"Maternity ward and breastfeeding support"

About: Royal Derby Hospital

I do have to start by saying that the care I had when I was in labour and during the birth was great - even though it was an emergency c-section. All I'd add is that they said we needed to go for c-section as baby heartrate was dropping but when we asked if he was ok they kept saying he was fine. For me, I'd rather have had the honest view even if that was 'we need to get him out right now' as with them saying he was fine I was close to asking if we could continue trying to push for 15mins as I really wanted a natural birth. But the staff who looked after me were great and the surgical team were fab too and made a scary process easier. However, once on the maternity ward things changed. The staff (except 2 ladies who were just fab) seemed to not care less, I really suffered with depression after the birth and struggled with breastfeeding but the only breastfeeding support was for them to tell me to pretty much force him to the breast and forcibly hold him there (even the so-called expert did the same!) so by the time we came home baby was completely breast-averse and to this day at nearly 10months has issues with what he will have in his mouth. Despite it being on my notes that I was at risk of PND (and had an active referral to the MBU) and the fact I was in tears much of the time no-one did anything and the attitude was very much 'oh get over it' - in fact when struggling at home one of the midwives who visited actually said 'breastfeeding is meant to hurt, just get on with it' in front of my husband. My PND was not picked up either during my 5 day stay on the ward nor afterwards at home despite being honest with my GP which resulted in my taking an overdose and ending up in the MBU for almost a month. I am only just coming out the other side now but still taking antidepressants. I feel sure that if the staff were more helpful and caring it would go a long way to helping. It's a hugely emotional time when you have just given birth and are alone on a ward with your newborn baby, your life has changed in an instant and yet for me there was just no support there. I was even made to feel a burden when asking someone to change him for me when I was still unable to get out of bed after my c-section, but then when I got up before I should have done as he was crying and I needed to pick him up I was told off for that too! Also, when you've had to have an emergency c-section it is pretty traumatic going from everything being calm to having major surgery and for some it's hard to deal with - but no support is offered for this. In short - understaffed, most staff seemed to have little empathy (maybe due to understaffing), little to no understanding of risk factors for PND and breastfeeding support woefully inadequate.

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Response from Royal Derby Hospital

Many thanks for providing us with your comments regarding your experience during and following the labour and birth of your baby son. We were extremely saddened to hear of your plight and offer our sincere apologies for the upset caused on this occasion. We would welcome the opportunity to look into this matter and respond back to you more fully however, we would need more specific details to do so. If this is something you would like us to do, then may I kindly ask you to contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on Freephone 0800 7837691 or via email on dhft.contactpals@nhs.net who will try to assist you further. In the meantime, many thanks once again for taking the time to provide us with your feedback and may we take the opportunity of wishing you and your family our sincere best wishes for the future. Kind regards The Patient Experience Team on behalf of Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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