Elida's story

My birthing experience was all I could have hoped for

Elida birth story Portland Hospital.jpg
Elidas maternity story.jpg

Elida and Rohan reflect on the birth of their daughter at The Portland Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, on Boxing Day 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making a birth plan

When Elida began planning the birth of her first child, she had been reading about positive birthing stories and practicing hypnobirthing. With her husband Rohan by her side, she was keen to have a waterbirth – a birthing technique growing in popularity due to its association with increased comfort and mobility for mothers who opt out of traditional pain relief.

At thirty-weeks, in the midst of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, Elida and Rohan realised there was a strong possibility that he wouldn’t be able to attend the birth if it took place at their local maternity unit. A close friend had recently spent four days in labour without her partner, so the couple knew it was a very real possibility – and one they wanted to avoid. 


Making the right decision

They made the decision to switch to The Portland Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, where Elida could safely give birth with her partner by her side. Like all mothers who give birth at The Portland, Elida was able to choose between midwife-led or consultant-led care. Elida opted for midwife-led care as she wanted minimal intervention and pain relief. 

“It was really easy to switch,” said Elida. “We made the call and explained the situation, asked for midwife-led care and a waterbirthing pool, and they took care of everything from there.” 

Elida and Rohan felt reassured that her birth would be personalised to their choices, and the midwives made sure a birthing pool would be readily available – something which is not always possible in other maternity units. 

Elida was also able to speak to her midwife, Kate, who would be with her during the birth. In addition, The Portland Hospital offered COVID-19 tests every three days in the last weeks before the birth, so the couple could be confident they were negative for the virus.  

Welcoming their little girl into the world

After a Christmas Eve sweep, Elida began to experience contractions on Christmas Day. It wasn’t until the early hours of Boxing Day that she felt it was time to head to The Portland Hospital. Midwives found she was already 6cm dilated and arranged for the birthing pool to be set up immediately. 

Just over four hours later, Elida gave birth to Azalea in the birthing pool, with Rohan by her side. As planned, Elida was able to have a natural birth with the help of just gas and air and hypnobirthing techniques.  


Support and guidance for new parents

Elida described her birth as ‘perfect’: “It was everything we planned and hoped for. Rohan and I were a great team, and the midwives really supported us and gave us as much space as we wanted. We felt very supported to have a positive birth and had an incredible experience.”

The day and night that followed Azalea’s birth involved receiving support and guidance from the lactation specialists at The Portland Hospital on how to breastfeed, and Rohan was given advice on nappy changing. 

Elida added: “The aftercare was excellent. Our midwives were very attentive, I was checked over and given advice on how to take care of my body and what types of exercise I can do in the coming weeks and months. As I was determined to breastfeed, I was also supported with advice on techniques but then given space for me and Azalea to give it a try.”

After a one-night stay with their new baby daughter, the couple left The Portland Hospital feeling overwhelmingly happy. Both are grateful for the care Elida and Azalea received and felt that the choices given at The Portland Hospital made a huge difference.

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