Health

Lindo Wing - William and Kate's choice once more

Lindo Wing front door Image copyright ANDY RAIN

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are once again choosing the Lindo Wing, an exclusive private maternity facility attached to a leading London NHS hospital, for the birth of their child.

Having a baby there however, costs a little more than the seven guineas the first patients paid for a week's stay when it opened in 1937.

The basic cost, for 24 hours' care including a normal delivery stands at £5,215, rising to £6,745 for a Caesarean section, though the royal couple may be entitled to take up the hospital's offer of a 10% discount for returning parents.

Prince George was born at the Lindo Wing on 22 July 2013, weighing 8lb 6oz (3.8kg).

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Prince and Princess of Wales with baby William outside the Lindo Wing

It is now the usual venue of choice for royal births. Princes William and Harry were born there, as were the children of Princess Anne, the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent.

Champagne - and satellite TV

The Lindo Wing, which is part of the St Mary's NHS Hospital in Paddington, west London, describes itself as having offered "leading private obstetric and neonatal care for 60 years".

Recently refurbished, each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone and a fridge.

The expectant or new mother and her visitors can access the internet on wi-fi, and there is a choice of a daily newspaper delivered to the room each morning.

All meals are freshly prepared by chefs in a dedicated kitchen and tea and coffee are provided for mothers and guests throughout the day.

And should new parents wish to celebrate their happy event, the wing also offers a "comprehensive wine list should you wish to enjoy a glass of champagne and toast your baby's arrival".

If Prince William wishes to stay, he will be provided with a fully reclining chair next to his wife's bedside, and breakfast in the morning.

But aside from these hotel-like luxuries, staff in the Lindo Wing are experienced in catering for complex pregnancies and deliveries.

It has the benefit of being attached to St Mary's, with access to top-notch hospital specialists and facilities for premature babies.

17 Bruton Street

Image copyright Lefteris Pitarakis
Image caption William and Kate outside the Lindo Wing with baby George

While modern royal parents have opted for the Lindo Wing, a home birth would be more in keeping with tradition.

The Queen was born at a home belonging to her mother's parents at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London.

The current heir to the throne, Prince Charles, was born at Buckingham Palace, while his sister was born at Clarence House.

Alan Farthing, the current surgeon-gynaecologist to the royal household and fellow obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston are believed to be set to lead the medical team who will deliver the baby.

The team who delivered Prince George was led by Mr Farthing's predecessor Marcus Setchell, who has since retired.

He helped save the lives of the Countess of Wessex and her elder child Lady Louise Windsor in 2003.

The countess was rushed to a hospital in Surrey after complaining of severe internal pains when she was eight months pregnant.

She was dangerously ill from blood loss and doctors performed an emergency Caesarean.

There may be less of a media scrum outside the hospital this time than occurred for Prince George's birth, when the world's press waited for weeks for the first glimpse of the future heir to the throne.

But there will still be many eager for the first sight of his new brother or sister when he or she emerges on to the steps of the Lindo Wing.

Image copyright Dominic Lipinski
Image caption The media scrum competing for the best images of Prince George

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