There can many things to think about during your pregnancy, and lots of choices to make. Here, Dr Penelope Law, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at The Portland Hospital for Women and Children, talks about some of the choices parents have to make and helps alleviate any worries they may have along the way.
What would you say to an expectant mother who is nervous about pregnancy and birth?
Most women have an enjoyable and trouble free pregnancy, although for some, especially those expecting their first baby, the experience can be daunting. My main message to those who are worried is; don’t be! Serious complications are very rare and at the Portland you will be supported throughout your pregnancy by a network of professionals who can help you every step of the way.
Labour can be a particular worry, but equipping yourself with knowledge is the best way to ease your fears. Discuss any concerns with your midwife or consultant, go to antenatal classes and ensure that your birthing plan is flexible and adapted to suit you.
You can choose a water birth at the Portland and we have a course on hypnobirthing, but if that is not your thing then we have an extensive range of pain relief available.
Why do expectant parents usually choose The Portland Hospital?
Here at The Portland Hospital we do everything we can to ensure the mother’s birthing experience is memorable and enjoyable, as well as providing safe, high quality care.
The hospital is designed to make parents feel confident in their choices whether that’s selecting their preferred delivery method, opting for midwife-led or consultant-led care, or having control over their birth plan, pain relief and other personal touches.
The Portland is equipped to support a mother with every phase of their pregnancy from early scans to post-natal care. We also offer a wide range of therapies including physiotherapy, pilates, hypnobirthing, nutrition and psychology.
How do I choose the right Consultant/Midwife?
Mums to be who are considering consultant-led care can choose a consultant by referencing the ‘Find a Consultant’ feature on our website, and they are free to meet a number of consultants to make a decision on which one is best for them, although there will usually be a charge for this.
Many women request a certain consultant based on a friend’s recommendation or a referral from their GP.
Alternatively, midwife-led care is available. This option is particularly suited to women who may have had one previously uncomplicated delivery. If this is for you please book an appointment with our midwives to discuss your pregnancy.
Whoever you choose, you will be cared for throughout your pregnancy by professionals that you’ll get to know well, so you will see familiar faces when your delivery date arrives.
At The Portland Hospital we run a Pregnancy Meet and Greet Service, where prospective parents can have a free 30 minute appointment with a midwife who can talk you through your antenatal and birth options, and help you decide which route to take in your pregnancy.
Will my obstetrician/midwife of choice be available to talk to most of the time?
Wherever possible we try to make sure that your consultant or midwife is available to answer your questions. However if that isn’t possible there is a team of midwives available 24 hours a day to answer any you may have.
They will also be available to discuss your birthing plan and to make the necessary arrangements for the birth.
What is the most popular type of birth plan?
A birth plan or 'wish list' is your chance to highlight the aspects of your delivery that are really important to you.
Water births are popular currently especially among women who have participated in hypnobirthing classes. Most women also choose to have their baby placed immediately on their chest both after a vaginal delivery and a caesarean section and for a short delay of 2 minutes in cutting the cord, to ensure the baby receives as much cord blood as possible. This is also a lovely way to begin bonding with your newborn.
Importantly your birth plan should be a safe journey for you and your baby, with a little flexibility built in!
For more information on giving birth at the Portland please contact our Maternity Services Advisor on +44 (0)20 7390 6068.