British documentary reveals how super rich give birth

By Rory Howard
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 16, 2016
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Portland Hospital offers premium services to its clients, and has been likened to a hotel because of high level services they provide. Portland is the UK's only private-care hospital for expectant mothers, and it is only for those who can afford the care that can add up into the tens and hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Lu Hui and her son, Lucas, with the staff at Portland Hospital 

The series gives a look behind the closed doors of a hospital that boasts princesses as clients, as well as celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, who all enjoy fine-dining room service, private rooms, and even a nursery for newly-born children so that the mothers can rest a few days before dealing with parenting duties.

One client covered in the first episode of the two-part short series is Lu Hui, a London-based Chinese 'It' girl who is married to a Hong Kong shipping millionaire, and who has her own designer-clothing company

Lu Hui initially paid around £20,000 for consultations and her stay at the hospital, but with blood tests and scans, as well as other luxuries paid for during her stay, Lu paid over £40,000 to deliver her baby, Lucas, in comfort.

Lu said that there were several reasons for choosing to stay at Portland Hospital, firstly because it was where Lu's "icon" Victoria Beckham gave birth. Secondly, because she wanted to have the baby by caesarean section.

"One of the attractions of the hospital is that a mother doesn't have to deliver her baby naturally, if she doesn't want to," Lu said, further stating that she is too scared to push the baby out.

Fifty percent of mothers give birth by caesarean section at the hospital for numerous reasons.

One service the hospital does not provide in its basic fees is a dedicated doctor to be there for the mothers during the pregnancy.

Patients pay thousands of pounds to hire a consultant who will see them through the pregnancy and into motherhood. One of the doctors happens to be the Countess of Bradford whose "credentials have made her particularly popular amongst the clientele".

"One of the reasons I like working at the Portland is because it allows me to practice the medicine that I was trained to do," Countess and Doctor Penelope Law said.

"I don't have time constraints, I don't have financial constraints, and it allows me to see the same patient for the whole journey, which I can't do in the [National Health Service]."

Lu's consultant, Doctor Shazia Malik, who carried out the caesarean surgery and still spends half her time working for the National Health Service (NHS) said that the procedure used is the same no matter if it is private or in an NHS hospital. "It's the same level of staffing, the same level of skill in terms of the surgeon," Dr Malik said.

Despite the money spent on a safe delivery in luxury surroundings, patients soon face the challenges of motherhood and of other worries that may come with it. For Lu, her body is a worry.

Caring for her young boy in her West London home, Lu tells the camera that excess weight and stretch marks make her worry what her husband will think of her.

"[Husbands] want their wives to go back to normal--the same size, the same style," Lu said at the end of her interview.

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