"Antenatal Care - Ruined my pregnancy experience"

About: St Helier Hospital

After having my first child in St Helier as an emergency caesarean section in 2011 I had absolutely no reservations about going back there for my second child in Dec 2013. What a mistake that turned out to be! I have a complicated medical history but was basically treated like I should just get on with it as I'd had a baby already. Basic blood tests weren't carried out to monitor my condition, I had to fight to get regular scans (the scans that I had in my first pregnancy which turned out to be vital) I was patronised by a consultant who once told me he would scan me if it made me feel better and another time asked me why I was bringing everything back to me when I asked him a question about my pregnancy and medical condition! I ended up paying privately so I could at least get a decision on delivery method. You would think a planned section would go smoothly in comparison to the emergency I had previously (which was absolutely brilliant) well it was the complete opposite. A trainee put my spinal in which took her 40mins to do and hurt like hell. It was more like a walking epidural than a spinal as I could feel way too much, catheter going in, legs being moved etc. But it also went too high and I couldn't breath and was sick, eventually. The anaesthetist was no where to be found, walking round the already packed theatre and no-one seemed to be paying any attention to me, eventually he gave me medication to stabilise my blood pressure so I wasn't feeling sick any more. Discharged 3 days later after fighting for a physio referral (which I should have received an apt for within 8 weeks and its now 13!) and complaining of chest pain and feeling ill, only to be readmitted less than 24hrs later in agony. Maternity refused to have me back on the ward so I ended up on womens' health, little or no help from maternity ward despite having a 4 day old baby and a section. I asked for a breast pump and was told they didn't have one so gave me 5ml syringes! Really! And they push breastfeeding on you so much but refused to help me when I needed it! 3 days later discharged having been given massive doses of blood thinners for a suspected PE and being treated like I had post natal depression when actually it turns out I had an ileus and my GP was the one who took the time to investigate and treat appropriately! I will never go back to St Helier maternity. My whole pregnancy I was stressed out having to fight for the care I should have been receiving anyway. Consultants disagreeing with each other to give me 6 different opinions in the space of 3 days when I was admitted, being treated as if I had depression when actually I was very unwell all contributed to ruining what should have been one of the happiest times of my life. I have complained to St Helier and i am awaiting a response! Along with the physio apt I should have received 5 weeks ago!

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Response from St Helier Hospital

We are very concerned to read about your experience and very sorry that the care you received was not the standard that we would expect. We would urgently like to speak to you about this. Please contact PALS so that we can understand your concerns and investigate what has gone wrong. PALS are available by email: pals@esth.nhs.uk or phone on 020 8296 2508.

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