About: Luton & Dunstable Hospital Luton & Dunstable Hospital Luton LU4 0DZ
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I am currently 39 weeks pregnant and a patient of L&D Maternity Department. I was referred twice to have a follow-up, namely foetus growth scan at 34 and 38 weeks due to high fundal height. In both cases, I was denied an access to ultrasound and was sent home after checking my urine and blood pressure (I can also have these done with my community midwife). If not my persistency, I would not know what the problem really was and I would not have ultrasound done. The registrar actually informed me and my husband that in case of any problems with giving birth to the plus-size baby they will be acting during the labour(!!!). The hospital seems to save money on very basic but vital testing that can prevent any complex situations during birth. To my surprise, I faced complete ignorance, mess and miscommunication in this hospital. I was supposed to meet an anaesthetist to pre-plan in case of caesarean, however, in spite of my intervention the appointment was never booked for me. I have to come through great distress now as at 38+6 weeks I was informed that I cannot have a long-planned waterbirth due to my high BMI (btw I started my pregnancy with high BMI and no one informed me that the hospital refuses waterbirth to patients with BMI over 35 due to trivial health and safety regulations; I was actually humiliated by a midwife in the hospital asking me in the waiting room full of people: Who will pull you out from the pool?). I could not imagine to experience greater humiliation and distress at the very end of my pregnancy. Such lack of communication from the staff stopped me from finding an alternative solution or different hospital for waterbirths as being 39 weeks is simply too late to act. I was planning for waterbirth as I wish to lower the risk of episiotomy to minimum (waterbirth is believed to contribute greatly to save the patient from facing a perineum cut).
A great distress that was caused by this hospital makes me consider unassisted home-birth as I am too terrified to let such ignorant staff to decide over such an important matter as well being of me and my baby.
It is important to point out here waterbirth is advised to women who are plus-size as and I definately am with my size 18. Waterbirth reduces the effect of being overweight as the body of a woman is more boyant. There is no medical research that would justify the fact that I am denied an access to a dignified waterbirth even though I have no medical condition and I was ready to sign a statement that my husband will be helping me out from the pool.