"Horrible experience"

About: Birmingham Women's Hospital

I've chosen this hospital, because I thought it is good place to give birth. I had a planned c-section. I knew that my husband won't be able to be with me overnight but I was sure I will receive plenty of help and support as needed. How wrong I was! In the recovery room post operation nobody checked on me for 2 hours and didn't help me with skin to skin contact. My baby didn't want the breast then. On the ward at night, it was only one midwife looking after many patients and babies. My baby was crying constantly and still was unable to latch on the breast. I wasn't showed how to express manually. I was bedbound on the first night due to anaesthetics and wasn't able to pick up the baby. Midwife came few times when I was buzzing. She tried to express some milk and said it must be painful otherwise it's not working. She was squashing my breasts very hard trying to express the colostrum and I was in tears. That wasn't successful. I haven't slept at all, hearing my baby crying from being hungry and left alone as I was unable to pick him up and comfort him. But I survived that night. Then my husband came in the morning and I was crying that I want to go home. When I stood up for the first time I was very dizzy. I needed a shower but collapsed twice in the shower room as there was no ventilation over there and I was exhausted. Midwife checked blood pressure once and haven't checked it for the rest of my stay there until discharge. I don't think that was handed over to the night staff as well. The second night was a real nightmare. My baby was hungry, still was unable to latch on the breast (was mentioned that he might have a tongue tie, but might not). During pregnancy I had really bad SPD and was off from work for long time. I was in horrible pain despite being given regular medications. The most painful was my back and pelvis. I was left completely alone that night with crying baby. I was on my feet all night and in the morning I was very dizzy from exhaustion. I was buzzing frequently, calling for help, but was told they are very busy with other patients. One midwife even gave me a leaflet how to express at 3am, when I was desperately holding and trying to calm down the baby. So my baby wasn't eating for two days and I was unable to close my eyes and have a rest post surgery at night. In the morning I said I want to be discharged as I would receive more help and support at home than there. They discharged me without sorting out the possibility of tongue tie (I found that later that they should refer me to the specialist) and with painkillers like diclofenac which are forbidden during breastfeeding (I wanted to continue trying to breastfeed). Later I went to a private specialist with the baby and was told that the tongue tie is severe and baby wouldn't be able to catch the breast. Had the cut and was breastfeeding without problems. Before that I was giving formula, bought the pump and keep expressing to produce milk for the baby. Can't write more...

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Response from Birmingham Women's Hospital

We would like to thank you for taking the time to write about your experience which was obviously very traumatic and we are really sorry to hear about the problems you had. There have been a number of changes and improvements made to our postnatal care since you were a patient and we are really keen to receive feedback about our patient's experiences so that we can make changes and look at where there are issues with care. We would be really keen to hear from you so that we can talk through some of the issues you have raised. Please contact the PALS Team on 0121 627 2747. Once again, thank you for feeding back and we hope to speak to you soon Best wishes Birmingham Women's Hospital

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