"Willow ward experience post birth at Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton "

About: Musgrove Park Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

I unfortunately had a very unhappy experience at Musgrove Park on Willow Ward following and excellent experience antenatally in the hospital.

Following a long induction and birth during the night, I was finally taken to the willow ward at approximately 4.30 am. My husband had to leave me and return back at visiting times at 9 am. I had amazing staff between the first shift (before 8 am) who helped me to settle my baby, tried to feed her, looked after my baby when I went to the toilet and changed my sheets etc when needed despite being very busy. I eventually managed to settle down for some sleep at about 7.00.

Unfortunately I was woken at 8 by the new shift of midwives starting, who came over and opened curtains windows and set up a "makeshift office/table" right outside my cubicle - making it difficult to rest as the staff were constantly outside chatting loudly.

By 9, my husband had returned and I had still been offered no breakfast or drink by any staff. So he went off and found me some breakfast.

My daughter and I were introduced to our midwife who was to look after us - we had a main (older) midwife and a student midwife. During our experience we found the advice and help given by the 2 midwives actually contradicted each other.

I struggled to breastfeed and was offered no formula etc despite after using a breast pump 3 times no colostrum seemed to be present. My baby was very thirsty (it was a warm August!) so I gave her small amounts of water from my cup. The student midwife put constant pressure in me to breastfeed and to get a latch - but obviously as I had made no colostrum, after a few sucks my baby gave up! I was told that I had to feed her every 4 hours and to keep doing it and they couldn't release me until doing so. And after every feed that was unsuccessful, I was told I would have to stay for an extra feed, which just demoralised me. So after around 1.5 hours sleep over 4 days and little food to myself or baby I was allowed home!

Also, the ward was also filthy! I saw no cleaning or attempt to do so. I had a new pair of slippers, which were actually thrown away once home as they were black after my stay!

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