"Feeling let down, lack of communication"

About: Worthing Hospital

I was expecting a positive experience as many people I know have had one at this hospital. I went in hoping for a natural birth but open minded as it was my first. I was induced as 2 weeks overdue, but was not advised my bishop score was too low for induction. The start of the induction was fine. I was not really advised of each step though (i.e drip), and felt a bit swept about by it all, but the midwives I had were friendly so trusted them. A consultant then advised a c-section, and as my baby's trace had been suspicious from the start I assumed I was being advised it was necessary, until I said OK and she checked with a senior member of staff, who wanted to know why I was asking for one!? She suggested I labour longer which I was happy with as still wanted to try for a natural birth, and the previous consultant then apologized for my 'misunderstanding', which left me feeling stupid and not confident in myself. Then they asked to take blood from my baby's head to check oxygen, as the trace was suspicious but I was not 'allowed' to move from the bed to see if that would help the baby descend. This procedure was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my whole life, and left me sobbing for the epidural I had not wanted. The epidural was fine, and at this point as I was thankful for it as they took blood from my baby's head four times in total, on the last occasion twice as they messed up the blood they had just taken. After 12 hours of being unable to move, of a suspicious trace, and not one midwife checking the position of my baby, I agreed to the c-section I was being advised again to have as I was exhausted at this point, and had not been 'allowed' to eat. The section was fine in itself, though I barely got to see my son. It also turned out he had turned back to back, which was why he was not descending, which could have been felt by feeling my abdomen, and may have been fixed if I had been allowed to move. This experience pretty much has just left me feeling sad, and incompetent. The whole process made me feel small, and am now unsure how I will want to birth my next baby. The post natal ward came with its own issues as the hospital is very keen to encourage breastfeeding, but two pediatricians and a midwife missed my son's posterior tongue tie that meant breastfeeding was not working, his blood glucose dropped, he was fed formula, and kept in longer, and we never could manage breastfeeding as it took 9 weeks to get an appointment to fix it. The doctor at the tongue tie clinic wished further training for staff on the issue but implied it would not happen. Every midwife had a different opinion, and I know they are understaffed but there is very little support beyond getting an initial latch before walking off as the baby comes off and won't re-latch. Before having my baby I was seriously considering becoming a midwife, I am now sorely put off. I was also sent home with no information regarding formula feeding. All in all, very disappointing.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Worthing Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to give us your comments on your experience and we really are very sorry to hear that you did not find this to be the positive one you had expected. Our aim is to provide the best possible standard of care to everyone and to support women to make informed choices with the appropriate information and it would seem that in this case, we did not achieve this. The NHS choices website is anonymous and your details are not shared with us but if you would like to talk to us further about your experience we encourage you to contact us via our website www.westernsussexhospitals/contact/pals or by calling 01903285032 or emailing PALSWorthing@wsht.nhs.uk

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