Ok, so I’m done with my gush of excitement from yesterday and I had promised a friend I would blog about my impressions of the hospital so here they are.
First thing I really liked, the tour leader’s emphasis on pregnancy not being an illness. Because quite frankly, it isn’t!
The birthing suites, nothing exciting there, reasonably spacious rooms with a bed floating in the middle of the room. It’s funny how out of place the beds look! Some of the birthing rooms have windows, some just have blank walls. All have their own ensuite (albeit quite small, if the birthing woman was in the shower you could maybe have 2 people in the room with her but 1 would have to sit on the toilet to conserve space). 1 room has a tub but I didn’t hear whether the midwife mentioned if any others did too. Resus equipment is built in to cabinets so it’s hidden away unless required.
The maternity ward has a 50/50 break up of rooms, 50% are shared rooms with 2 beds and 50% are single rooms. There is no nursery for healthy babies, only the Special Care Nursery. Rooming in and minimal seperation for mother and baby are their aims. Stay time seems to be an average of 1-2 nights for vaginal births.
Some of the policies on the maternity ward interested me as they were/are different to what I expected or have heard of previously. Breakfast trays aren’t delivered to the rooms, they are taken to the ward kitchen for mothers to help themselves (the midwife very much encouraged the other parent or grandparents to be doing this, same with ensuring the new mama has jugs of iced water and tea or coffee as the mama desires). The emphasis during the mama’s stay is to establish feeding, learn babies cues and for the other parent to learn to change nappies. Bathing the baby is not one of the things they feel is needed to be done before discharge, first time mother’s on the caseload program will be assisted with the first bath by their midwife when they go home, although the midwives on the ward are happy to help before going home if it is a concern of the parents. There are also 2 lounge areas on the ward which offer an alternate space to sit with visitors or to just get out of the room!
So what does it mean for us? Well, we’ll be needing a LOT of blue tack and posters to help make the birthing space my own! We’re hoping to get either birthing suite 1 – with the tub, tucked away in a corner of the ward away from the desk, or birthing suite 4 with windows. The hospital has twin bassinets so the babies will be able to be kept together rather than in seperate bassinets – they will have been together for 9 months, I’m in no hurry to seperate them! Ideally we would also like a single room on the ward so that I don’t have to worry about my 2 rambunctious little boys disturbing another patient when they visit.
It was definitely a very interesting visit, as I mentioned in the previous post I liked a lot of what the midwife had to say (things like they keep the medical staff at the desk). Compared to our homebirth plans it’s not ideal but I can’t keep focusing on what we can’t have, it’s time to focus on how to work with what we’ve got to have the best possible experience.