"Care would have been better had everyone sung from..."

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital

What I liked

Care during labour and in surgery afterwards I have no issues with as all was done with huge amount of support and information from a knowledgeable team.

What could be improved

Postnatal care on Concord ward I was not impressed with. Medical care was fine for me and baby but emotional support was particularly lacking with some staff members, in particular with regards to breastfeeding. I was struggling and finding it hard for baby to latch on and needed advice and support to succeed. With each staff shift change I got a new midwife who gave me different information than the one before and put her own experiences into what she was telling me...not helpful to someone who is struggling and just want to do best for their new baby but feels like they are getting conflicting information. After 3 days of feeling like I was taking one step forward and then two steps back, was clearly upset in front of midwives and being told that "its just up to you whether you put up with the pain or not" I decided I wanted to express and bottle feed. Once I told them this I didn’t feel I was getting much support at all as it wasn’t the right way to feed baby. I felt like my personal feelings were particularly unimportant. I feel the emphasis on breastfeeding is far too prominent (yes I understand the benefits), especially with peers support guides coming to see you every day and pushing it at you. Surely what is best for baby is what makes both mum and baby happy, being stressed out and continually upset is not helpful. In my entire stay there were only two midwives who remotely shared this view, all the others made me feel bad for not being successful and I ended up feeling like I was failing me newborn little girl.

Anything else?

I had been trying since going onto postnatal ward to express with electric pump but found it extremely painful. Was then told there was a breast pump that wasn’t as harsh as the other I’d been trying for the past 2 days. Why hadn’t I been offered this before when the midwives knew I was in pain and this could have helped ease my discomfort and possibly helped me try breastfeeding again. I was also informed 3 hours before being discharged that my partner would have been able to stop with me over night if id asked because I was struggling (I was in a side room). I believe this would have been hugely beneficial to me through my stay, particularly as I had had surgery and wasn’t as mobile as usual but I was never even informed that it was a possibility.

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Response from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback regarding your recent care with us at Jessop Hospital. We are pleased to note that your care during labour and, subsequent, surgery were of the high standard we would expect all our patients to receive.

We are sorry that certain aspects of your breastfeeding support and information were nothelpful and that you were not told that your partner could stay with you. We will pass these comments onto the staff within the unit but if you would like us to undertake a more thorough investigation and respond to you, personally, please do contact our Patient Services Team on either 0114 271 2400 or pst@sth.nhs.uk.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.