"Very pleased with maternity experience - first..."
About: Kettering General Hospital Kettering General Hospital Kettering NN16 8UZ
I delivered my baby in March '15, and had hyperemesis gravidarum (with 3 hospital stays), IUGR and Preeclampsia which in turn involved additional medical resources. I had additional monitoring, growth scans and was admitted early ahead of a planned induction due to these conditions.
Throughout my treatment I was kept up to date and informed at all stages. I felt able to ask any questions I needed and that there was always someone available to help me.
I was induced earlier than scheduled due to illness, which resulted in me giving birth around 12hrs later. I was extremely nervous about this, in particular that the first pessary may not have the desired effect and I could be in for the long haul. The nursing staff were understanding and supportive throughout.
I remained on the ward during the induction process, feeling very unwell: vomiting and contracting, whilst being attached to the monitor and unable to move. I found this difficult to deal with as there were other patients on the ward, which I was very aware of, and in the evening when contractions were more intense and others were trying to sleep, I found this particularly stressful as I didn't want to disturb them. It also seemed to take a long time for pain relief (pethadine) to be administered. Once I received the pain relief I was a different person; still, calm(er) and I dilated faster as a result.
Once in delivery, the time flew by. I did not find this part stressful (but scary as a first time mum). I had great rapport and the perfect level of support from my midwife. I wouldn't change a thing about this stage.
After baby was born, I felt looked after and left to my own devices to discover motherhood at the ideal level. Support was just a moment away, but for now as much peace as we wanted to get to know our baby and take it all in. The bath and toast were particular highlights - I hadn’t eaten for over 24hrs due to sickness!
Once taken back to the ward with my new baby and my husband sent home for some sleep (it was 4am by this point, poor husband :D) I was looked after well. There was absolutely no judgement on how you chose to feed you baby (as I heard the nurses speak to other patients) and the most amazing support was given. I chose to breastfeed, but at times struggled with the early stages. I was given 1-2-1 support and advice and I believe this relaxed approach (i.e. if you have to give a tiny bit of formula to reduce the stress while you establish, that’s OK) has contributed to me still exclusively breastfeeding almost 6 month on. I felt that the discharge process took a long time, so this could be reviewed.
A massive well done to the staff at Kettering General, in particular the midwife who who looked after me through induction and the team on the aftercare ward. Now, to convince the husband to have another......