"A very small number of the midwives were..."
About: North Middlesex Hospital North Middlesex Hospital London N18 1QX
What I liked
A very small number of the midwives were friendly, understanding and helpful during the birth of my first daughter, however the vast majority tended to abuse their positions of power and capitalised on the fact that there was rarely any doctors around to check their decisions. My midwife during the night shift was topping up my epidural and during the morning shift change, the next one decided she wanted me to have a nice natural birth and stopped the drip completely, which caused me and unbelievable amount of pain and was extremely dangerous.
What could be improved
A great deal needs to be improved. Just because you have the kind words and assurances of one caring doctor or midwife does not mean that view is shared by other staff members who will happily completely ignore any promises made or any problems you may have.
There was absolutely no attempt made to follow my birth plan, I had a very hard pregnancy as I suffered from terrible lower back pain, my daughter was born 9lb 4 oz, and I was keen to have an epidural as quickly as possible as I don't believe women need to suffer in childbirth for no reason. However, I had to wait several hours in established labour before the proceedure was carried out, and even then it was botched and provided for limited pain relief, no attempt was made to correct this even though my partner and mum were both extremely concerned about the wellbeing of both myself and my daughter. No one listened when I told them I could feel she was stuck - with the general thought being, "I've been a midwife 30 years dear" and "It's like this for everyone". It really isn't, they patronise you into thinking you don't know your own body. Cut to 5 hours later, my daughter was born after two failed ventouse and finally forceps, with an episiotomy which eventuall broke down and became infected as no one bothered to check it before I left hospital. My aftercare was appauling, being told I was to be operated on and not to eat, drink or take pain relief all day, then told that I wasn't to be operated on and discharged hours and hours later.
My stay overnight was terrible - the midwives refuse to help, and I was provided only one bottle of milk to feed her from 4pm to the next morning in a very hot room. The toilets and bathroom were covered in blood and urine and simply a discrace. Avoid this hospital at all costs mums to be, I am three months post partum suffering from extreme depression, left mutilated, demoralised and a shell of my former self. Thank you!
Again please avoid this terrible hospital for your childbirth, it will ruin your experience and may very well put you off having children again, though expect to be patronised with the old chestnut "everyone says that you'll be back next year!". I don't think so.