"QE maternity experience"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Greater London)

I gave birth at QE almost a month ago and overall it was OK. However a few things stood out in my mind which have tarnished my experience. I was having contractions regularly and was in considerable pain and was told by the midwife who monitored me that I had ages to go. I didn't. I was at 8 cm and gave birth within 2 hours of that. No one looked at my birth plan, which I know because one midwife started talking about cutting me just before I gave birth. Clearly this startled me and made me panic- not what should be happening to somebody who is about to bring another life in to the world.

I had blood taken from me to check for rhesus factor- 3 vials. it's now almost 3 weeks since I had my child and my arm is still bruised and sore. Perhaps taking so much blood from somebody who lost a decent amount during childbirth isn't the right thing.

My husband, and for that matter, all the male partners of the women in the ward are basically treated as if they shouldn't be there. How can there not be a toilet for them on the ward, or the opportunity to have a shower or have a meal. It's antiquated and unfair. It's their moment as well.

My biggest problem though was the push to breastfeed. My daughter couldn't. She got stressed, I got stressed and it made the situation so much worse. Nobody came to help until 6 hours after her birth. I was made to feel incompetent as a mother and the head midwife essentially told us we couldn't go home until breastfeeding was established. The fact my daughter was expected to not eat is absurd.

What a way to introduce a new life- having them upset and hungry.I have never felt more upset and annoyed that we could be forced to stay there for a longer period of time. I'm pretty sure it's a hospital not a prison.This particular midwife was nasty and rude with no people skills at all. I understand they are busy, but I've never been a mum before, so don't expect me to know exactly what to do or how to feed- your job is to assist me and support, not to judge. Thankfully we dealt with the evening staff who were supportive of us going home and trying breastfeeding in a calmer environment, and if it still didn't work, to use formula.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

I was saddened to hear your feedback of the maternity unit and would like to apologise for the poor experience that you had. We strive to ensure that all women receive a high standard of care and it is disappointing that this was not your experience of our services.

If you would like to discuss the concerns that you have raised in more detail please contact Jacqui Kempen Inpatient Matron on 0208 836 6350

Kind Regards

Jacqui Kempen

Jacqui Kempen

Matron for Maternity Inpatient Services

Supervisor of Midwives

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

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