"Ruined first labour experience"

About: Royal Gwent Hospital / Maternity care

(as a service user),

Prior to labour I was told at my 20 week scan 'by the looks of it your baby has downs syndrome. Go to anti natal and they will explain an amnio'. I was then marched out of the room in tears. The coldness in her statement surprised me.

I was then taken in for an induction at the Royal Gwent after my pregnancy went 2 weeks over my due date.

While on the main induction ward I found the patient care to be aweful, and I was treated like a disruption throughout. I didnt want someone holding my hand but when I asked for some maternity pads at 7am because my waters had broken and I had gone through 2 packets of my own I was told 'well someone has to bring them in for you and anyway, you should have brought your own'. When I advised that I did bring my own, used them all Iin less than 2 hours and my partner wasnt allowed in until the 12pm visiting time, one pad was literally thrown at me and the midwife walked off. After 16 hours of regular contractions I was told to 'man up because they are going to get a lot worse'. I made sure I didnt make a sound through my contractions and didnt complain at all. I was told this when a midwife saw me breathing heavily and holding my partners hand and when I asked if I could be examined to check on my progress, as I had not been examined since 1 hour into contractions.

However, on the main delivery ward the treatment I recieved was fantastic. The midwives were excellent, even though they were incredibly busy. I cannot rate the care I recieved from them highly enough.

However, following the birth I was moved back to the main ward and stayed for 3 days. I was put into a private room and saw a midwife about twice a day. While in hospital a close relative died, so coupled with hormones on one occasion I was upset. I was greeted with 'god your not still crying are you? . You look a mess, get your partner to bring you some food'. I also tried very hard to breast feed my baby and when I buzzed for help to latch him on, an auxillery nurse came in, said that she was in a rush because her taxi was outside, grabbed the babies head, forced him on my breast and left. He wasnt latched on correctly. I requested some assistance (I asked once why my baby suddenly came out in a rash) once, I was treated like a massive inconvenience, regularly tutted at. When my partner brought in a breast pump to help me because my breasts were sore, I was given a 40 minute lecture by a midwife at 3 am stating what I was doing wasnt good for my baby.

With exception to the midwives that actually delivered my baby and the consultant and peadiatric staff that helped my baby post birth who were all amazing, the standard of care I recieved at the Royal Gwent was awful. I did not expect one to one care at any time, nor did I ever suggest that I wanted that and I always tried to ensure I didnt bother them unless it was necessary, but to be treated and spoken to like I was when I was at my most vulnerable was very horriffic for me, and has ruined the first labour experience I had. For this reason I will not be going to the Royal Gwent for any subsequent pregnancies that may occur.

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