"I had extremely supportive care ..."

About: Peterborough Maternity Unit

What I liked

I had extremely supportive care before, during and after my labour here in May 2010. I made my own choices and was supported in doing so. I was cared for very sensitively during labour, when all of my choices were gradually removed or changed by medical necessity. Births rarely go how you'd like, I now know! I had very positive, friendly and dedicated midwifes. I had exceptional 1:1 care, I felt supported whenever I needed it, by midwives and other staff, everyone from doctors to cleaners were positive and friendly. Before my labour I researched the stats, the facilities and the reputation of hospitals, and all I would say to new expectant mothers doing the same, is that your experience will not be determined by the building, or the decor, or the number of rooms, or anyone else's story, but by the quality of the people around you and your own confidence to ask questions and to inform yourself about what choices you may need to make as you go along. I had attended breastfeeding awareness class before the birth, did not use the breastfeeding advisors immediately after birth, but went back to the excellent drop-in sessions a few days later, which is when I needed it. My birth was not straight forward, and while we did encounter one member of staff whose attitude was appalling, I hardly remember her as the care that me, my husband and baby received was overall excellent, in this very busy and understaffed unit. I look forward to coming back in future if I have number 2!

What could be improved

The unit really needs its new building, for the benefit of staff and patients. The provision of midwife led care needs to be a big part of the new hosptial. I hope it will be.

The communication between midwives, which whom I developed a very close relationship during a long labour, and the doctor, who had to attend at the end, was not brilliant. This was something which I felt reflected poorly on the doctor, and partly on the very busy time.

I was transferred onto ward in the middle of the night, which meant that in the morning I had no clue where anything was (loos, shower, breakfast, etc) and a very simple card to explain that could help - within reach of the bed!!

Story from NHS Choices

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