Tuesday, 19 July 2011

I want to be a Portland Mummy.....

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege and pleasure to be invited up to The Portland Hospital, London to have a look at the perks of giving birth in a private hospital.

To be quite honest, I didn't really know what to expect. I knew it wasn't going to be anything like an NHS hospital, that's for sure, but i did wonder if it would be a little pretentious and snooty, and that if i walked in through the front door in my sunnies i could be papped.....unfortunately there were no paparazzi (damn it!) and it was neither pretentious or snooty!
Greeted with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a muffin - which my dear followers, I kindly declined...DUKAN DIET STILL GOING STRONG I HAVE YOU KNOW! - we sat down to listen to Dr Elia Maalouf, Consultant in General Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine. He went into a little detail about the other services the Portland provide other than maternal and postnatal care:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • General Paediatrics
  • Paediatric Gastroenterology
  • ENT
  • Paediatric Psychiatry & Psychology 
  • Out of Office ' Doc Around The Clock' - Consultant Paediatrician available 9am-9pm Mon-Fri and 10am-2pm Sat.
They also provide physiotherapy for both woman and child, Radiology and MRI with radiologists from Great Ormand St, Play Therapy which is used to help a child learn about a forthcoming operation so a teddy is used with bandages and pretend cannula's and many more!!!

The reassuring aspect to antenatal care is that you know your baby will be in safe hands, if anything were to happen. They have a resident 24hr doctor who will also attend delivery especially if an emergency c-sec is needed and they also have 1 nurse per baby. All doctors at The Portland also work at NHS hospitals so they don't get de-skilled, as we all know how crazy NHS hospitals can be and see all sorts of special cases.

What I found most shocking is that the NHS or should I really say government, refuse to give the chicken pox vaccine as it is felt it is not really required, but c'mon....i think money probably has something to do with it. Catching chicken pox whilst pregnant or even an elderly person can be life threatening, so I am not quite sure how this is deemed not 'required'. Anyway....The Portland do the vaccine (naturally!)

We then had a presentation by Midwife Stella and Midwife Sian. Both absolutely delightful ladies, and within seconds its easy to see why ladies feel at complete ease whilst attending The Portland for their antenatal care. I will bullet point the most important aspects of why midwifery-led care is highly ranked at The Portland:

  • A team of 6 dedicated midwives who provide continuity of care, compassion, support and clinical expertise throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period.
  • Antenatal care and classes for all women and labour & delivery care for established mothers.
  • 24 hr access to advice and support
  • Active birth workshops and Hypnobirthing training
What i love the most about the midwifery care at The Portland? They want to 'empower' women! I love that word. EMPOWER. Women can finally take control of their own pregnancy and birth. They individualise the woman's care and proactively support their choices. Girl Power eat your heart out.
But it wasn't until I read this, that things started to hit home:

"Women who have had an unsatisfactory or traumatic birth experience in the past, often book with us for subsequent pregnancies. Our aim is to provide a positive and holistic birth experience and to empower our women with choice and support".

I could honestly feel my eyes welling up. Just thinking back to my birth, well more my after care, I just wish I had the opportunity to receive such care. Yes the NHS is free of charge. Yes the NHS are incredibly busy AND do a grand job, BUT my aftercare was shocking. The one time in my life I feel I needed someone, actually really needed someone, and of course James and my wonderful friends and family were incredible, but went the clock struck 9pm.......we were dependent on the midwifery team. On my first night, hours after giving birth, saying good bye to James, i was very scared and emotional. And I was completely ignored!

I would of given my arm to have transferred to The Portland if someone (very wealthy) had offered!

We were then given a tour of the hospital.....and all I could say was WOW, WOW, WOW!

From the beautiful suites - ones with single beds, plasma TVs, ensuite bathroom complete with Molton Brown gift set, mini fridge complete with champagne and family suite which has their own bathroom and sofa bed. OR you can opt for the double bed suite. So yes that means Daddy can stay! OR the deluxe suite, which is basically like a holiday apartment....incredible huh?!
We then made our way up the Delivery Ward. Waiting for the escalator doors to open, I anticipated the hustle and bustle of a labour ward, but you could actually see the tumbleweed bouncing about.
'Oh, are there not many ladies in then?' i asked Stella.
'Yes, every lady has there own team with them in the room'.

After viewing the rest of the hospital, including the midwifery rooms which are spacious and beautifully decorated, we then headed for our 3 course lunch complete with champers (sorry, Dukan Diet!) and off we went with our fabulous goodie bag.

On the train back, i was brainstorming. How to get rich? How to get really really rich so that when baby number 2 comes along ( I am slowly twisting James arm, slowly) I too can be treated how every woman should be at the most important time of her life.

And as a little taster.....


Hummus with marinated tomatoes
Poached fruit

Main Course:
Roast Sirloin of Beef Salad
Poached Salmon Salad
Meatballs with Pappardelle

Banofee Pie
Cheese and Biscuits


Cheese and Tomato Pizza
Mini Fish Cakes with Tomato Ketchup
Grilled Plaice
Penne Pasta with Pesto Sauce

This is merely a snippet!!

Now for the not so tasty part (well for me anyway!) The Portland Prices:

Midwife Led Care

From 12th Week of Pregnancy: £9,250.00
From 20th Week of Pregnancy: £8,250.00
From 30th Week of Pregnancy: £7,250.00

So, to sum it up: In order to receive the best possible antenatal, postnatal, child health care and woman health care, you need money, but in my opinion...health should always come first!

Thank you The Portland Hospital for a wonderful day!
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