"Different maternity experiences"

About: Southern General Hospital / Maternity care Western Infirmary/Gartnavel General

(as the patient),

In May 2011 I was pregnant with my first child. It was eventually discovered, a day before my due date, that I had acute polyhydramnios by the community midwives at the Western Infirmary. (How this was missed in all my appointments I still don't know). I was sent to the Southern General for observation the next day.

At the Southern General I was asked how far away from the hospital I lived (10 minutes) and they decided to send me home but to come straight back if my waters broke. I have since been told, and done my own research, that if my waters had broken there would be a risk of cord prolapse and my baby could have in effect suffocated himself.

I had my second baby this year and briefly mentioned this to the midwife when she asked about my previous pregnancy who seemed rather shocked at my treatment and said a) the polyhydramnios should have been identified at a much earlier stage (I believe I had this condition for some time as I was extremely large and my baby was floating around) and b) I should have been admitted to hospital not sent home.

When my baby was delivered (by C-section) apparently he was in shock and needed some help (something I would have liked to have known at the time, not as a throw away comment in an antenatal appointment for my second child).

Having been moved up to the post natal ward the nightmare continued. The midwives had no time or patience to help, all were snappy, uncaring and unfriendly. As a first time mum and someone who had never had an operation before it was all very overwhelming and I couldn't wait to leave. I dreaded staying here again after my second baby, it was an awful experience 1st time round.

Thankfully, my second baby born in January this year had no problems, and I had the confidence and ability to look after my baby on my own. There were a few nice midwife this time round who had time to help people, but I'm not sure if that was because no one in my room really needed much help.

Although this was 3 years ago, it still plays on my mind as I feel it ruined my experience as a first time mum and hindered my ability to bond with my baby as I was so worried and anxious in an unsupportive environment. I am currently looking into accessing my maternity records as too many little snippets of information came out in my antenatal appointments with my 2nd baby that make me feel like I don't know the whole picture and that information has been kept from me about my first birth.

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Responses

Response from Niall McGrogan, Head of Patient Experience and Public Involvement, I work for Dr Margaret Maguire, the Director of Nursing, here at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear Mum of 2 boys

I am real sorry to hear of your poor experience of our maternity services at the Southern General Hospital three years ago. Although you had a better experience last year, its obvious that that you have been left with certain queries and questions. As you say these can prey on you and cause anxiety.

My colleague, Evelyn Frame, who is our Head of Midwifey, has suggested that it might be helpful to you to meet with your named consultant and the lead midwife? Together, you could review the case records and you could put to them any questions you might have.

If you would like to arrange such a meeting, or discuss your concerns in more detail, please contact Evelyn on Evelyn.Frame@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Whatever course of action you take, I wish you and the 2 boys all the best in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Niall McGrogan

Head of Community Engagement

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