Safia’s three positive birthing experiences at The Portland

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"I had a huge fear of birth and hospitals, so I wanted to have that 1-2-1 experience. For all three of my births, the consultants were incredible and were on call day or night."


Safia had her first healthy baby with The Portland in 2014 and she was so happy with the experience, that she decided to come back again in 2018 and then recently, in 2020. Here, she shares her positive birthing experience at the hospital, across all three births, and talks through how the team put her and her partner at ease throughout.

When Safia first became pregnant in 2014, she had a huge fear of birth and hospitals. For her, going to a fully private maternity hospital helped her overcome her fear. Safia knew if she could build a relationship with her consultant and have a 1-2-1 experience, she would find it easier to manage.

Reassured and supported through every step of the way

After attending an open event at The Portland Hospital in 2014, Safia spoke to some of the midwives and found everyone to be friendly, welcoming and warm. She then decided to go ahead with having her baby at The Portland, feeling it was the right place to tackle her fears:

'I was at the Birth Company and met with someone from The Portland Hospital at around 32 weeks. It was very informative, detailed and pleasant. I explained my fears, and they were met with a very warm and calming response. The Portland understood and respected what I wanted.'

This feeling continued through her first two consultant-led pregnancies:

'Both of my consultants were incredible; and talked through each scan, explaining all the options I had at each appointment in great detail. They were always on call day or night if I needed them, which made me feel less nervous.'

Guiding Safia through first-time labour, and second and third…

Safia had a birth plan for all her babies, and here at The Portland Hospital we take great pride in delivering a positive experience for parents-to-be at this exciting time. We aim to support you and your partner throughout your pregnancy journey, offering mothers-to-be full choice and control of your birthing plan and delivery in the safest possible environment:

I did have a birth plan. I practised hypnobirthing with all 3 and each midwife took the time to read my plan to ensure all parts were followed as closely as we could. They respected my privacy, gave me space to birth, didn’t intervene unless absolutely necessary, explained every part of the process. Dimmed the lights, put my music on, watched to see what I needed from afar. It was truly magical.

Switching to a midwife-led care

The complete midwife-led delivery (MLD) option at The Portland can be accessed from 10, 20 or 30 weeks during your pregnancy. This option includes all antenatal appointments, ultrasound scans, routinely-required blood tests, midwife-led birth and the first 24 hours stay from admission to hospital.

Our midwives are available 24 hours a day for advice throughout your pregnancy, and within the package you will have a consultation with one of our leading consultant obstetricians who can answer any specific questions you may have. After Safia’s first two pregnancies, her fears around giving birth had lessened:

'To be honest with two very straight forward, uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries I was persuaded by Donald Gibb and Pat O’Brian that I could do this with the very experienced midwives. I’ll also be honest in saying the midwives that supported both consultants were second to none, so I gained so much confidence experiencing first-hand how they are so fantastic at every part of their job. Care and attention to detail.'

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Staying at The Portland

A big part of Safia returning three times to have her children at The Portland was her experience during the hospital stays:

The hospital stays were wonderful, I was treated with respect, dignity, and all questions answered professionally and most importantly time given to you. Help is on hand 24 hours a day with feeding, changing and bathing. There is also a nursery if you required some rest.

The cleanliness all maintained to the highest of hotel standards with luxury amenities all made you feel looked after. You really don’t want to leave! The food choices are vast and all needs catered for any time of day.'

Post-birth care

For Safia, giving birth wasn’t the end of the care she received. The Portland's Transitional Care Unit (TCU) allows babies who need treatment or monitoring that exceeds standard routine care for a new-born to be cared for by our consultant, midwifery and neonatal teams on the postnatal ward:

'Our first two suffered from reflux, so we visited Paediatric Gastroenterologist Dr Muftah Elumi, who treated our children with love, respect and so much attention we really felt reassured. Everything was fully explained to us and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Our 3rd was diagnosed with a small ventricular septal defect (VSD - a birth defect of the heart in which there is a hole in the wall (septum) that separates the two lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart) at 30 weeks, and this was managed at every scan, with an update and advice, detailing all our options. At the time of birth, we were advised that extra checks would need to be done by a paediatrician immediately at birth, but I was confident our baby was in safe hands. We were advised to have the VSD checked after 6 months at the Portland by Rob Yates who was fantastic and so reassuring.'

Learn more about giving birth at The Portland Hospital

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.