinds of birth, whatever works for you, in a hospital.

3 thoughts on “Giving birth in hospital | NHS

  1. very informative information. nice job! i def want a midwife. i have no complications now, am healthier than an Ox LOL and none of my family have had any complications. my mother did 2 natural births and she still says she wouldnt have had it any other way.

  2. I wish it was like this in America. I am personally doing a home birth because hospitals in America are not normal and natural. They force you to take drugs and they intervene as much as they can.

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