After the flu and ‘everything else’ epidemic we had over these winter months, Lewisham Birthing Centre had been closed for visits. I thought I would try my luck anyway so contacted them via their email address and received a very welcoming email response: Come see us but contact us on the day to check we’re not too busy. After our (hubby and myself) ‘Active Birthing’ session yesterday, we were in the area anyway so we called the Birthing Centre and were delighted to hear that it was ok for us to pop by to see the suites.
Benefits of viewing your Birthing Centre or Hospital early? They keep advising that as you start to go into labour its important to be in comfortable, familiar surroundings… somewhere you feel safe. So it makes total sense to be a tiny bit more familiar with the place you intend to actually have your baby:
- Gives you the opportunity to understand what happens where
- The feel and smell of it. e.g. How warm it is… what you should wear when you’re here
- The route to get there plus any alternative routes. The route to get to the actual centre is one thing, but knowing your route through the hospital for example is a great help and confidence builder too
- What equipment is available to you
- But above all I really think its all about having one less ‘mystery’ left to discover on the day.
Benefits of a Birthing Centre VS Labour Ward/Hospital? Guess I will let you know once its all happened and I have something for comparison. However I would probably say from our initial encounter: a birthing centre is specialised in helping you give birth in a comfortable and relaxed environment, not too dissimilar to being at home. In addition you get a medical team near by should you need added expertise. All in all seems the best mix of what you want when you’re going to go into labour.
So I thank the widwives of Lewisham Birthing centre for allowing me in to ask a few questions. Specifically to the actual midwife who showed us round who was lovely, calm, happy and filled us with confidence that it might not even be that horrific experience everyone pictures it to be… ‘try to enjoy it’. For more info: http://www.lewisham.nhs.uk/services/women__sexual_health/-_birth_centre.aspx