Monthly Parenting Magazine

Meet the expert: Doctor Shazia Malik, Consultant O...

Meet the expert: Doctor Shazia Malik, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at The Portland Hospital


Absolutely Mama meets Dr Shazia Malik to find out what it's like to give birth at The Portland Hospital...

Shazia New Profile Pic

What is your area of expertise? 

I have 30 years of experience with high risk obstetrics, and I am also a Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine – hence I often see women for fertility checks, and deliver women who have been through IVF treatment, as well as women with menstrual issues, PCOS, recurrent miscarriage and management of the menopause. I often help with contraceptive choices, and do both outpatient and inpatient hysteroscopies. We often see women for pre-conception advice at The Portland Hospital too.

What’s it like giving birth at The Portland Hospital? 

Birth is a time of excitement and anticipation, rather than fear and dread. Whether our clients are under the midwifery led pathway or have their own consultant, they know that they will have one-to-one personalised care through their pregnancy journey and their birth. We have a resident Consultant Anaesthetist 24 hours a day to help with pain relief and emergencies as well as a Senior Resident Medical Officer on call for both Obstetrics and Neonatology. Our patients know that they will not be left alone in labour, and that they will be helped to recover from whatever birth they have with expert midwives, lactation specialists and physiotherapists. All our women in labour are covered either by their own consultant, or the on-call consultant for the midwifery-led team. The self-pay package can include care for your baby if unexpectedly admitted to our on-site Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from 28 weeks (subject to T&Cs). And we mustn’t forget that partners can stay throughout the labour and birth as well as afterwards. We support women in staying as long as they feel they need to recover and feel confident at home, and our nursery nurses help to care for babies overnight so that parents can sleep and recover before going home. Lastly, our patients love the food!

How much autonomy are patients able to have in their birth plan? 

Both our midwives and consultants discuss our clients’ birth plans throughout their antenatal journey. We are supportive but always advise on an individual basis regarding safe choices. We offer water births, vaginal births after caesarean section, and all kinds of vaginal births. We encourage women to have as normal a labour as possible, but offer all forms of pain relief and medical assistance when and if it is needed. All the birthing rooms have a bath and we use birthing balls/peanut balls when we can. Our clients are able to access an epidural promptly as we have a Consultant Anaesthetist resident 24 hours a day and they specialise in mobile epidurals. Our labour ward takes calls 24 hours a day if any of our clients are concerned either before or after they have given birth.

In the case of an emergency during labour, what kind of care would you receive at The Portland Hospital? 

Second to none –  our emergency theatre is located on our labour ward, and I have delivered a baby within minutes when required. We have a theatre team resident on call only for obstetric emergencies, as well as a Obstetric Resident Medical Officer and Anaesthetist. We have a High Dependency (HDU) room on our labour ward fully equipped to deal with the most complex cases. Because we offer one-to-one midwifery care in labour, we also make sure our patients have the same level of care if they have an emergency before, during or after birth. Because all our patients have a named consultant, they are never left without senior care and input. Moreover our Neonatology Resident Medical Officer is on hand 24 hours a day for emergencies, and we also have a Consultant Neonatologist on-call. It is extraordinarily rare for us to need to send a client to another hospital. The hospital has an on-site Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for babies post 28 weeks to look after preterm babies who need a little more support at the start of life. 

This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with The Portland Hospital

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