"Treated with respect, kindness and professionalism"
About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital Chelsea & Westminster Hospital London SW10 9NH
I initially came here for an over night stay with pre-term bleeding, subsequently laboured in birth centre and labour ward, spent three nights in the NICU (intensive and special care) and three in the post-natal ward so I have seen it from almost every angle! I feel at every point both myself and my baby recieved excellent treatment and I'm so grateful to everyone. The best word to describe the way I've been treated is respect. At every turn staff listen, adapt to suit you and treat you as an individual. Examples of this is the way our, very specific, birth plan was followed to the letter, with staff even adapting their language to suit us. When the birth took an unusual turn they explained clearly why the plan had to change and made us feel part of the process. Another example is once we were in NICU the consultants respected our strong wish not to use formula and gave us the time to see if we could achieve results with breast milk, and I had huge amounts of support to achieve this from midwives hand expressing colostrum to a doula talking us through tricks to start the baby latching. At every turn staff politely introduce themselves and explain their actions and we never felt we, or our baby, were dehumanised. There were also numerous examples of both big and small kindnesses - from a passing midwife taking time out of her duties to comfort me when I was crying outside NICU, staff from the birth visiting us in intensive care to see how I was doing, to ward staff letting us move bed to be window bed when it was clear we'd be here a while. On a practical note I'd like to say being allowed to have my husband stay with me 24 hours was also invaluable and I don't know how I'd have managed without him. The amount of breast feeding support I observed given to mums with their babies on the ward is very impressive, the midwives are constantly checking progress and breast feeding consultants and doulas are on hand to support. The presence of doulas is a wonderful idea and I couldn't have got through my labour without their expert emotional and practical support. The birth centre is also gorgeous with our room feeling like a mix between a hotel and an active birthing playground, I did everything from roll on a ball to have a bath while I waited to become fully dilated and then used their gorgeous birthing pool which was like a spa! If you have got to the end of my ramblings i hope it has helped ease your fears about coming into hospital I couldn't recommend the team highly enough!