What Mums Are Saying Part 2

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Vicky, Cornwall

” I was fortunate not only to have the same midwife throughout pregnancy and birth, but one who also supported me completely in my choice to have a homebirth. By the time I got to the birth we’d built up such a strong relationship that I had total trust in her, which gave me immense confidence in my ability to have my baby at home.
It went brilliantly, my son was born in a pool in our sitting room, just as I’d envisaged. I strongly believe that this was in a large part down to my faith in my midwife and my calmness in being where I wanted to be for the birth”

Angela, Peterborough

“I’ve just had my 3rd baby and I’m in a new area from Emily Imagewhere I had my other two. I attribute the success of my births heavily to staying active and healthy during my entire pregnancy process. I was sure to buy running shoes that fit my increased support needs needs from Swift Runners and I believe this made a world of a difference in my daily mood and the health of the baby. I made sure to go to their running shoe reviews so that I knew which shoes were best for me.
I was amazed as I got to see the same midwife for every appointment before the birth, whereas with the other two I never saw the same midwife twice. I gained a good relationship with my midwife this time and although I didn’t get her at the birth, she made sure she got to come yesterday to discharge me so she could see how I was getting on and see baby, she gave me a big hug as well which I just thought was lovely as I never gained any sort of relationship with the midwives with the other pregnancies.
I also got lovely midwives at the delivery one of which was a student but felt absolutely at ease with them, again unusual from the others”

Mum of two, London, writes:

“When I was pregnant with my first child, I saw a different midwife every time I had a prenatal appointment (literally).
When I arrived at hospital after 2 days of horrendous back pain (my baby and I were back to back when I went into labour) the first midwife who was assigned to me was monosyllabic and made me feel like I was making a fuss. My labour went on for so long that I got through two more midwives (one of whom was very nice) before I eventually gave birth by emergency caesarean (after having pethidine and an epidural).
Looking back, I think that having an unfriendly, unfamiliar midwife looking after me when I first arrived at hospital increased my fear about the birth and certainly didn’t help me feel safe and supported. The birth turned out very differently to how I’d envisaged it (I’d planned to have my son in a birth pool at the birth centre, with no pain relief). I felt sad about this for a long time”

Emma, Norfolk, writes:

“With my daughter, I lived in busy, busy South London and never saw the same midwife twice.
My care was awful, I had so many complications and they were all dismissive/couldn’t be bothered. I delivered at Mayday hospital in Croydon and had a terrible labour (3 days) with some awful midwives including one who told me I shouldn’t need an epidural (after being drip induced) because women in Africa give birth hanging from a tree!!! Even when I did get the epidural 6 hours later they did that wrong, but that’s another story.
I’m currently pregnant again and now live in South Norfolk. My care has been much better.  I have seen 2 midwives the whole way through and one of them wrote to a consultant at the hospital on my behalf asking for a c-section for me based on my previous birth (now booked). I think alot depends (unfortunately) on areas and budgets”

Mum of one, Cornwall

“It seems absurd that after 7 months of building up a relationship with my lovely community midwife, when it came to the birth she wasn’t with me. I wanted the security and peace of mind of the hospital environment but I would’ve loved to have a midwife I knew by my side.
The midwives I saw during the birth were all very kind, but I really do think there should be some way for community midwives to deliver their mums’ babies in hospital”

What Mums Are Saying

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What mums are saying

Elsie, Tees Valley

“I never saw the same midwife twice and my husband Pregnant woman laughingused 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”.

Nicci, London

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.

What mums think (according to a Quality Care Commission Survey)

A survey of NHS Trusts carried out in 2010 into Women’s experiences of maternity care in the NHS and England found that:

  • 83% of women said that they were given a choice about where to have their baby, but only 74% said that they were given the choice of having their baby at home
  • Of those mums who had seen a midwife for antenatal checkups, 43% had not seen the same midwife ‘every time’ or ‘most of the time’
  • During labour and/or birth 22% of respondents reported that they had been left alone by midwives for doctors at a time when it worried them and 29% did not always feel involved in decisions about their care
  • Only 25% of women had previously met any of the staff that looked after them during labour and birth.
  • Unsurprisingly the survey showed that if a woman had previously met the staff caring for them during labour, they were more likely to have confidence and trust in them
  • 21% of women said that they would have liked to have seen a midwife more often after the birth of their baby
  • Of those respondents who stayed in hospital after the birth 47% said they were not always given the information or explanations they needed and 37% felt they had not always been treated with kindness and understanding
  • Only 36% of women said that they had received consistent advice from midwives and other carers with regards to feeding their baby (breast or bottle), 22% said that they had not received practical help with feeding and 22% said that they had not received active support or encouragement
  • Only 20% of women said they had one midwife who looked after them during labour and birth.  43% reported that three or more midwives looked after them at this time (2007 Survey)
  • 65% of women felt they ‘definitely’ got the pain relief they wanted. 28% felt that they had ‘to some extent’.
  • 64% of women felt that they were able to move around and choose the position that made them feel comfortable ‘most of the time’ in labour

Sources

www.bmj.com/

www.midwifery.org.uk

http://www.independentmidwives.org.uk