"Problems at special care baby unit"

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

(as a relative),

I recently gave birth to my first child, at the Queen Mary maternity unit, by emergency c section and my baby was born 6 weeks early. There were no problems with his health, but he was early due to placental abruption. He was in SCBU for just over a week before being discharged and unfortunately, due to the nurses being occupied with the other babies, my child was often left to sleep in a dirty nappy. This was because he was referred to as "such a good boy" which meant that, because he didn’t cry all the time, he was left alone. The only times I saw staff actually checking him was when he cried if he was hungry. Only then would his nappy be changed and temp taken, which could have been every 4 or 5 hours. As a result, my son had such a sore bum the nurses gave him a cream called metanium. I could not be there all the time, as I had been discharged within 3 days of him being born. His bum was so sore that it looked as though a cheese grater had been used on him. This was so sore and painful for him and not only was it distressing for him but also myself and my partner to see him like that. The soreness took over 2 weeks to heal after he had been discharged.

Sadly, I cannot say that the unit provides a high standard of quality care. I saw babies being over fed causing them to vomit, formula being 1st choice over breast milk to feed the kids, and mums being told to use electric breast pumps causing mums with very premature children to become sore because of the lack of milk being expressed.

I felt patronised by a member of staff, one afternoon, because I had expressed more milk than I had previously the other day to take to the unit. I was patted on the head and told well done! As a hormonal new mum, who already feels useless because they can’t take their child home or care for them 24/7, this made me so angry I had to get out of the unit and off the hospital grounds as quick as I could, because I was so upset. I felt that breastfeeding couldn’t thrive, as it is so hard to bond with your baby at the unit. I became a mother when I was able to bring my baby home, not in the hospital.

Because of my treatment during my pregnancy, the delivery of my baby and the care myself and my child received at the Queen Mary maternity unit and SCBU, if I should ever have another child in the future, which I very much doubt due to my experience there, I will refuse to have a baby at the hospital. I think that our experience was a disgrace.

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