"Generally a good experience at the Gwent maternity unit"

About: Royal Gwent Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I stayed on just about all the units in the Gwent during my pregnancy and labour so I hope this will be a helpful and fair account of my time there.

I was transferred from the Ystrad Fawr Hospital by ambulance to the Gwent, because of high blood pressure. I had a very difficult long labour for 3 days, and due to this I had an emergency c-section.

After the epidural not working, I ended up having a lot of everything else, and couldn't feel anything from my neck down. Half way through the night after being left with my baby (when I couldn't even lift my arms let alone move) a nurse came over without saying a word picked up my daughter and walked off with her.

I later found out she was taken to the Neo Natal unit because of a low body temperature, where they also found her blood sugar level to be low. I couldn't go to see her until about 4 pm the next day and was left in a ward with about 10 other babies. It was heartbreaking. This continued for the next week as they couldn't discharge me because of my high blood pressure.

As soon as I could move, I spent all my time at Neo Natal Unit with my daughter and wouldn't return to the ward until the night. I was in a room with 7 other mums and babies that got to go home the next day, and hated being asked by the 30+ mums and dads there over the week where my baby was.

The B4 ward needs some improvement as far as the nurses and midwives go, they treat you like you are being silly when you only want to tell them your waters have gone, roll they're eyes when you ask for something more than paracetamol after 2 days of contractions and no sleep - and still say no.

However, the midwife and consultants that delivered my daughter were lovely and brilliant and very considerate to my privacy even when I was not able to decide for myself - very sweet.

The staff on the Neo Natal unit were kind and considerate, and would answer anything I wanted to know, and were comforting when they had to do blood tests on our daughter. The staff on the post-op wards were mostly lovely except the nurse who didn't explain where my daughter had gone.

The nurse the day after was lovely, helping me get dressed and was very helpful showing me how to express my breast milk. The normal after birth wards (the complications side) are exactly like the B4 unit. Just a bit lacking in basic human emotion.

The midwife led ward with the birthing pool is by far the best. They were the most kind people I've met. They used to call me up at the Neo Natal unit and ask me if I wanted food (3 times a day), even though I declined every time so that I could eat with my fiancé in the cafe, they kept this up. They even gave me the corner bed by the window so I could close my curtain and ignore everyone, as this was by far the hardest ward to be on, as there were no complications or drugs used during birth the mothers were in and out within hours, very hard to see.

However, after a week, my beautiful daughter was fighting fit! As she was our first baby and needed a lot of attention and small amounts of food every 2 hours due to her size, the hospital staff let me and my fiancé stay overnight in one of their rooms, in case we had any problems. They showed us how to bath a baby, feed her, and wind her in a way that suited her size. They were all very kind, also to my partner who felt, like me, a little useless during this whole ordeal.

If you have your baby at the Gwent and you are happy with the way you were treated, get them chocolates...after spending all night with the nurses on the night shift in the neo natal unit, I have scarcely seen anything that brought them more joy than a box of Roses going around between the rooms!

I hope this helps all expectant mothers!

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Response from Julian Hayman, Internal Communications Manager, Communications, Aneurin Bevan Health Board

Hello Mummy2013,

Thank you for your feedback, which is very much appreciated. Apologies for the delay I replying. However, your comments were passed on to the Head of Midwifery and Gynaecology shortly after reading your post on Patient Opinion.

Your concerns have been highlighted with the relevant staff through their staff forum, with the information being relayed in the form of a patient story.

We were concerned about your comment in relation to the number of women you said were in the room, as the maximum allocated is 4 not 10! However it does appear very full when four women and their babies are together.

Your feedback has been really appreciated and has been taken forward in relation to sensitivity of women with babies in NICU. The maternity service has moved this type of care to the appropriate place, in order to enhance the women's experience, in line with the development of an integrated midwifery service alongside the birth centre, This was implemented in May 2014.

Once again, thank you very much for your comments.

Best wishes.

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