Maternity Enquiries +44 (0)20 7390 6200

Children's Enquiries +44 (0)20 7390 8020

Gynaecology Enquiries +44 (0)20 7390 6200

FAQs

Antenatal care

There are three options one can take in order to choose a Consultant:

  1. Choose from our comprehensive list of Consultants who have admitting privileges at The Portland Hospital.
  2. Through your own GP referral.
  3. Through personal recommendation from family or friends.

You are automatically allocated your postnatal room. You can request a room of your choice. However your request is not a guarantee as room allocation depends on what is available on the day, especially when the unit is busy.

All the postnatal rooms are private rooms. The facilities are the same in all rooms; the difference is in the size. The deluxe is a large room with a large bathroom and the suite has an additional adjoining sitting room for guests. All rooms can accommodate your partner on a separate folding bed.

All the rooms have the same facilities. They all have en-suite bathrooms, a cool box, a television and a private phone.

There are 18 postnatal bedrooms: 1 premier suite, 2 standard suites and 2 deluxe rooms, and 13 standard bedrooms.

The Labour Ward has all of the necessary facilities available for the birth of your baby and has been designed to make you feel at home. All the delivery suites are private and have en-suite bathrooms. This provides the opportunity for all mothers to-be to have the choice to labour in water in the en-suite bath if they so desire. Each room is fully equipped with vital equipment necessary to monitor the mother and baby during labour and once your baby is born. Individual choices of birth position are encouraged with yoga mats and birthing balls available for use in labour. There is also a dedicated birthing pool. If two women request use of the birthing pool at the same time a portable pool can be made available in one of the other delivery rooms.

Labour and Delivery

You should either call your consultant obstetrician or a midwife on the delivery suite on 020 7390 8395.

The Portland Hospital does not have car-parking facilities. The forecourt of the hospital is available for arrival and collection of patients only. There is an NCP in Carburton Street, a few minutes walk from the hospital. There is also meter parking available in the surrounding streets. The Portland Hospital is inside the congestion charging zone.

We try as far as possible to prioritise the work load but if all the delivery suites are full then we can equip a room on one of the postnatal floors to accommodate delivery.

All our midwives are registered and experienced in performing normal deliveries. Resident obstetricians (RMOs) are onsite and provide 24 hour medical cover where this is required.

The ratio of midwife to patient is 1:1 during labour and 1:4 on the postnatal floors.

  1. Mobile epidurals - These allow the women the benefit of epidural pain relief, while maintaining the ability to move. They are offered once labour has commenced.
  2. Entonox - also known as 'gas and air' or 'laughing gas'.
  3. Pethidine.
  4. Birthing pool – there is a birthing pool should you choose to have a water birth. You may wish to discuss this option during the antenatal period with your consultant obstetrician or midwife.
  5. TENS - The equipment needs to be hired by the mother-to-be antenatally should she wish to use this for pain relief in labour.
  6. Hypnobirthing.

There is 24-hour cover by a resident consultant obstetric anaesthetist should you need epidural pain relief during your labour.

Your partner can be with you during labour in the delivery suite or in the operating theatre if you have a caesarean delivery. However if you need an emergency caesarean and a general anaesthetic is required your partner will usually be advised to stay in the delivery suite and wait. Your partner will be supported and kept up-to-date on what is happening throughout.

Usually it would be your partner, midwife and consultant obstetrician who are present at the delivery.

This is up to your consultant obstetrician or midwife and is reviewed on an individual basis.

If your labour is progressing normally then you can have a light meal or snack. Your consultant or midwife will advise you at the time.

Your midwife will arrange for a new born baby check by a resident paediatric medical officer if you are under midwife-led care. If you are under consultant-led care this check will be performed by a consultant paediatrician. If you are under midwife-led care and would prefer a consultant to perform the newborn baby check, you can pay an additional fee. If your care is being covered by private medical insurance, you will need to contact your insurer to find out if the newborn baby check is covered under your policy.

If your baby delivers en route to or before arrival at the hospital you may wish to go to your nearest NHS hospital to save valuable time. If you are still at home it is recommended that you dial 999 to request an ambulance. The ambulance team would normally take you and your baby to your nearest NHS hospital. You can request to be brought to The Portland Hospital but the decision will be made by the ambulance team.

The Portland Hospital is the only private maternity unit in London with its own, on-site Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for premature and ill babies born over 30 weeks gestation. The NICU is supported by specialist NICU nurses and consultant neonatologists to ensure that your baby is in the safest possible hands.

The Portland Hospital has an adult High Dependency Unit (HDU) for women with problems such as high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia, heavy bleeding from the womb/placenta site or with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney problems. The HDU is also used for twin deliveries.

Women requiring more intensive care treatment are guaranteed a bed in our specialist intensive care unit at our sister hospital, The Princess Grace. In 2015 the number of transfers was zero.

Postnatal care

We encourage you to have your baby in your room throughout your stay, which is known as "rooming in". This involves caring for your baby in your room with the help of our midwives and nursery nurses who are there for you when you need support and advice. This promotes bonding and helps with establishing breastfeeding along with increasing your confidence for when you go home.

Should you wish to rest for any period, your baby can be looked after in the nursery and be brought back to you when you feel more rested or if your baby needs a feed.

Your midwife/ nursery nurse is there to give you advice, support and help with breast or bottle feeding your baby. The nursery nurse will advise and help you with bathing the baby, nappy changing and "top and tail".

A lactation specialist midwife is available and can provide a breastfeeding consultation.

Your partner can stay overnight in your room on a folding bed, with breakfast included at no extra charge.

Your partner and your baby’s siblings may visit at any time.

To ensure you receive adequate rest we recommend that other visitors come between 10am-2pm and between 4pm-10pm; they will need to collect a security pass at the main reception. They should report to the ward reception desk on arrival to ensure a member of staff announces their arrival before taking them to your room.

Following a caesarean section your midwife will monitor you and your baby closely to ensure you both remain well. Following an elective caesarean section your initial recovery takes place in a dedicated recovery area in the main operating theatre. In the case of an emergency caesarean section your recovery takes place in your delivery room. When your consultant obstetrician, the consultant anaesthetist and your midwife are happy with your condition, you will be taken to the postnatal floor where either the same midwife or a postnatal midwife will continue your care.

For mother

  • Your consultant obstetrician will visit you every day
  • A physiotherapist will visit you once to help with postnatal exercises
  • Your consultant obstetric anaesthetist/resident obstetric anaesthetist will visit you once postnatally

For baby

Your midwife will arrange for your baby to be seen by a consultant paediatrician or resident paediatric medical officer, depending on the type of package you have chosen, following delivery and until the day of discharge. Additionally a member of the audiology services team will offer a hearing test for your baby. This service is available 3 days a week and is an additional cost.

On the day of your discharge home your midwife will contact your local community midwife in your area and arrange for a midwife and a health visitor to visit you at home.

The Registrar's office for registering babies born at The Portland Hospital is situated at Westminster Council House on Harrow Road. You will be given information before you leave the hospital regarding registration, including the time the office is open. Your baby's birth must be registered within 42 days after the delivery. The hospital will send the relevant paperwork, but you / your partner must register the birth in person.

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