What’s It Like To Give Birth At The Portland Maternity Hospital?

Princess Eugenie, Meghan Markle, Victoria Beckham and Dani Dyer are amongst the women to have given birth at The Portland - we spoke to women about the 'champagne and afternoon tea' birth everyone is talking about...

Portland Hospital

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Recently, Princess Eugenie and Love Island’s Dani Dyer have joined the ranks of famous celebrities who have given birth at the famous London Portland Maternity Hospital.

Princess Eugenie gave birth to her first child, a son, at the Portland Hospital. A statement said: 'Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie was safely delivered of a son today, 9th February 2021, at 0855hrs at The Portland Hospital. Jack Brooksbank was present', said an official representative.

And Dani Dyer gave birth to her first child with fiancé Sammy Kimmer at The Portland Hospital, called Santiago.

After Dani Dyer gave birth and tagged the hospital ‘The Portland’ quickly began trending on Google searches. 'Is the Portland Hospital private?', 'Portland Hospital maternity prices' and 'Where is Portland Hospital' were all breakout questions over the weekend. It seems everyone is keen to know more about London’s infamous private maternity hospital on Great Portland Street. Why? Because Dani is only one of many famous faces to give birth there. She joins a long list including Meghan Markle, Victoria Beckham and Kate Winslet.

Portland Hospital maternity prices: Is the Portland Hospital private?

As you’d expect then, giving birth at The Portland doesn’t come cheap. The Portland is the UK’s leading private maternity hospital, with consultant-led care packages starting at £6,760 for ‘normal delivery’ and £7,950 for elective c-sections (emergency c-sections are charged slightly higher at £8,110) . They also offer midwife-led packages, which start at £9,950 depending on what week of your pregnancy you want to start the bespoke service. If you wanted to start it as early as possible, from the 10th week of pregnancy, costs begin at £11,450.

There are additional charges too, epidurals are £995 if required plus more for top ups and additional nights in your room start at £1,250 per night. Ultimately, the overall price of giving birth at The Portland depends on the package you agree based on your needs and risks (high-risk pregnancies may not be eligible for midwife packages, for example) plus what circumstances prevail the day of.

While prices at The Portland are high, it’s not just celebrities that give birth there. Anyone can book it at The Portland, and many women who can afford it choose to do purely for the luxurious reputation the maternity hospital has. Mothers are said to get 24-hour room service with champagne and lobster on the menu. But what is it really like to give birth at The Portland? We spoke to some mums who have given birth there to find out…

What’s it like to give birth at The Portland?

Jesi Rosati, a lifestyle blogger, gave birth to her first daughter, London, at The Portland in August last year.

‘My partner and I are American and The Portland is known for being very similar to what an American experience is like,’ she explains ‘We do use the NHS and I love it but I knew with this being our first child, in a pandemic and without family here I wanted to feel as at home as possible in private care.

‘The room was not as “So Cal-y” as I thought it would be, I think I envisioned Meghan Markle being there with a lounge sofa and a TV and it was really nice but at the end of the day we joked that it is still a hospital. I don’t what I was expecting that I thought it would be more like a hotel room, but it was very clean, large compared to what a lot of my friends gave birth in and it had a water bath for labour, a bed for my partner to sleep in.’

I got champagne and afternoon tea every day I was there.

But as almost everyone we spoke to who gave birth at The Portland said, the menu on offer was definitely the best part.

‘I got champagne and afternoon tea every day I was there,’ says Jesi. ‘They bought this huge tray of chocolates and cakes and tea, it was a nice little photo opportunity for me and the new baby. I was famished after I gave birth so the days afterwards we would order three or four entrées and just pick at them, the kids menu was even phenomenal we got the kids mac and cheese every day.

Rae Colosso, who had an elective c-section to deliver her son at The Portland in December, agrees.

