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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Chipping Norton, UK

Submitted by JenJen

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Chipping Norton

How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?

11mths ago

Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...

This was my second birth in the UK. My first prenatal care was all with the Chipping Norton Midwives and we intended to have them assist us in a home birth. However, after 20plus hrs of labour, they suggested I be transfered to the Horton Hospital in Banbury. There I was induced and delivered in 6 hrs with help of gas and air, and later meptid. The consultant was very eager to take charge and prep me for a c-section, but we refused. We left hospital ASAP as it felt very impersonal and well, just not home!

My second pregnancy was also through the Chipping Norton midwives. Again, we wanted to have a home birth and the midwives were fully supportive. Home births here receive the same treatment as in a midwife led unit (same pain relief options, positions, and support), except when you are in labour the midwife can't just leave to look in on someone else or do anything else! A second midwife comes when the birth is near.

The second birth was only 5 hrs long. No pain relief was needed - I was home, safe, confident and comfortable! We also used hypnobirthing which one of the midwives had taught us. Our baby was born in a birthing pool and after a brief celebration, the midwives tucked us into our own bed! It was magical.

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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?

Being from the US where births are much more clinical, I was very worried about giving birth here. I even considered ways of moving back to the US to have the baby there. Having seen the hospitals over here, I was not keen on a hospital birth and a quick website showed me the options. The Chippy unit seemed much more personal with low birth numbers and low transfer rates. As I had no complications it seemed the natural choice.

Once I met the Chipping Norton midwives, I was confident and comfortable. While there facilities are not much to brag about, they have more heart and wisdom than you can ever find in a large hospital. They LOVE to deliver babies and treat mothers like they are something special -not just a number! They instill a confidence in women that they can deliver their babies naturally and without tremendous pain as we are lead to believe from television!

If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?

Nope. We moved house between the births of our children and I insisted that we could not move out of the Chipping Norton midwife area. They are that good!

If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?

Move to Chipping Norton. Not all units are good units. Chipping Norton has the UNICEF Baby Friendly Award. They care for their mums and do not consider them numbers. As maternity services struggle to provide good care, Chippy is a diamond in the lot!

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