About: Birmingham Women's Hospital

My waters broke and my partner and I went to the hospital for the 3rd time stating that I was in labour and on this 3rd occasion we were not going to leave and go home. However we were then brought upstairs and had to wait until the following day before I was induced. Despite badgering the midwifes & stating that my baby may be in distress. I was told by one of the rude midwives that they have 8 other woman to also attend to like my case does not matter. The service is disgraceful. I know of 2 other woman who had to wait days before being induced despite their waters breaking. The hospital has a policy that you must be induced within 24 hours of your waters breaking. This hospital should follow their own policy. I was informed that my lengthy wait to be brought downstairs to be induced was because they did not have a midwife. The midwife I then had from 11pm was falling asleep despite their shift just starting. They'd clearly done a shift elsewhere. The hospital is understaffed. Do not place you & your baby at risk. I felt like I was an animal being held in a holding suite. Never again. Thank god I gave birth to a healthy baby due to my persistence.

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Response from Birmingham Women's Hospital

We are sorry to hear of your experience with us, and that we failed to provide an excellent experience during the birth of your baby. We see women at all stages of labour, and unless there has been a problem in your pregnancy with you or your baby, we would send you home unless labour was established. This is obviously a plan of care that we make with our mums so they feel reassured, informed and supported. The waters can break before labour and unless there is meconium (baby poo) in the waters, signs of infection or any other risk factors for you and your baby the best place to await events is in the comfort of your own home, supported by loved ones. Labour is unpredictable, painful and variable in duration especially with your first baby, and getting into established labour can take days. This is often a time of anxiety, apprehension and excitement as you wait to meet your new baby. However it is also painful which can result in lack of sleep/appetite and energy. It is important to be well informed, supported and reassured that you can ask your hospital or community midwife for additional support and advice. I’m sorry that you did not feel supported and that you felt that you made your plan of care without the best support and advice needed. Women with prolonged rupture of membranes greater than 24hrs have an increased risk of infection from 0.5% to 1%, and intra venous antibiotics are recommended in labour (NICE 2008) (RCOG 2010). Women can choose to have expectant management without intervention for up to 72hrs once their waters have gone, and in the absence of other risk factors can deliver in the water or on a low risk Birth Centre. These women are reviewed every 24hrs and any sign of deviation in maternal or fetal wellbeing is reported for medical review. Unless there are other risk factors present women waiting IOL after their waters break will wait on the ward. If you were already contracting and all was well there would not be an indication to induce your baby in the first 24 hrs. Spontaneous labour is always preferred, intervention, unless necessary often leads to further intervention which can then increase the risk of distress for your baby, forceps delivery or caesarean section. We'd be delighted to speak with you further. Please feel free get in touch with our PALS Team on 0121 627 2747 for further questions.

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