My Thoughts: Labour Ward Tour

Last night Adam and I went along to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire for a tour of the labour ward where I will hopefully be giving birth to our baby boy next month. The tour started at 7:30pm and lasted around an hour or so. Before it had even began I was feeling rather tired so on getting home around 9pm it's fair to say that I was pretty darn exhausted!

There were around 10 other couples on the tour with us, so quite a big group, which kind of made it more difficult to ask questions as we squeezed ourselves in and out of rooms. 

Birth Centre Rooms
We were shown a birth centre room first, which to be honest actually was not what I had expected - It was better. The room was incredibly spacious and it had a large blow up pool inside as well as an en suite bathroom, a labour ball and adjustable lighting and heating. The room and bed looked very clean and rather modern. I was very impressed as was my Husband, the room instantly made me feel very relaxed and in a strange way - in control. We didn't get to see the actual birthing pool room as it was in use but I felt happy enough with the blow up pools of which we were told they had several. 

Labour Rooms
The labour rooms were pretty much the same just with a baby monitor in. We were told that we would need to be moved to a labour room if an epidural was required or if our baby's heartbeat needed to be monitored. I was very happy with both rooms. The actual labour ward was extremely calm, not what I had expected at all. Honestly, I had anticipated lots or at least some screaming and to see midwives rushing about the place but it wasn't like that at all - which was very reassuring. 

Post Natal Ward
The post natal ward gave me mixed feelings.. There were several wards with perhaps 8 beds in each, the beds were separated only by a very flimsy curtain. Where the labour rooms had oozed privacy the post natal wards  lacked privacy entirely. The space between each bed was very small, much like it is on most hospital wards, and though I don't expect to have a massive great room to recover and bond with my new baby in, I didn't like the whole 'come down' of having such a lovely room with complete privacy to having a very small space with no privacy at all. I'm also struggling with the thought of my Husband going home overnight, maybe I'm being a bit of a baby {excuse the pun} but I kind of, no forget that - I really don't want to be left in the hospital with our baby alone.. I want to spend our first night/s together -  as a family. But I understand that that's what all new mums have to face, so I'll put it to the back of mind and I'll just have to get on with it. I'm hoping {as are all expectant mums} to have as much of a straight forward birth as possible and be in and out the same day, but clearly this is the best possible scenario and unfortunately there's absolutely no guarantee of that for anyone. It's worth mentioning that there is actually the option of paying for a private post natal room at the hospital but personally I think that 1. it's overpriced and 2. it's an unnecessary cost when you think about all the costs that already exist when having a baby.

On the whole, coming away from the tour, I do actually have a much better understanding of what to expect when it's my turn to go on to the labour ward. I generally feel quite relaxed about where I will hopefully be giving birth and to be honest that's the most important part. 
I've been left feeling nervously excited and I just cannot wait to welcome our little man into the world in what now seems to be such a short time away!

pregnant bump


  1. What a lovely photo at the end.... Xx


  2. Aww I'm glad your hospital tour was more useful than mine!

    Do you go on a communal ward after a natural birth at your hospital unless you pay for a private one, then?

    At my hospital, natural births get their own private room after the birth but anybody who has had a c-section (such as me!) has to go on a communal ward :(

    My hospital has just brought in a policy where they allow Dad's to spend the night too, you have to pay £30 but you get a blow up bed in the room and breakfast in the morning - but again, not an option for me as I'll be on the communal ward *sob*


  3. I was the same, i didnt want my OH to go home, and when i asked they said he actually didnt have to, he could stay. At first we had a private room but they came in about 8pm and asked if we could go share as they needed the beds :( Your right, the privacy in them rooms is limited and with the curtain round its so stuffy..and you hear everyone elses baby wake through the night. Me and my OH shared a single bed, and neadless to say we were very happy to go home. Yes they let him stay..but they never offered him food once, we had to share mine. Looking back though none of that mattered. You have your little one :)

    - my journey of bump,baby,beyond!