"Not the best experience"

About: Pontefract General Infirmary / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I went into Pontefract General Infirmary Maternity Ward on the evening of 11th December 2008 to have my labour induced. This was at 5pm and my husband was told he had to leave at 9pm. I then had to call him back (on my own mobile which I thought you couldn't use in hospitals) at 02:30 am because I was in labour. It would have been nice if he was able to stay with me. The midwives were great at this point and Thelma who delivered my baby 2 hours later was excellent.

My experience on the ward afterwards wasn't so great. I had to have an operation for some internal tearing and after asking several times for someone to check my stitches the following day they noticed a problem which I will need to go back into hospital to have fixed. I remained in hospital a further 3 nights trying to establish breatfeeding and everytime the midwives changed shift I was given different advice. It was very confusing for a first time mum to be told, do this...don't do this, why are you doing this...etc. One midwife would tell me to do one thing and then a couple of hours later another one would tell me that was wrong. In the end, after a lot of stress, upset and not a wink of sleep I asked to be discharged and put my baby onto formula because she would probably have starved to death. Some of the midwives were brilliant and did try to help but others made me feel as if I was taking up their time when I asked for help. I know they are understaffed and busy, but they could be a little more friendly given the job they have chosen to do.

I also didn't like the fact that I missed out on breakfast because I was trying to feed my baby so I couldn't go to the kitchen at the specific time we were supposed to go and get our own breakfast. I know we weren't all ill or bedbound but some of us found it difficult to queue up to get our food at certain times when we were trying to get to grips with looking after our babies.

To finish off, I know they are building a new hospital so the parking will probably improve, but currently it is terrible and I am sure the people who live nearby are sick of people parking on their streets. The price of parking is also a joke!

My experience in hospital has encouraged me to opt for a Home Birth next time.

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