"Happy with the overall care - still room for..."

About: University College Hospital

I gave birth twice at UCH. The antenatal care was impeccable both times. All the midwives I have seen were friendly and caring. At the unltrasound department the wait was at times a bit long, but this is understandable, since not all scans are quick and straightforward. The ultrasounds itself were a great experience. All the tests and scans were very thorough and I felt well cared for and in good hands at all times. When i went into labour with my first, my contractions arrived and sped up very quickly. When I first called the hospital they were 3-4 min apart and strong. I called triage and was told to take a bath since it's my first and they will probably calm down. Quite the opposite, after an hour we called again as they were 1-2 min apart and they said to come in, but that I would be sent back if I wasn't dialated enough. I arrived at the hospital with contractions nearly back to back, but it took some time before anyone could see me. I was supposed to go to the birth centre, but it was already too full, so I went to labour ward. I was at 6 cm and after half an hour I was fully dialated with the urge to push. A young student midwife was by herself helping me give birth, but she did a fantastic job. I was very calm and in control. My baby was born with no problems, except for a tear. My stay afterwards was pleasant enough, the paediatrician was great and soon we were on our way home. However, despite the big push for breastfeeding, I had no support at all. Second time was even quicker and the midwife who was attending the birth didn't take me quite seriously when i mentioned after 30 min. I was in the labour room that I needed to push so she said I should push there and then (I was standing) and after the first push the head was out. The response then was quick and after the second push my baby was out. I have to thank the midwife that this time, she gave some good advise on trying to latch my newborn baby on and that was crucial for my later success in feeding my baby, which I missed the first time round. I had a third degree tear and needed to go into theatre. The anaesthesist team, the surgeon and all involved were just first class. I can truley say, that I felt relaxed in theatre, happy and well cared for. My baby was with her Daddy and so I was sure she was in safe hands, I was able to relax and recover from giving birth. The care after was ok, the midwifes were at times a bit rude (working for 12 hours straight with no break...). I however was feeling great and the painkillers were doing their job. I still had some struggels with feeding my baby and the help after was very little. I knew my baby wasn't latching properly (only laying down), but there was no one that was able to properly help me, only when I was already released and packed up to go home a lactation consultant came and gave some good advice. I am still happy overall that I chose UCH both times. Breastfeeding needs to be supported better though.

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Response from University College Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We're so pleased you were happy with the care and attention you received from the antenatal team at UCH and will feed this back. With regards to your breastfeeding experience, we would be more than happy to put you in touch with the relevant matron to discuss your concerns in more detail. We would be grateful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via pals@uclh.nhs.uk or by calling 020 3447 3042.

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