"Birmingham Women's Hospital- Maternity Care"

About: Birmingham Women's Hospital

(as the patient),

I went into labour on a morning around the Christmas period, everything was going well. My contractions were progressing nicely, until the evening. My contractions were 10 minutes apart so my partner phoned the birth centre, the midwife on the phone said that they expect me to be having 3 contractions every 10 minutes, so in their eyes I was not ready to be admitted.

I was in so much pain that by late evening my partner took me to the birth centre to be checked out; I was 3cm dilated and given some stronger pain killers, which seemed to help. The midwife said that she would expect to see me at 7am the next day.

I arrived back at the birth centre the next morning, after not having much sleep. I was checked out but told that I was not dilated enough, so would not be admitted to the birth centre. I did not want to leave the hospital so was admitted to a ward where I was to a midwife would come and see me and give me some more pain relief, this did not happen and about 4 hours later; my partner went to the desk and asked for some pain relief. Other than that I had no interaction with a midwife.

Later in the day, they did normal checks like checking the baby's heart rate etc. At about 1am I wanted more pain relief and was checked by a midwife, who administered some pethidine, which only worked for an hour.

The time seemed to drag until 4pm the next day when another midwife who was so lovely, told me that I was 4cm dilated and could go down to the birth centre, had to wait a little until the could get me down there.

When I arrived at the birth centre I was shown around and checked. About an hour later another midwife checked me and asked how long ago I had a contraction, I said about 10 mins or so, the midwife checked the baby's heart rate and it kept dipping.

So I was rushed round to the delivery suite where I was examine by a consultant; who stated that I was still only 3cm dilated and my waters had broken, which I did not know. The midwife who was in the room with me stated that she had queried my waters breaking when she administered pethidine to me; but did so without informing me.

I was then given antibiotics in case of infection, and syntocinon to help bring on contractions, this did not seem to work, I had an epidural in case my contractions became stronger. I had a procedure done at least twice where a blood sample was taken from the baby's scalp to check oxygen levels, which came back ok.

Eventually I was rushed round for an emergency c- section; which went good. The surgeons' mentioned that my baby was not likely to come out naturally as my uterus was of an hourglass shape.

I was taken back to the recovery room and everything was great with my postnatal care. However no one came to talk to me about the problem with my uterus or if my delivery could have happened sooner.

I am also deeply upset and annoyed that no one took the time to talk to me and tell me what was going on in my labour; or even ask me what was happening.

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Response from Kathryn Bishop, Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. Reading your comments I see that you felt let down by the lack of communication in the antenatal stage of your stay. I am sorry that this has been your experience. However you have let us know that you had a ‘lovely’ midwife and that the postnatal care was great-thank you for this.

As with all of the postings I cannot comment on the details of your case. However, please feel free to contact us directly if you would like us to explore your issues in greater depth. You can either call me on 0121 627 6855 or you can email complaintsbwh@bwhct.nhs.uk.

Our staff do know that communication is a fundamental part of midwifery care and try hard to keep the women informed of their progress therefore it disappoints us all when this appears not to have been maintained in all cases. I will feed back your comments to the Head of Midwifery and your comments may be used as an example in our communication training.

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