"Lack of Mental Health Support During Late Stages of Pregnancy"

About: Watford General Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

I would like to share my story with Watford Maternity Services as I truly believe someone has to do something about this. I am currently in the late stages of pregnancy and unfortunately, living a bit of a nightmare. I shamefully have to admit that I am extremely terrified of giving birth naturally and that just the thought of it is causing an unmanageable anxiety and distress which I'm sure cannot be good for my baby or me.

However, at Watford they don't seem to care about my mental health issues and have very unpleasantly ignored my request about my informed choice of an elective C section- not following the Nice guidelines or even a bit of a sense of humanity in their reply. The consultants I've seen have been very sarcastic in their replies about my problem (only judging my choice and calling it absurd) and have simply said that I must deal with it because I have no other choice.

What ever happened to the right to decide what happens to your body? I have made it clear that after carefully studying all the pros and cons of my birth options, the risks involved in a C section are by far more admissible to me than those of a VB. Add to this the fact that I'm genuinely horrified by the thought of a VB and they haven't even cared enough to give me an appointment with the mental health team to address my problems.

My last consultant said I'll refer you to the psychiatrist who will give you pills to manage your anxiety but be aware and have it clear that you will not get a C Section so, deal with it!. Obviously I almost had a panic attack, couldn't stop crying and very embarrassingly, my consultant simply didn't seem to understand that this request is not a vanity or convenience request but that I am truly living a nightmare and I need it! And OK, thank you for the referral but after 2 weeks the hospital hasn't even send me the appointment confirmation and only until my lead midwife at the Colne practice (adorable) called in to push for one, she was told I could see someone after my due date!

I feel that this is completely inadmissible and really appalling service from Watford! What is the use of this appointment? In  a few weeks times I will go mad awaiting the date of my death sentence and Watford Hospital simply doesn't care as they need to keep a low c section statistic for I don't know what reason... and meanwhile my mental health is simply torn down into pieces and reduced to a "number".

Shame on Watford Hospital for not identifying the immense distress I am going through right now and even more shameful to dare to offer an appointment after my due date!

I have asked my amazing and very understanding GP to refer me to another hospital, which she is glad to do, however, so far on in my pregnancy I am running out of time and sanity! Watford is my closest hospital and the others are at least an hour drive away... what can I do? 

I have looked for support online but this is not enough... I can't sleep, eat or even think... the birth of my baby has become my worst nightmare (not fair as I am truly in love with him and want to be with him desperately) and I am afraid that if I don't do something, all my fears will become a reality under Watford Marnity Services care.


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Response from Watford General Hospital

Hi, we are sorry to hear about this. Please can you email us at info@whht.nhs.uk.

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