‘I decided to give birth at the Portland because I wanted the best possible care, my private consultant Mr Joseph Iskaros was absolutely amazing,’ she says. ‘Our room was like a hotel room, private bathroom and also a bed for my partner. The menu included champagne and strawberries, afternoon tea, roast chicken and vegetables, steak plus lemon and strawberry tarts for dessert.

‘Honestly the food was incredible, that was definitely my favourite thing,’ Rae continued. ‘Everything was just exceptional, I loved every second of it. I’m definitely going to have all my babies delivered there!’

For Luisa Vautier Franco, giving birth at The Portland was about feeling as safe as possible more than the luxury of it all. She had a c-section to deliver her first baby, Richard, in December and says she looked into NHS care but was only able to get an in-person appointment two months before she was due to give birth (only virtual appointments were offered to her prior). It was that, the stress of being pregnant during a pandemic and her fertility history that she says made The Portland the best fit for her.

‘In 2019 I had a miscarriage and I went to the Portland where I met this incredible doctor, Dr Shazia Malik who made me feel very safe,’ she explains. ‘This was when I made the decision moving forward that when I gave birth, it would be at the Portland Hospital. Since this was my first baby, I don't know what the other maternity hospitals are like but I felt very looked after there.

I was able to have as many scans as I wanted, and ended up having around 20.

‘I was lucky to have an incredible team with me at the c-section theatre who made me feel super calm, and looked after my baby very well,’ Luisa continues. ‘I had everything in one place, scans, blood tests, doctors. The whole staff were very welcoming, It was almost as comfortable as being at home. I had my scans every time by the same professionals and it felt good to be working with people who know you and your baby's background. The team was all in sync, so they all knew about my baby's progress.’

It was the people then that Luisa says makes The Portland such an adored maternity hospital, describing them as ‘very hands on’ if you ever needed help. ‘I was able to have as many scans as I wanted, and ended up having around 20,’ she says. ‘If I worried that anything was wrong I felt super comfortable to tell Dr Malik as I had her direct mobile number.’

She enjoyed the food menu too, although Luisa says she was too in awe of her baby to make use of any of the luxuries in the room. ‘My suite was a single bed, with a little cot next to me and a bathroom with a few beauty products. There was a spare bed for my husband and a TV, but never used it, I was so in love with the baby, that the only thing I could watch was him. The food menu was also quite vast which was an added bonus. ‘

Of course, all of the extra scans did add up in the end.

‘Because I had a few miscarriages and it was my first baby, maybe I over-spent on the care to have re-assurance, including the scan appointments and consultations,’ Luisa admits. ‘It was not cheap, but if you consider the peace of mind you will feel and a safe space to deliver your first born, it is a great decision to give birth at Portland if you are able to do so. I would definitely have my baby number two there.’

The same goes for Jesi, who agrees she felt ‘very safe, secure and listened to’ with round-the-clock care, but since she had a natural birth that ended in complications, she required surgery and a 7-night stay overall.

‘I ended up staying longer because I haemorrhaged and it was literally like staying at The Ritz for a week,’ Jesi says. ‘It cost around £25,000 overall. But in the end it was amazing because by the time we went home the staff had taught us how to change and bathe her, they helped us swaddle her and I got to rest while they watched her. It was actually such a blessing because it was right in the middle of the pandemic and we obviously don’t have anyone here.’

Their experiences are certainly vastly different from many who gave birth during the pandemic, with Jesi pointing out the Covid restrictions were minor compared to what her friends have dealt with.

‘I talked to my friends who gave birth at the NHS around the same and their husbands weren’t allowed in until a certain point, they had to wear masks the whole time and had to leave at a certain point,’ she says. ‘That was not an issue for us, my partner was allowed in the entire time and we didn’t have to wear masks unless we left the room. We were allowed to go for a walk and then come back in, it was incredible to have that privilege.’

A privilege indeed, best start saving for our birthing suite now – or just pack our birthing bags with Prosecco, either works.

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