Elsie, Tees Valley
“I never saw the same midwife twice and my husband used to joke how they were ‘I’m sorry I can’t help with that’ brigade. If I just wanted to speak to a midwife I had to call between 8.30 and 9.00am or I’d missed my chance for the day. I’d be happy to look at some private care next time.
On the delivery ward the midwives were great, but on the ward they were sometimes rude, as if they couldn’t be bothered with me. I had a post epidural headache and one said oh calm down, everyone gets a headache sometimes, get on with it.
As a first time mum I had no idea what kind of care to expect, and can’t quite believe some of the stories I hear of women being offered a choice of birth locations, or home births, or even just having the same community midwife throughout their appointments. OH and I would love another child but I have serious fears of going through the level of care I had before”
First time mum, London
“I’d planned a homebirth with my first son. My midwife was very supportive of my choice, which to be honest I didn’t actually expect as a first time mum.
Unfortunately I ended up being transferred into hospital after a long labour and my midwife didn’t transfer with me. I have to admit that was a bit unexpected, in fact it was actually quite unnerving. I had never met the midwife who delivered my baby, she delivered him safe and sound but the whole experience was disconcerting, particularly since I had built up a relationship with my original midwife over the preceeding months. Apparently it was something to do with the number of hours she was allowed to work. It sort of defeated the object of her getting to know me and vice versa!”
Mum of two, Cornwall
“Due to the one to one care I received from my independent midwife I was able to enjoy my pregnancy and birth experience feeling empowered as a mother and confident in the trusting relationship we had built together.
I also think something that kept me very positive during the whole experience leading up to labor was Vlogging my experience on YouTube for my friends and family to see. After not very long I begin to have others watch my videos which was exciting and kept me positive and motivated to have a good pregnancy. I would suggest this same strategy to most expecting mothers. I personally bought my first camera I used to film here but I’m here it can be bought anywhere.
I also believe that due to the positive experience I had it aided a quick recovery postnatally both physically and emotionally which has enabled me to bond with my baby and breastfeed successfully”.
I had three caesareans: two emergencies and an elective. The first was very traumatic, ending in a general anaesthetic. The other two weren’t particularly unusual but I still found them scary at times, and for all three I had midwives I had never met before.
They were all nice and with some I very quickly built up a rapport but I would have found it really comforting to have had my lovely community midwife with me. I was absolutely thrilled when she came to see me in hospital after my second baby was born. Despite there being eight years between my first baby and my third, she was comparing the way number three breastfed with what she remembered from number one! She really knew us. Birth number one in particular would have been a lot less upsetting with her at our side. And I think we would have got over the experience more quickly.