10 reasons to give birth at St George's Hospital in Tooting
Updated: Mar 25
Our beloved local hospital St George’s in Tooting and its medical staff are famous for appearing in the Channel 4 series “24 Hours in A&E”. The seventh year of the series is set to be filmed in May, meaning the hospital and its local celebrities and landmarks will be making plenty more appearances on our TVs.
In addition to its TV fame, the hospital is also well known for its amazing maternity care unit.
St George’s is one of the safest hospitals in the country in which to have your baby. With the help of St George’s staff, women give birth to over 5,000 babies a year: at home, in the midwifery-led unit, and in the Delivery Suite. The maternity service was rated as Good overall, and Outstanding for 'Effective' by the CQC in the report in November 2016.
If you live in south-west London you're probably considering St George's hospital as a place to give birth. Here are 10 great reasons to choose this hospital:
1. It has more than 250 years of experience with a dynamic research culture.
2. It is a university hospital meaning it has the latest research and new talent, and is the only UK university to specialise in healthcare and medicine.
3. The hospital offers three places to give birth including an obstetrician-led unit (delivery suite), a birthing centre (Carmen suite) and a homebirth team (Rainbow team) with all the equipment needed:
- The delivery suite has 14 rooms (all single occupancy) including 2 operating theatres and delivers around 4,000 babies a year. There is access to birthing aides to support alternative positions in labour and normal birth:
You're welcome to bring in your own pillow and some small lights and music to create a calm and relaxed environment.
Consultants are on call, as well as paediatricians and aestheticians nearby in case they need to be called in. Refreshments are available throughout.
- Carmen Suite has four rooms, two of them with birthing pools. Around 700 babies are delivered here per year.
They have a variety of birthing aides available including:
Multitrac partner seat
You can bring your own music, decorations, lights, and a tens machine.
- The homebirth team, won the "Best Commended team Award" at the second annual London Maternity & Midwifery Festival Awards in February 2019.
They provide 1:1 care and you can built a rapport with each of the midwives as it's proven to improve outcomes for mum and babies during labour and birth.
5. A large amount of midwives are trained in hypnobirthing meaning they are aware of which words to use and which words to skip, and will understand how you might want to have your room ready and respect your preferences.
6. There is an integral neonatal unit where babies receive specialist medical and surgical intensive care when needed. St George's is the regional centre for the South West London Neonatal Network. This means for babies that need the expertise and facilities, there's no need to transfer to a different hospital, which can be stressful for new parents and mean separation between mum and baby.
7. Your partner can be with you while giving birth in any of the spaces - unless there is a specific reason for them not to.
8. Most midwives are also breastfeeding specialists, which is great to encourage breastfeeding just after you've had your baby if that's your wish.
9. C-section (24.6% vs 26.7% UK average) and induction rates (28.9% vs 30.6% UK average) are lower than the national average (NMPA Clinical audit results 2016-17 St Georges Hospital).
10. You're able to stay at the hospital if you need to Postnatal ward (Gwillim),
a ward you might be transferred to after giving birth. Gwillim is situated on the 4th Floor, Lanesborough Wing. Your partner can stay with you here too and if you have other children they can also visit. You can rent a single room with en-suite for £150 per night (only 2 available) or a room sharing a bathroom for £100 (6 rooms available).
Where to go
When you go into labour it’s important you have it clear in your mind exactly where you’re going, not just a plan for when to make a move from your home. It’s also key to know how you will get there; even if you live very close by you’ll likely need to drive or take a taxi there so it’ll help if you or your partner are familiar with the route, and exactly where to drop you off.
When your labour starts, St George’s asks that you contact the Delivery Suite direct on 0208 767 4654 where you’ll be asked a few simple questions and advised to attend if needed.
If you plan to have your baby on the Carmen Suite you should contact the Carmen Suite direct on 0208 725 2039 where a midwife will ask you some questions and advise if you should attend the hospital.
If you’re having your labour induced or a planned caesarean section you will be advised to attend on the time, date and location that you need to attend when you see your midwife or doctor. Remember to take your handheld maternity notes (booklet) with you when you attend the hospital or are being seen in relation to your pregnancy.
Access to the Maternity Unit
During the hours of 7am – 9pm the maternity unit can be accessed via Lanesborough wing. After 9pm the maternity service can be accessed via the main entrance (Grosvenor Wing).
If you'd like to know how hypnobirthing can help you to be calm and relaxed regardless of everything else that is happening at present, please check my upcoming courses here. All of the courses are now online via Zoom.