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Patient of West Essex about Maternity



Fantastic experience at the birthing unit, disappointed with the lack of antenatal knowledge from GP and lack of breastfeeding support

I had a brilliantly quick and speedy labour, considering this was my first baby. My waters went at 2am, 3 days before due date, and contractions started straight away so I called the birthing unit, no answer, called the labour ward and was told to come in in an hour. I did so, was examined and was 5cm already!! No one was in the birthing unit (no patients or staff!!) But the midwives were more than happy for me to use the birthing unit so we took a slow wander over there. I sat in the birthing pool for a couple of hours on my gas and air, then around 4 hours later I was ready to push. After and hour and a half of pushing, my little girl arrived at 8am here. I had 2 tears so a Dr came to stitch me up and I had to have a catheter. The midwives were great and still let me stay on the birthing unit. I was the only one there throughout my stay (I was home by 10pm that night) The midwives were so welcoming and the birthing unit had a really nice atmosphere. I loved that visitors, such as my parents were allowed to visit throughout the day. I would most definately want to use the birthing unit again. However there are two disappointing areas, in what would have otherwise me great antenatal/post natal care. Firstly feel that the decision to split antenatal appointments between the midwives and GP’s is a big mistake, unless the GP’s have further training. I do not doubt their medical capabilities, however I feel they are lacking in knowledge when it comes to antenatal care. At 38 weeks pregnant, I visited a GP for a antenatal check up. He measure my bump (bearing in mind I measured completely normal throughout the pregnancy, albeit on the lower side of the normal) he says that I’m measuring small and need a scan and shooos me out the door! He didn’t check the position of the baby or anything. I was obviously massively upset and worried. A while later I received a call from his secretary who said I had a scan booked for the following week, at 39 weeks. I turn up to my appointment and it’s not a scan, it’s an appointment with a consultant who was not trained to do measurements via scan, so I had to go back the next day. Turns out I was measuring fine and all that worrying was fine. I feel the Dr’s do not have enough experience with antenatal check ups and this needs looking at. Following the birth of my baby, I was having trouble breastfeeding. I asked for midwives to come and see me each day after the birth. They did come (although they wouldn’t give a time so we were confined to the house all day) but to be honest I feel I did not get enough support. We had major issues, which were not rectified (the midwives would come in, try and get baby to latch a few times and then leave) One time they even sent someone who wasn’t a midwife and had the nerve to call me ‘teary’ on the phone to my husband when he called up later than day. I was in so much pain and bleeding, I had to take to expressing, until I healed. I feel I had no support from the midwives with this. However Denise who runs a group at the sure start centres was lovely and gave me some support. Ultimately breastfeeding did not work out for us, which I am upset about, and to be honest I partly blame the lack of support, both emotionally and technically from the midwives.

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