"First baby"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

Mixed bag. Triage was awful, but delivery suite was fab. My waters broke but labour didn't follow so I was admitted to my own room to be induced. The ward was very busy so it took 28 hours before I was actually induced. Following the pessary being used I went into labour and very quickly had very strong contractions lasting 45 seconds every minute. It took a good 45 mins for the midwife to come and check me at which point I was told I was 2cm dilated. I was then put onto the bed to monitor my baby. I then had to remain there as baby wasn't happy. Labouring on the bed was hellish. I was told by the midwife that the pains would 'get worse and closer together and I was going to be at this for another 20 hours' which did nothing to encourage me! After around 3 hours of being on the bed it was evident me and baby were having a bad reaction to the pessary and the doctor said to prep us for a c section. Even though I was very weak and shaking the midwife just insisted it was because I was in labour and ignored me for a while! My husband had to insist antibiotics were administered at this point. Thankfully the doctor had the pessary removed and we both settled down so a section wasn't required. The midwife offered no support to me during my labour to help with breathing even though I was in obvious pain. All she did was touch my stomach when I was having a contraction and write notes. At 1am I asked for some pethidine so I could get some rest as I was told I had a long way to go and felt I couldn't go on without some rest (pessary inserted at 5pm) which I was given without being checked. An hour later she came back and I told her it had done nothing so was advised to have a bath. I walked up the corridor to have a bath having three contractions on the way. The pain was not helped by the bath so I got out and asked for an epidural as I felt like I couldn't cope. I was told by my midwife that 'should I be in active labour I could have one' as if I was being a drama queen and she offered me paracetamol! Thankfully the lead midwife the saw me walking back to the room having contractions and she told my midwife to get me checked immediately. I had my first urge to push in the corridor and when she checked me I was fully dilated - no need for epidural! I was then rushed round to the delivery suite where I got the much needed gas and air and a brilliant team who talked me through what was happening and encouraged and guided me through my daughters safe delivery. They were amazing and I had my baby girl at 4.40am that morning after just over an hour of pushing in the right place. I was discharged 6 hours later. The post natal care was also excellent. However the experience on triage was terrible with no support or compassion shown by the midwife who was looking after me - she made me feel totally inadequate and offered absolutely no support during my labour what so ever. I really believe this is the wrong profession for her!

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you, Samantha, for letting us know about your experience our Maternity Department. Please let us first congratulate you on the birth of your baby daughter. We are pleased to hear that you were impressed by the team looking after you in the delivery suite and that they helped to make sure you felt informed and encouraged during your labour. It is also good to hear that your post natal care was of a high standard and we will pass your kind words on to the teams involved in your care. It is, however, very disappointing to learn that you did not feel fully supported before your labour. This is not the experience we would want for any of our mums-to-be and we have passed your comment to the matron who will look into the issues you have raised. If you would like to discuss your experience and care personally with the maternity matron, you can contact her on 01384 456111 extension 1590. You may prefer to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 who would happily look into the issues you have raised on your behalf.

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