"Excellent midwives and superb postnatal support."
About: Royal Berkshire Hospital Royal Berkshire Hospital Reading RG1 5AN
Posted by Paws4thort
What I liked
I had a very good experience giving birth at the Royal Berks and especially with the postnatal care. After a fairly medicalised birth and major blood loss (with very competent midwives who kept me informed at all stages), I spent several days on Iffley Ward, where the staff (as well as keeping me and the baby well and avoiding a blood transfusion) worked hard to ensure they made the business of looking after a baby for the first time as non-traumatic as possible. They showed me how to change him, clean him, bathe him and worked especially hard to help me breastfeed him. I was impressed that they were prepared to spend the time showing me latching positions and generally helping him feed. This meant that I was able to carry on trying when I felt like giving up, and I am so glad I did.
After a week of continued feeding troubles, I brought my son to the Breastfeeding Clinic and the staff there quickly diagnosed the problem (very significant tongue-tie), arranged to correct it and in the meantime gave me lots of help on positioning and attachment to work around it. I have now been inspired to qualify as a Peer Supporter and now help other mothers as I was helped.
Thank you staff on Iffley Ward and the Breastfeeding Clinic.
What could be improved
Doing a check for tongue-tie on the ward would have helped me understand why breastfeeding was so difficult and might have helped fix it more quickly. Even just checking the babies of mothers who intend to breastfeed would help.
I had initially hoped for and requested a water birth, but in the event I was strapped to a bed and monitored continuously. This was obviously deemed necessary by the midwives in charge, and I was in a haze of pain so may have missed some of the talk, but I would have appreciated a bit more discussion of why it was necessary and what had happened to my water birth! It's a small complaint though - generally I was very impressed by the standard of care of all the midwives, doctors and anaethetists.
Note: On maternity wards, the accommodation is likely to be same-sex!