Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wexham Park Hospital tour

If you came here via a link looking for information on Wexham Park and giving birth there, click here: Giving birth at Wexham Park for all my posts about it.

We went on the Sunday tour at Wexham Park Hospital this past weekend. Wexham is located just north of Slough, for those who like to know where things are. There's a tour at 1pm and another at 2pm, you just show up for it, no need to register. It meets in the foyer of the ante-natal clinic.There were a lot of people, so that may have coloured my impression that the labour ward was a bit cramped. By the time we got to the maternity center, we had split into two groups, so it was less cramped there.The labour ward has 12 beds, one bed per room. The bed is adjustable, both the head and foot ends. Other than the bed, there were 2 rocking chairs and a pezzi ball available for different positions.The maternity center has 4 or 5 rooms (can't remember), none of which have a bed. Each room has a pezzi ball, big bean bag and an arm chair. The rooms are then different as to whether they have a shower, bath, none, or a pool. Water births are possible there - well in the room with the pool obviously. Although I like the idea of floating in a pool during labour, I'm don't think I'm quite up for a full water birth. There is also a pool in the labour ward, but I think it's smaller than the one in the maternity center. If you want an epidural or if there are any complications like the need for venthouse (sucking the baby out using a vacuum) or such, you'll be transfered from the maternity center down to the labour ward.

My overall feeling was the labour ward was, well, a hospital. I didn't like it much, it felt too clinical for me. The maternity center was far less clinical and seemed to have a much more "easy-going" atmosphere, at least to me.

As we missed the tour at Heatherwood, the other possible place for us to give birth, I decided to register at the maternity center, simply so I'm registered somewhere. We can still change our minds if we want to later after seeing Heatherwood.


Anonymous said...

Is Heatherwood the one in Ascot?

ZeeBride said...

Yep, that's the one. Just down the road from the racecourse. So if we decide to have the birth there and things get slow, we can always go out for a bit of entertainment. ;-)

Robbie said...

Wow, how quickly did Google index your blog! You’re no. 6 for "wexham park maternity" already.

My wife and I also went to Wexham this past Sunday and we've registered for the ISIS Birth Centre. It's nice to be able to try the natural way first, with the reassurance that if we do need help we can just go downstairs to the regular labour unit.

We have to get our GP to do some paperwork because our current allocated hospital is Hillingdon, so we are 'out of area' which is just crazy! We live the Iver side of Uxbridge so everything should be fine.

Its our first and the due date is January 27th, but as I understand it, due dates are rubbish, it might be mid February or...tomorrow!

Best Wishes

ZeeBride said...

Hi Robbie,

Yes, we've decided on the ISIS Birth Centre too, I really should update that this week.

Good luck for you and your wife - hopefully the due dates aren't so far off as for the baby to come tomrrow!

Robbie said...


We read on birthchoice that Wexham averages 3,500 births p.a. so, say 10 per day. But on the tour, the midwife said that the birth centre is averaging 15 to 17 births a month! Chances are, you'll have the place to yourselves! Just say no to £175 a night in the Astor Suite!

The centre has only been open just over a year and they are massively undersubscribed. The midwife whisked us through the labour and post-natal wards and spend ages in the birth centre. Only room 3 was in use on Sunday. It is very strange though, no beds!

I think people are put off by the fact that they don't offer stuff like epidurals. However, if you wanted one or the midwife isn't happy about something, they just take you down to the labour ward – no hassle.

Anyways, I've bookmarked you and will stop by in a few weeks. Wishing you all the best and will be very interested to see what you think about Wexham – good or bad!

P.S. Heatherwood is a small maternity unit. If there are any complications they will take you to Wexham. The other local hospital is Wycombe, but that is too far for us and I've heard something about it closing/being closed anyway.

Anonymous said...

Hi Just to set the record straight the Birth Centre has between 50 and 70 women birthing there each month, not 15-17!!! You are right there are no beds however research and our bodies tell us that being upright and mobile is the best way for birth. I hope you all enjoy your labour and births and then pass on the positive feedback about the Birth Centre to your friends and family.

ZeeBride said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, I have been recommending the Birth Centre, not just via this website. In fact, I think someone I know might be in there right now! If you are there right now R, hope it's going well!

aga said...

Hi. I visited Isis centre about 3 weeks ago and I am now 38 weeks pregnant. I got really good first impresion. The atmosphere, people and general feeling is good.I registered myself just after visit and now cant wait till end of pregnanacy as I am feeling a bit tired. Having a nice picture of thAT centre makes me feel comfortable as it is going to be my first and I do not know what really to expect:)
On the day of my visit there were not women giving a bitrh so our group could see every single room including postnatal one. I specially like the pool room but of course you never know if it be avilable for you:(
Wish all the expacting mums, who are going to have a baby soon like me all the best and we may see in Isis Centre:)