"Very pleased with my experience"

About: St Mary's Hospital (Manchester)

I had a very pleasant experience at St Mary's when I came in to give birth to my first child, Florence, on 3 December 2013. I was nervous beforehand that the care could be a little impersonal, as I know it is a large hospital and I was also a little concerned that the environment may be clinical and intimidating. When I arrived, I was dealt with in triage after my waters had broken and due to meconium in the waters, was referred to the consultant-led unit. I arrived at the hospital at around 9pm. The midwife on triage was warm, friendly and reassuring, with a lovely smile and I felt very at ease. She was calm and kept coming back to check on me while I was on a heart monitor, even though the unit was very busy. The obstetric unit was full, so I couldn't go through to delivery suite for a while, but this was not the fault of the staff and I was kept fully informed throughout the wait. I felt the midwife was very in control. When I was taken through to delivery suite, I met my midwife for the labour and birth. It is my view that she was exceptional in every way. The atmosphere in the room was very intimate and calm and I forgot that I was in a hospital room. When I didn't feel that the gas and air tube agreed with me, the midwife immediately suggested using a mask instead, which worked very well. Although I was on a heart monitor, she responded to my desire to move around a bit on the bed and adjusted my heart monitor whenever it fell off. Throughout the labour, I was offered pain relief at appropriate points and she left it to me to decide what was best for me. She was direct and no nonsense, but in a pleasant, friendly way, which is just what I needed. It felt as though she hardly left my side, yet she allowed me to just get on with things and only spoke to me when necessary, which added to the restful environment. I felt safe and secure at all times. At points when there were difficulties, such as the baby's heart rate dropping at one point, the staff, including the doctors on shift and my consultant, dealt with it in a way which was unobtrusive so that I didn't become alarmed. My birth experience was the best experience of my life. On the postnatal ward, I was attended to by a midwife and a student midwife. I was so impressed with her, who had the perfect demeanour to be a midwife. She was very smiley and answered all my questions. I felt that she was very interested in me, my husband and our baby and genuinely was enthusiastic about looking after us. She assisted me with breastfeeding in a knowledgeable and caring way. My only constructive feedback is that I could have done with more assistance with breastfeeding during my overnight stay. The advice given by the overnight midwives was to keep feeding, as if everyone can just do it automatically, and no one seemed to consider that I might not be able to. Florence had a tongue tie, which meant I struggled to feed her. I would recommend St Mary's.

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