""Can You Wait For Another Hour". Midwife!"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

These are the words I will remember the midwife asking me while I was in pain and desperately waiting to deliver! Perhaps I should have expected poor attention at NGH based on the build up to our birth? But, as I had given birth here before, I was calm about what was to come. However, I could not remember previously being so incredibly rushed, in an atmosphere of constant urgency as this time around. Firstly, each scan was treated like business by the various 'operatives' we saw. No time for anything other than covering the major points as quickly as possible and no real encouragement to discuss anything, (I only had minor concerns so it did not bother me that much at the time). You could liken the scan process to being on a cheap fairground ride; check in at the counter, pre pay for a poor quality blurred print of your child, queue for 40 minutes, buckle up for a shock of cold gell, then... a feeling of disappointment after an all too short experience. Not great. But when it came to administration the office staff were very good at handing out informative leaflets and showing us round birthing pools, positively encouraging a relaxed and pleasant culmination to the easy pregnancy I was having. I was really looking forward to it. But, in the event, I arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night and there was not even mention of the birth experience I was expecting! What happened? Was it because I was there a week earlier than expected? Or because the place was short staffed at night? I was never told what was going on, and I had other things on my mind at the time! After 3 hours on the ward I insisted that there was no stopping the baby, (whatever the midwife might have preferred), I gave birth naturally at 6am. It was painful, I was worn out and slightly emotional, (as my husband was still abroad working). The baby was beautiful and healthy, but there was much worse to come!! The placenta did not come free and I was made to endure the most horrible experience of being badly handled, without any offer of alternative pain relief, during a painful procedure. After stiches I felt quite low, but was buoyed by a healthy child. Thankfully. I still cannot believe that I was treated in this way and have only now decided to write about it. We may just have been unlucky, there may have been other things happening on the ward of much more concern to the midwives than us. It may be that they deal with hundreds of successful births with very happy parents, but this was ours and it was important to us. Something wasn't right and NGH need to make sure other mums don't feel the same way as I did on such a fantastic occasion. The care may have been ok, and we may not have been at any risk, but the experience lacked kindness and understanding at a time when I really needed it.

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Response from Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

We're really sorry to hear about your poor experience at NGH and we would welcome the opportunity to learn from it. Could you please contact PALS - our Patient Advice and Liaison Service - on 01604 545784 or pals@ngh.nhs.uk and they would be happy to advise you how to take this forward so we can properly investigate your comments. Thank you.