"Delivery suite faultless, Post-natal care..."
About: St James's University Hospital St James's University Hospital Leeds LS9 7TF
Posted by JoSpade
I had my baby at SJUH and despite a traumatic delivery the delivery suite was 100 % fine. The post-delivery ward was useless. I was taken up at 4 am having not eaten or slept for 36 hours, still paralysed by my epidural. A midwife told me my baby was cold but I would have to guarantee to stay awake if I wanted to hold him skin to skin because no-one could sit with me. He had to go under a lamp instead. No-one helped me out of bed until I asked them, I was sitting in blood-soaked pads for hours. When I asked the midwife to pass me the sanitary towels I had brought (Ultra night-time) she said they were not thick enough and told me to stick two of the hospital pads together - the most useless pads ever which immediately leaked. I had a catheter which had to stay in 24 hours, but for me it turned out to be 36 because "we don't remove them at night (9 pm)". I was told I had to produce 250 mL urine, so I had to stand in the corridor with my bedpan whilst all the midwives in the office completely ignored me. Someone passing in the corridor had to bring one of them out. No-one told me it had to be 250 mL of urine in one go, so I had gone to the loo too early. When I took a second badpan to complete my 250 mL I was told "you'd better get drinking because you,'ve got half an hour left". I dissolved in tears because I thought I was going to be made to stay another day and was then patronised by every midwife in the place. I had suffered a third degree tear after a forceps delivery but the only person who mentioned it was the surgeon at the point of delivery. I had no idea what I should to to care for the wound, or how bad it was, but I was given no information until I asked. It was not as bad as I had thought and I cried with relief. Both my tearful episodes are recorded in my notes as being upset because I "didn't understand". I had to insist that my stitches were checked before I left and they had come undone, I think because of the thick pads I was made to wear and from having the catheter in too long. Breastfeeding was a total disaster. The midwife would only help me feed lying down even though I preferred to sit up. She watched my baby latch on once and after that a different student came every time and "checked" from the bottom of the bed and said "awww, aren't you doing well!". My hospital notes show several references to me telling the midwives it was painful and he was not feeding for long. I was the only person who left the ward still breastfeeding. The day we got home he had lost 10 % of his bodyweight. The community midwife latched him on properly but by then I was bleeding and he was traumatised by 24 hours of failed feeding. Other failures were that no-one told me where I could wash, fresh water for drinking was only provided once a day and no-one closed the curtain. The buzzer was for "emergencies" so I had to shuffle into the corridor with my catheter bag and I felt bad about pressing it for help with breastfeeding.