"Dismissive attitude towards my pregnant daughter"

About: St James's University Hospital / Maternity care

(as a relative),

I was advised to take my daughter to the maternity unit as she was having pains every 10 minutes (this was her first baby). Before the midwife examined my daughter she said your not in labour, your smiling too much she was told she would be in real labour when she felt like throwing herself out of the window. I thought it was a stupid thing to say to a first time mum, aren't midwives supposed to be supportive?

My daughter was then examined and told she wasn't dialated, go home, this took all of five minutes! She wasn't offered any advice or pain relief.

I took my daughter to the entrance to wait for my husband to pick us up, not really knowing what we should do, during this time she was doubled in pain and being sick.

I rang at least four times in the next hour and each time I was told not to bring her down as she wasn't in"real" labour.

My daughter was in pain on her hands and knees on the floor and pains were every few minutes, this was explained to the maternity unit.

I was in a panic not knowing what to do then my sister arrived, she took one look and said -get her to the hospital she is about to give birth. We dashed her down to the hospital.

The midwives at the assessment unit were arguing with her at the door (not wanting to let her in as she hadn't rang!!) when 2 midwives from the delivery unit saw my daughter and ushered her to the delivery suite where my grandson was born 5 minutes later.

I am so angry with the assessment unit treating her so badly, how can a first time mum go from not dialated to giving birth in just over an hour? Making an assessment on the fact she was smiling. The staff who saw my daughter were dismissive and in my opinion a disgrace to their profession. My daughter wasn't monitored by a midwife during the whole of her labour, i thought this was important? When i think of all the things that might have gone wrong with a first birth if we had waited another 15 minutes, i could scream.

I am so angry with myself that i didn't shout and carry on, demanding pain relief and monitoring. Is that what it takes?

At this point i must say a big big thank you to the delivery midwives who were fantastic. Thank you, Thank you.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from NHS Leeds

I am sorry that your daughter had such a disappointing experience and your feedback has been given to the maternity team. We would welcome the opportunity to offer an apology, if you would like to contact Matron Mary Armitage telephone 07786250502 we can investigate the points you have raised. Once again apologies for the distress caused and the poor support you all received.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful