"I gave birth to my daughter at ..."

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I gave birth to my daughter at West Middlesex Hospital on 1st May 2009 and I am writing to commend your antenatal and obstetrics staff.

Throughout my pregnancy and during my labour, the majority of midwives, doctors and sonographers showed constant care, professionalism and thorough knowledge, skills and understanding in their field. In particular I would like to thank the midwife, who always found my veins to draw blood; another midwife, who was very helpful when I thought my waters had broken; another midwife who arranged scans to observe the healthy growth of my baby; the doctors in the consultant's team, one doctor in particular, who monitored my blood condition and gave me constant reassurance and clear explanations of procedures and prognosis; three other midwives; the doctor and her team who ensured the safe delivery of my baby; the staff nurse for her valuable time, support and care with breastfeeding.

What could be improved

A small part of my experience was not positive. I would have liked more support with the breastfeeding especially during the night. I received very little assistance and both my baby and I became quite distressed. One of te midwives did her best to help but the ward was understaffed and her colleague was quite dismissive of my concerns and those of the other patients. She was not wearing the same uniform as the other midwives so she may have been part of another agency. As I’m sure you are aware, postnatal care is an extremely emotional and crucial period for mother and child, and professional and compassionate staff are essential during this time. I felt this midwife was cold, sometimes rude and was not aware of the sensitivities and care required for mothers who had only just had a life changing experience. I saw her treat other mothers requesting support in the same way. My intention for saying this is in the hope that something can be done about this – I feel extremely sad to think that so many mothers who struggle with the first few hours of motherhood will not receive the care and attention required during this critical period under the care of this midwife.

Anything else?

Overall, I am extremely happy with the antenatal, labour and postnatal services at West Middlesex Hospital and shall be praising your department to prospective mothers. I also hope you will take my suggestions into consideration. It is shame that a small minority of staff can tarnish an excellent department.

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