We offer comprehensive packages that cover your Antenatal and Birth Care.
Most women come to us for pregnancy care including delivery however some come for delivery only.
Consultant Care package
A comprehensive package of care where every antenatal appointment is with a Consultant Obstetrician.
Caesarean Delivery package
A package of care designed for women who do not require antenatal care, only delivery care with a planned caesarean at The Portland Hospital.
We also offer a bespoke service on request to fit with your expact requirements. Please contact the clinic for more details.
Our approach to Birth is focused on ensuring the best outcome for mother and baby.
We believe Women should be able to try to give birth in the way that the woman and her partner have chosen having received sound advice from the Obstetrician and Midwife. As a general principle women should defer a decision on how they would like to try to give birth until near the end of the pregnancy. There are of course women who come in the door in early pregnancy determined to have a waterbirth and others determined to have a planned caesarean section. All should be given advice about the risks and benefits. In some cases a condition such as placenta praevia or a breech baby may develop that virtually mandates caesarean section: this may not be known until late in the pregnancy. If in late pregnancy the baby is not too big, the mother is not too small and the mother has good attitude with confidence in her obstetrican and midwife then a normal birth may be anticipated. We generally avoid induction of labour.
Most consider good antenatal education to be a pre-requisite for normal birth and particularly a water birth. We offer an antenatal education class a few weeks before the due date. There are other classes available which may be useful. A good understanding of what happens as labour begins pays dividends. Women hoping for a waterbirth are usually motivated for this from the beginning. We will undetake one to one coaching to promote this in appropriate cases. Our midwife, Sarah Das has a special interest in waterbirths.
There are a number of approaches to pain relief in labour. These include good antenatal education (including hypnobirthing), partner support, massage, TENS machine, water, breathing gas and air, very occasionally a drug injection and more often an epidural. Apart from actually delivering the baby an epidural anaesthesia is the most effective method of pain relief in labour. It does however reduce the urge to push and the chance of an intrumental delivery increases a little. A good doctor or midwife should be able to help to control this.
A Caesarean Section may be planned for medical reasons. Again good preparation is important. The mother must not eat for six hours before the procedure. She will also be given pills to take to reduce the acidity in her stomach. General anaesthesia can be more dangerous to the pregnant woman and an epidural or spinal anaesthesia is recommended. This can be uncomfortable for the woman and a little scary. However it reduces the risks and of course she is awake with her husband present. The procedure takes about 60 minutes including the anasthesia. A good surgeon wil make a low "bikini level" transverse incision. The significant risks of caesarean section are bleeding, infection, venous thrombosis, complications of the anaesthesia and damage to other abdominal organs. Cutting the baby is extremely rare with a good surgeon. Measures are undertaken to combat all these risks.
We undertake Planned Caesarean Section by maternal choice with no risk factors. It is important that the woman understands the risks outlined above. The safest way for a woman to have a baby is by uncompicated normal birth, the second safest way is by planned caesarean Section and the riskiest scenario is emergecny Caesarean Section at the end of a long and difficult labour and even after an attempt at instrumetnal vaginal delivery. The skill of the obstetrician and midwife should avoid the third less favourable situation arising.
If you are high risk and need a caesarean section then the most obvious way to limit the risk is to have a highly experienced and mature obstetrcian like Dr Gibb do the operation.
The facilities of the hospital are also very important. The Portland Hopsital offers full support for high risk births. There is the availability of consultant anasthetists, blood transfusion and a high dependency unit.