Parents have a choice

Jessica found her babies benefitted from expert care and advanced equipment that nursed them back to full health.

The one thing I would say is that you have more choice than you think when it comes to where you want to give birth. Even in the UK, you can speak to your GP and choose the hospital that you feel most comfortable with.

I was carrying twins, and I was fortunate that my local hospital was Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea in London, one of the very few in the UK with a dedicated multiple birth center and premature birth facilities. But during my stay there, people were admitted from all over the UK, even as far away as Scotland, and I’d encourage all mothers (not just those carrying twins) to explore the options available to them before deciding where to go to give birth.

I was initially due to give birth in the third week of November, 2009. As is fairly common with multiple births, I went into labor early, rushed into surgery in October—nearly five weeks before I was scheduled to give birth.

My son Jack was healthy but my daughter Isabelle suffered from breathing problems after being born. When my partner went to weigh her, in the flurry of emotion, he misread the scales and told me she weighed 6lbs. In fact, she weighed just 4lbs.

As a result of her breathing difficulties, she was immediately moved into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (which, thankfully, was within the same hospital), where she benefitted from expert care and advanced equipment that nursed her back to full health. In fact, by 20 weeks both Jack and Isabelle had caught up, and both are now healthy and happy kids.

I learnd a lot about NICU care during my time at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, and (though it might sound obvious) how important the regulation of temperature, feeding, and breathing are, as well as being able to maintain physical contact with your baby too.

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