"Wonderful midwives at Kingston"

About: Kingston Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I gave birth last year at Kingston. The antenatal care was OK, I didn't have to wait that long when I came in for my check-ups etc. The birth was difficult in places but made so much better by the constant presense of a midwife who was professional but compassionate and who put me at the center of the experience. Very simple things like good eye contact, and physical reassurance - a hand on the arm etc - made a massive difference. It was my first baby but I never felt frightened as my husband and I weren't left alone at any point and everything was explained to us. At the actual point of delivery I was exhausted and in terrible pain but I completed trusted my midwife - she coached me through it and the outcome was fantastic, it was immediately obvious my son was completely healthy (albeit a little cross!) and I didn't tear. Thank you Vanessa (midwife). The only negative was when an anesthetiologist came in to give me an epidural, and she was very distant, very slow, and it was a bit scary when she paused just before plunging a needle into my spine to ask 'have I numbed the area, I can't remember?'. I was in no fit state to know, my husband almost fainted with the stress, but fortunately the eagle-eyed midwife noticed that in fact she hadn't, phew - that could have been nasty.

The after-care was fine although I suspect I wouldn't have had to stay in a second night if they had got their act together to do all the tests and stuff. However the midwifes on duty did give me help during the night when I was exhausted and completely at a loss at what to do with my bawling baby. I wish that partners or family could stay in hospital with you over-night, but I guess that's just about resources, I was in a single room but most people are on wards and so it wouldn't be possible.

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