"Poor antenatal midwife care"

About: North Middlesex Hospital

I was seen by community midwives ego failed to alert me to the fact that my baby would be large despite my constant asking (I was massive when pregnant and gained a lot of weight). I was told that I was being silly and that my baby measured small to average. Nonetheless when I was 41 weeks pregnant another midwife saw me instead of my usual "experienced" community midwife and they recommended that I have a growth scan. On having the growth scan a week after due date I was told the baby was estimated to be 10lb by the sonographer. There was no follow up consultation as I was booked for induction 4 days later( 41+4). On arriving for my induction the baby's size was barely mentioned the induction process began and I went home to wait for signs of labour. A few hours later they began and I was readmitted. After contracting for over 30 hours and only dilating 3cm I was told by consultants that evening that they would be breaking my waters the next morning as they wanted me to try and get some rest first. During the consultation they referred to the baby's size for the first time and asked whether I was aware of any risks involved with having a large baby especially as I suffer from anaemia. My husband and I looked at each other confused. The doctor then told us that we would need a consultant present at the birth in case of severe blood loss and also due to baby's size I would likely tear and had a very high chance of the baby having shoulder distosia (not sure of spelling) meaning he could deprived of oxygen during labour and could suffer a disability or even worse not make it safely into the world. This was undoubtedly the scariest moment of my life I felt so let down by my so called experienced midwife as I felt completely unprepared for this. The consultant assured me that in some cases shoulder distosia doesn't occur but nonetheless they recommended an emergency cesarean section to avoid the risks involved. However staff stressed that I should have been alerted to baby’s size and the risks involved from much earlier in the pregnancy & that I was failed by my midwife and the staff who performed the induction. Luckily the next morning my son arrived safely following the operation. However I contracted an infection and was on antibiotics for over a month post delivery. I was sent home just 48 hours after the operation only to be readmitted a few days later. I refused another readmission a week after that. What should have been an amazing precious time with my first born was traumatic and very upsetting for all involved.

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Responses

Response from North Middlesex Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. Each pregnancy is different and there are a lot of women who have been assessed as healthy and after 'measurement scans' have gone on to have a good birthing experience.

Sometimes a woman may go through her pregnancy without any complications and then on final assessment before birth the midwife and doctor can make a last minute decision to perform a Caesarean to help ensure a safe delivery. I am sorry that your experience was not as you expected. I am the head of midwifery g.slevin@nhs.net and if you feel that you would like to talk to a midwife about it please do email me.

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