"First baby born, would recommend"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

I had my first child in the Birthing Centre based at the RVI and absolutely loved it. The only downside was on arrival, the midwife I first saw was quite rude and blunt with me. When I called and was asked to go in my waters had broke but no contractions, and when I arrived they were every 2 minutes lasting a minute, but this midwife said "Well I was only told your waters had broken not that you were in labour, you'll have to go home." I said I'd prefer to wait outside for a short while as things seemed to be moving very quickly but I was not yet dilated enough to be admitted (I live a 35 minute drive away, so would be over an hour round trip to come back). I found it most comfortable to lay on my side on the sofa in the area outside, and when the midwife came out to go on their break they said "You should have just gone home like I told you to if you're only going to lie down" and walked off. Just over an hour after I was checked, I was actually 10cm and ready to push so it was a good thing I hadn't gone home. I had a different midwife for delivery who was lovely. They prepared the birthing pool as soon as I mentioned I'd like one and supported me with my labour/birth in the pool. A student was also present but they only observed and I wouldn't have known they were there. After the birth they were very helpful but not overbearing, leaving me and my partner to bond with our daughter in peace in their brilliant rooms. A member of staff, but not a midwife, who had seen me in the kitchen area before being admitted called in to check how we were as they were leaving to go home, and stayed an extra fifteen minutes to give me some help with breastfeeding which was lovely. Everyone explained everything clearly to me when it came to the newborn screenings, and because of their excellent care we left the birthing centre 12 hours after the birth. I'd be going there again t have my second child if the more local Cramlington birthing centre wasn't being opened to save travelling time (in case I do have to go home!)

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you for your comments relating to your experience of Newcastle Birthing Centre at the RVI when you had your first child in 2013. We are pleased that following admission you were satisfied with the care provided and had a positive birth experience. Your comments relating to our assessment of you when you were in early labour does however cause some concern. If possible we would like to speak with you to obtain some further information about this in order to identify any learning opportunities for the staff.  We are constantly looking at ways to develop our services in order to meet the needs of women and their families and would value your perspective on what might have improved this situation for you. If you are willing to discuss this further with us please contact the Head of Midwifery Elaine Blair on 0191 2829030.

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