The Birth Company is a successful practice delivering babies for over 150 mothers every year. In addition they see a further 2,500 clients for scans, consultations and therapies.
About The Birth Company in London's Harley Street
Set up in 2000 by Dr Donald Gibb, The Birth Company operates from Harley Street in central London. Facilities include a modern, spacious clinic, which provides a calm and relaxing environment, as well as state-of-the-art scanning equipment providing the latest in ultrasound technology including 3D and 4D ultrasound scans. Up-to-date design, fresh flowers, tropical fish and modern art contribute to the environment.
The Birth Company also provides general gynaecology care with sensitivity and compassion.
Expert consultant obstetricians, gynaecologists, midwives and sonographers
Dr Donald Gibb has been rated as one of Britain's 250 best private doctors by Tatler Guide. He is a fully private obstetrician looking after women and delivering babies at The Portland Hospital for Women and Children
Catriona Muir qualified as a Registered Midwife in 1995. She has vast experience in natural childbirth, having worked at the Birth Unit at The Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth as well as in hospitals with more conventional delivery techniques. At The Birth Company she provides midwifery input and advice to mothers both antenatally and postnatally
Sonographers Melanie Manuel, Carmel Lacy and Kathryn Weir and the support staff make up the rest of The Birth Company's team.
The Birth Company specialists: Dr Donald Gibb, Catriona Muir, Melanie Manuel and Carmel Lacy
Private maternity care
The Birth Company's packages are designed to provide complete care to the highest standard, in professional, comfortable, and relaxed surroundings.
The Birth Company offers two main options of care: the Consultant package and the Integrated package. You can start your pregnancy care with them at any stage of your pregnancy. Please note that The Birth Company also offers antenatal care for women who plan to have their baby delivered in other hospitals, including hospitals abroad.
Dr Gibb is The Birth Company's full-time private obstetrician. He does not have commitments in any other hospital. All antenatal appointments with the consultants or with the midwife, are held at The Birth Company clinic, Harley Street, London. Mothers give birth at The Portland Hospital for Women and Children, which is on Great Portland Street, London, a short distance from The Birth Company.
The first consultation is usually held at between 8-12 weeks of pregnancy and lasts about 1 hour. Dr Gibb will discuss your needs and how the care is organised. An ultrasound scan will usually be performed to confirm that your dates are correct. You will be given a report and some pictures of the scan.
Routine antenatal scans
These include an early pregnancy viability scan at 7-11 weeks, a nuchal translucency scan at 11-14 weeks, an anomaly scan at 21-23 weeks, and a wellbeing/growth scan at 36 weeks. During your scans you will be given at least three photographs and a report of the scan.
Routine antenatal appointments with Dr Gibb
For the consultant package, you will have 11 routine appointments with Dr Gibb, at 12, 22, 26, 30, 33, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40 and 40+ weeks. For the integrated package you will have 8 routine appointments with Dr Gibb – at 12, 22, 26, 30, 35, 38, 40 and 40+ weeks. At each visit, your blood pressure will be measured and you will have a urine test and tummy assessment. The Birth Company does not routinely weigh women but you can be weighed if you wish.
The Harmony Prenatal Test
The Harmony Prenatal Test is a new test is based on DNA analysis and is undertaken from laboratories in California; it analyses the baby’s cell free DNA from the mother’s blood after 10 weeks of pregnancy. It is a simple test with blood taken from a vein in the woman’s arm and carries no risk to her baby. The test detects much of what a 12 week scan followed by a chorion villous sample (CVS) or amniocentesis has done until now. Essentially it evaluates the risk of abnormalities including Down syndrome, Pataus syndrome and Edwards syndrome. It is predictive to a level of 99.9% for Down syndrome and slightly less for the others. Previous combined test were only predictive to 93% so this is a great improvement. Of course only a chorion villous sample or an amniocentesis can produce a certain diagnosis before birth.
The Harmony Prenatal Test can be used after a 10 weeks Viability Scan or as an adjunct to the 12 weeks combined test if the result is adverse. A good result will reduce that chance of Down syndrome to less than 1:10.000. A bad result will give a very high risk of this condition but should be interpreted in conjunction with a scan result and the clinical situation. This new test is offered with appropriate counselling and the result is available in 15 days. In a few cases no result is obtained. If this occurs a second test is offered at no extra charge. The cost is £600.
Antenatal booking appointment with the midwife
At 26 weeks you will be invited to attend a booking consultation with The Birth Company’s midwife, Catriona Muir. This appointment usually lasts 1 hour, while Catriona goes through your medical history with you. Details of your pregnancy will be recorded in an obstetric book that The Birth Company will keep until you are close to delivery. This information will then be transferred to The Portland Hospital’s computer records system.
Routine antenatal blood tests
The Birth Company routinely carries out the following tests for all mothers-to-be: Haemoglobin, haemoglobin electrophoresis, glucose, syphilis, rubella, hepatitis B, and blood group.
Voucher for a complementary therapy
The Birth Company have a range of therapists who are available to offer a range of treatments. When you book, you will be given a voucher for one session of any of their complementary therapies, with the compliments of The Birth Company, which you can use at any stage of your pregnancy. Contact their support team to book an appointment.
Antenatal couples class
The Birth Company arrange an antenatal class for first-time mothers and their partners at about 36 weeks of pregnancy. Their classes are always on a Saturday morning to early afternoon. The classes are kept to small groups to ensure they are welcoming and friendly. Dr Gibb and midwife Catriona Muir, facilitate the class, preparing couples for the practicalities of giving birth and what to expect in the early days after the birth.
Dr Gibb’s delivery fee
The Integrated Package/Consultant Package includes a ‘delivery fee’ for Dr Gibb. You can expect Dr Gibb to provide care during labour, delivery, and postnatally, until you are discharged from hospital. If Dr Gibb has any planned absence for more than one day, you will be informed of this early in your pregnancy.
24-hour telephone and mobile support
During the antenatal period you can contact Dr Gibb via The Birth Company, which is open from Monday to Saturday. You will also be given a mobile phone number, which can be used out of hours.
6-week postnatal follow-up
Once your baby has been delivered and you have been discharged by The Portland Hospital, you will need about six weeks to recover from the birth. The rate of recovery varies greatly and there are a lot of factors that can affect this – for example, the type of delivery you have, if it is your first or subsequent delivery, and if there were any complications after giving birth.