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.