"Excellent maternity care throughout."
About: Royal Free Hospital Royal Free Hospital London NW3 2QG
Posted by Meghan
I had my second child in September 2013 at the Royal Free and was amazed by the superb standard of care that both my daughter and I received, right from the first antenatal appointment through to the care in the postnatal ward. My first child was born at a different NHS trust and was delivered by emergency forceps delivery (the only other option being emergency c-section under general anesthetic) as complications were recognised only very late. Though my son only suffered low apgar scores for the first few days, I was severely torn and required follow up care after delivery. His birth was a very traumatic experience for both me and my husband and made us quite anxious this second time around. The treatment and care that my daughter and I received from the Royal Free was completely different. At all times, my concerns and those of my husband regarding pregnancy treatment, planning and delivery were treated with respect and all decisions made with regard to our wishes in light of my safety and that of our child's. At all my antenatal appointments I was seen both by a midwife and registrar/specialist endocrinologist to treat my thyroid disorder and both me and my baby were monitored very closely throughout. I was also attended in delivery by three midwives (due partially to a shift change) two doctors (who treated me throughout, no shift change) and a pediatrician (for my daughter) who all made me feel as though we were the only ones in the ward that morning. I entered the ward feeling very anxious and very scared given my previous childbirth experience but these fears were quickly alleviated. I felt respected and safe in the care of several professionals who were at all times looking after my welfare and the welfare of my baby. It was also evident that they all genuinely cared about us personally; closely monitoring my wellbeing and that of my baby's, telling my husband and me what procedures may need to be done and why they were being done (and also what procedures they would avoid doing if at all possible), bringing us coffee/tea/toast and helping me wash and rest after the birth. One of the midwives (Alice, who had to leave due to the shift change) even came to see us in the post natal ward the following morning to give me a big hug and tell me how well I did! The postnatal ward was clean and staff again very attentive and caring, even checking in on us in the middle of the night and giving me pain relief. I didn't even need to ask. There was also a breastfeeding room where I was able to rock and comfortably breastfeed my daughter. I could not have asked for better care and am so very grateful to the Royal Free for this.