"I heartfelt thank you to you all."

About: James Paget University Hospital

What I liked

All the staff involved in my care worked well together, were supportive, patient and caring at a very difficult time for me.

What could be improved

On reflection the following issues could be looked at although these are by no means meant to be critical of very hard working staff.

Recognising or discussing post traumatic stress in cases where the birth has not gone to plan and where factors in the mothers health could suggest a greater risk to PTSD, even where to get further advice would be helpful.

More information and support on formula feeding. Understanding that breast feeding is best for baby, acceptance that in some cases this is not possible and distress in the mother leads to an unhappy baby - neither of which is helpful. A non-judgemental approach by staff should also be taken as any perceived negativity towards the mothers choice can really affect their mental state at a particularly emotional time.

Finally, and a very small point, realisation by non-nursing staff that it can take a tired new mum some time and effort to get their baby off to sleep and waking the baby by talking to it or being loud around the cots is not likely to be appreciated!

Anything else?

I was admitted to Ward 11 to be induced and following a very painful night alone without pain relief (I was offered Pethidine but did not want this particular drug), I was taken very quickly to the labour ward as there were concerns regarding the baby's heartbeat. After approx 90 mins, it was decided that I needed an emergency c-section.

All went well and after returning to the ward the attempts to establish breastfeeding started. The staff were brilliant as one night there was a mass breastfeeding workshop going on as all of us worked hard at it with the never ending patience of the staff. Despite 3 days of trying and with the full support of a couple of outstanding midwives I switched to bottle feeding, something which I felt I had to subsequentlyjustify to staff knowing the drive to breastfeed, hence my previous feedback.

Following discharge I was readmitted within a few days after a bleed from my wound. I was given a side room with an en-suite and was allowed to have my baby stay with me. The care I received was second to none and staff popped by to see me as they heard I had been readmitted which was really nice. After a few more days I was finally sent home with ongoing care provided by my community midwife.

The whole experience for me was traumatic and frightening as nothing went according to plan. However the support I had from all the staff involved in my care, from Nursery staff right through to Consultants and Surgeons was superb and really made a difference.

Story from NHS Choices

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