"Big baby with no pain relief"

About: Wansbeck Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

So I was bang on my due date with my second baby when I went into labour, my contractions were painful and very regular getting progressively closer. I went into the hospital at 4 cm dilated (I managed to hold out to 7 cm with my first baby), the pain was just too intense. I was examined and given 2 paracetamol, upon explaining to the midwife that I needed something stronger she just looked at me and said that it was too early.

15 minutes later and more very painful very regular contractions I buzzed again, it took ages for anyone to respond eventually a healthcare assistant attended and I asked for some pain relief, she explained they were short staffed and went to find a midwife. The same midwife attended and said my labour wasn't progressed enough to have gas and air, she did not examine me and left.

20 minutes later in tears and scared I buzzed again, I was practically screaming and I begged for pethidine or anything they could give me I just needed something. She said she'd give me gas and air and would go get some pethidine as well but would need another midwife to sign for it.

Eventually she came back and they gave me the pethidine, immediately afterwards I started to push, she was washing her hands and I told her I needed to push. She told me not to be silly and at this point I lost my temper, I told her I was pushing and I could not stop it, low and behold she examined me (only the second time since arriving on the labour ward) and I was ready to push but my babies head had come down behind the cervix leading to the midwife having to physically push my babies head back up the birth canal and manoeuvre it in front of the cervix, the pethidine had not taken effect yet!

It was during this time the midwife told me to 'be quiet and shut up' 4 contractions later my 9lb 7oz baby was on my chest and I was in complete shock. A family member of mine is a midwife but had opted against being around for the birth in case of complications, she came in about 15 minutes after I had delivered, she was holding the baby talking to my husband and I was on the phone to my mother, I suddenly felt wet and warm gushing from my vagina. I ended the phone conversation and told my family member I thought I was bleeding, she pulled back the sheets and pulled the emergency buzzer, I was then surrounded by lots of people having injections in my legs, medication pushed up my bottom, cannula in both hands and my stomach massaged frantically. I remember the pad under me being removed and the blood pored into a jug in the bathroom, I was in complete shock and shaking.

Once the bleeding stopped the medical team disappeared as fast as they had arrived leaving me with my new baby and husband and feeling like crap. I was left in that room until morning when I insisted that I get moved to the midwife led unit in Alnwick where I would be given some TLC.

The birth has traumatised me I am due to give birth to my 3rd child in 7 weeks and I am so scared that the same thing will happen, I thought I had dealt with how the birth had left me but I obviously haven't.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Joanne Mackintosh, Service Improvement Project Manager, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Madam,

Can I begin by saying how extremely sorry and saddened I am that you have had this experience during the birth of your second baby. It is very concerning to know that you felt traumatised by this experience. I can absolutely understand why this is preying on your mind now that your third baby is due very soon.

I have been in touch with Lynn Tilley our matron for maternity services. She is also very concerned by your comments and wants to help. I would be very grateful if you could get in touch with her as soon as possible.

The care you describe is completely unacceptable - we would never expect any of our staff to behave in this way or to be so disrespectful when caring for an anxious mum in labour.

You can appreciate why we'd want to act immediately to investigate the care you received during the birth of your second baby and also to ensure that you feel fully supported for the remainder of your pregnancy. Without any further details we are unable to follow this up as we'd like.

Please contact Lynn at: Lynn.Tilley@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk

With best wishes,


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful