"Avoidable traumatic birth"
About: Princess Anne Hospital Princess Anne Hospital Southampton SO16 5YA
Posted by Nazneen Pathak
I received poor telephone advice in the early stages of labour which resulted in me giving birth to my first child in the car. When I called Broadlands and told them I had the urge to push, it was assumed that because I was a first time mum I was overreacting and so I was told "it's just the position of the baby's head" and was told to wait until my waters broke to come in. As a result, my baby was in intensive care for five days and I have an extremely serious tear that means I may have long lasting health problems and may never be able to have another natural birth. I'm very angry and upset that I wasn't listened to when I was in a very vulnerable situation and that my child and I were put at such risk due to incompetence and a lack of respect for first time mums. Not all first time mums overreact about pain or have long drawn out labours. The advice needs to be tailored to the individual woman, her body and her concerns but this wasn't done and could have had much more serious consequences. Post-natally however, care was generally excellent (the neo natal nurses on ITU must particularly be commended for their dedication and compassion). However there were times when there just weren't enough midwives to support the women on Burley (where a lot of support is needed as the mothers are recuperating or unwell) and night staff were not as good in general. I had a terrible night when my baby was losing weight due to breastfeeding issues when two midwives pressurised me into bottlefeeding formula when I had previously been cup feeding top ups in order to maintain my baby's latch. I felt bullied into it, and as a result my baby is now fully on formula because he refuses the breast, which I deeply deeply regret. Services are also not as well tied up to other parts of the NHS as they could be - my son had been referred to orthopaedics for talipes before he was born but we were almost not discharged because we were expected to get examined and referred for the condition that he was already booked into clinic for the following week! It was extremely frustrating. Individual midwives and nurses showed incredible care and compassion which I have to pay testament to, but I really feel that there were omissions in my care and my child's that could and should have been avoided.