"My treatment in the hospital birthing ..."

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

What I liked

My treatment in the hospital birthing unit was excellent and I was very happy with the care I received at the hospital birthing unit.

What could be improved

Once on the post natal ward I received such a horrific lack of care I had to undergo several months of counselling afterwards to help recover from it. I am reluctant to have another child because of the bad experience.

At 2am a midwife attempted to give me an injection. I asked her what it was. She couldn't tell me.

I was given a sponge bath at 4am in the morning by two care assistants who handled me extremely roughly. They didn't talk to me or explain what they were doing or let me know why I needed a spongebath at 4am. I felt like a piece of meat.

I was in a 6 bed ward. When midwives came into the ward at night (ie after midnight!) to do their rounds they slammed on the very bright overhead ward lights instead of using a torch or the bedside lights. The night staff chatted between themselves at the top of their voices with no regard to the fact that women were desperately trying to get to sleep (which didn't happen because there was always a baby crying - which i accept is inevitable when there are 6 babies in one room)

I did not receive pain medication when I was charted to receive it - I had to follow up again and again and at one stage was 6 hours without pain relief (this was 18 hours after an emergency c-section). When I came to be discharged, it appeared to me that the midwife went back and retrospectively updated my chart to make it look like i had received pain medication regularly.

I couldn't walk but no food or water was brought to me, despite me asking again and again.

I couldn't pick up my baby but when I rang the bell noone came to help (so he went unfed and lay there screaming)

When I asked a midwife for help breastfeeding I was told to try "whatever I liked" and the midwife walked away.

For most of my stay (40 hours) I lay in a pool of blood.

I received no advice on how to care for my baby or any advice on recovery from the c-section, save for a very basic pamphlet which did not go into nearly enough detail.

Story from NHS Choices

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