"My post natal care experience"

About: Southern General Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I am a first time Mum to a beautiful baby boy who was born in January 2012 at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. I wanted to write and thank the staff who have been involved in my care - and my son's - since his birth.

I have not had much experience of the NHS, other than a handful of visits to a GP and dentist over the years. I was therefore quite intrigued and a little anxious about the care I might receive throughout my pregnancy and after my baby’s birth.

Having read the countless negative media stories about ‘overstretched midwives’ and heard first hand from other parents or ‘someone who knows someone who…’ about their disappointing experience, I was not expecting much.

However my experience could not have been further from my expectations.

The support and care I received during my short stay at the Southern General Hospital for my baby's birth was excellent. I had two very encouraging midwives Cathy and Kay who supported me through a long and difficult labour, and a brilliant anaesthetist who made my experience of an emergency section much more bearable!

However it has been the care I have received over the last 8-months by a truly fantastic team of community midwives working from Renfrew Health Centre that I really wanted to highlight and express my appreciation for.

As a first time parent I found the first 4-weeks of my son’s life amazing but also completely chaotic! I was very disappointed that the natural and relaxed birth I had planned ended in an emergency section (which seems so trivial now). When I then developed a bad bout of mastitis I remember feeling completely helpless.

It was a series of visits from the community midwife team at Renfrew and accessing the various groups and classes that helped and supported me through these exciting but challenging first few months. The team have always expressed a genuine interest in getting to know us both, and they have been approachable, professional and available whenever we have needed them. The care and support at our disposal was invaluable and our weekly trips to the teams fantastic baby massage class with Lorna Carruth helped grow my confidence as a first time parent and strengthen the bond with my son.

Two home visits from one midwife in particular - Helen Regan - stand out to me. Helen provided comfort, encouragement and advice, especially when I felt so disappointed with my birth experience and like I was failing at breastfeeding. She helped me focus on my son and never judged me or pushed a preferred feeding option. Instead she gave me the information I needed to make an informed choice and importantly encouraged me to listen to the maternal instinct she knew I had. This one piece of advice I am eternally grateful for and I consider myself and my son incredibly lucky to have had access to such a fantastic midwife.

I am sure Helen and the rest of the team at Renfrew will profess to just doing their job, but I know from talking to other parents in the area and out with that they are doing so much more than that.

I hope this letter goes some way to expressing my thanks for the service they have provided my son and I. I expect they are not thanked often enough.


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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to provide your very kind feedback.

I will ensure that this is passed on to those involved and I am sure that they will be very pleased to read your comments.

I am sorry that this posting was not acknowledged at the time, we had a break in our use of Patient Opinion, but we have now resumed doing so, and I thought it was still important to acknowledge your posting and where appropriate to pass comments on.

Once again, thank you for using the Patient Opinion feedback system, it is greatly appreciated.

The staff in service at the Southern General, Midwife Regan and the post natal team will be delighted to read your very thoughtful remarks.

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