"Very poor care if you have mental health issues"

About: Royal Derby Hospital

I had my baby in January this year at RDH after a very stressful pregnancy. Despite the maternity team knowing that i was sexually abused as a child and knowing because if this i'd had an AI conception i wasn't provided with adequate support. The mental health specialist midwife didn't know how to provide support at all. I was referred to the perinatal mental health team but as my pregnancy difficulties were due to the abuse they said they couldn't help me but happily recommended a social services referral so i was left very clearly struggling with severe anxiety and no one providing adequate support and no one who knew the right things to say. If one member of staff had just said they understand why i am concerned and that it's ok to be afraid i would have been able to manage better but i was made to feel like i was just being stupid. It because evident very quickly the staff were trying to build a case against me and were twisting everything i said to make me look bad. My baby was born 8 weeks early by emergency C section and thankfully the consultant who'd provided care throughout pregnancy was there to do it. The consultant was the only member of the maternity team that i trusted and who actually helped me. The week after having my child i had to stay in the HDU in maternity. I had another consultant which no one even considered was very difficult for me. Despite RDH maternity and NICU staff i have full care of my son and am a really great mum and have sailed through every assessment social services has put in front of me but it hasn't been easy and it shouldn't have been this way and if the maternity team had all done there jobs correctly things would have been difficult. Some one with a history of abuse shouldn't be pushed into having an internal exam from certain doctors and then be made to feel bad and told off for panicking half way through and shouting at them to stop. After having my son i was desperate to breast feed but was struggling. i thought that not being able to express meant i was a bad mum because i obviously didn't have all those happy bonding hormones. I said this to several members of staff and for days was told it doesn't matter and that i may as well give up. Finally one nurse understood and referred me to the specialist but by this point i'd lost all belief and confidence. It didn't help that despite me saying i have intimacy issue and would like privacy while trying to express nurses kept walking in so i was on edge while trying.

I have a couple of friends who've been sexually abused and had children at RDH and they all say the same. 0 support, 100% judgement. Staff need to be educated on how to help pregnant women with mental health problems or have suffered abuse. I am amazed at how the staff did certain things and never considered the implication this would have on me and my child. I would advise anyone who is pregnant and has mental health issues or has been abused to avoid RDH.

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Response from Royal Derby Hospital

Thank you for sharing your experience, it is clear that you have had a very difficult time and we would be happy to investigate the concerns you have raised.

If you would like to contact the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on Freephone 0800 783 7691 or e-mail at dhft.contactpals@nhs.net we can advise you on how best to take your concerns forward.



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