"Generally a very good maternity unit"
About: Horton General Hospital Horton General Hospital Banbury OX16 9AL
What I liked
The care I had from the midwives during the later stages of labour was great, I used the birthing pool which was also fantastic (although wasn't consulted about the smell of the essential oils put in it so was stuck with a rather unpleasant lemony smell!!). When my labour became more complicated, the team were wonderful, they got my husband a blow up bed thing to sleep on the floor next to me overnight and I then had a midwife with me all the time to monitor the baby. was checked often by a consultant and senior midwives and kept informed about what was going on and the likely outcomes. I avoided having a cesarean and ended up having an assisted delivery in theatre and the staff were superb - very reassuring and just lovely.
After the birth I had to go back in to maternity a couple of times and the support I received was great, particularly with breastfeeding - I can't thank the midwives enough for that.
What could be improved
I had 5 days of contractions before being admitted and so had not slept at all for 3 days prior to delivery, by the time I was finally admitted, I was exhausted. I had been into maternity several times during the 5 days and sent home each time, whilst I appreciate my labour wasn't progressing enough for them to warrant me ready to be admitted, it was a very frustrating time as I was in a great deal of pain and there didn't seem to be any solution (such as induction to speed things up or admission to adminster pain relief). When I was finally ready to deliver the baby, I was told by the consultant that it was quite possible my uterus would heamorrage as I'd been having contractions for so long (5 days by that point). I have since wondered whether this could've been avoided if I'd been admitted sooner and the process sped up. Later on the day I was admitted, I was moved upstairs to the post delivery suite as there was no room in the delivery suite and I was pretty much left on my own for about 5 hours with no pain relief and without being checked until my husband found a midwife to check me, by which point my membranes were visible and I was 6cm dilated!!! At that point I was rushed back down stairs to the delivery room!
I found the after care was lovely, the midwives, carers and catering staff were all very kind to me, some of the midwives were a little brusque but certainly not unkind. This is in stark contrast to most people's experiences within the post delivery ward - I had been warned by so many women of the lack of care, lack of empathy and sometimes rudeness of the staff on this ward so I was quite concerned about going "upstairs". Thankfully my experience was very different, however I do think that from what I've heard, a touch of empathy would go a long way when dealing with mothers who have just given birth.