"Our birth story"

About: Leighton Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I had a fantastic pregnancy without any complications and hoped that the birth would be as easy.

Two days after my due date at 6AM I noticed that my water broke. I phoned the hospital and they told me to ring again once I have contractions every 5 minutes.

After ~2 hours I had regular contractions every 5 minutes. So they told me to ring once I had them every 2 minutes - which I did. I was then told that I wasn't in enough pain (how would they know) because I could still talk.

We rung again at 1:30PM after having contractions EVERY minute.

They still said that since it is my first baby it wasn't very likely that I would deliver soon and I should wait a bit longer.

But I couldn't wait any longer and told my husband to bring me to the hospital NOW. We arrived there at a few minutes before 2PM and I felt the urge to push.

45 minutes later my lovely baby girl was born, no time for any pain relief or water birth.

At the same hospital, the same thing happened to a friend of mine.

I believe the hospital should not just go by guidelines which tell them that a first time birth is expected to take 2 days. They should take mums more seriously, and anticipate that mums experience pain differently and some might even be able to talk right to the moment of giving birth.

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Response from Janet Slack, PALS Officer, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Firstly, please accept my congratulations on the birth of your baby daughter.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the comments you have forwarded to Leighton Hospital following the birth of your daughter. I am sorry that you feel that you experienced a delay in being admitted to the Maternity Unit and I would be more than happy to make enquiries regarding this issue if you could let me have some more details.

If you wish to talk to either me or one of the other PALS staff we can be reached on 01270 612410 between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

I have, however, made some general enquiries and been advised that, in line with Trust policy, the advice which midwives give to patients is that when their waters have clearly broken they should come to the Maternity Unit where they would be assessed.

If you do not feel that this happened then I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further, if you could contact me directly. It may be that you would be prepared to talk about your experience further using a method we call a Discovery Interview. This interview would be done by a trained interviewer who would meet with you at a time and location convenient to you. This method of feedback has been very effective and the interview would be transcribed, anonymised and read at a team meeting. The aim is for staff to “discover” what your experience felt like and then to discuss how improvements can be made in the future. If you are interested and would like further details you can contact the PALS Department

In the meantime, thank you once again for taking the time to highlight your experiences.

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