Post natal ward hell

(99 Posts)
SilverLake Mon 07-Jan-13 18:25:29

Anyone else experiencing the joys of the postnatal ward?

I'm shattered and want to sleep and amazingly my baby agrees. Meanwhile the woman in the next door cubicle has visitors and one kid (not the baby) has just spent 10 mins screaming his lungs out whilst the adults did nothing.

Please cheer me up with your stories. I'm here for a few days.

DifferentNow Mon 07-Jan-13 18:34:21

Congratulations SilverLake! PN wards are grim. It's the lack of privacy I struggle with. With DD2, I had a fairly traumatic delivery and was in for a few days after. I kept re-living it and just wanted to cry all day so kept my curtains drawn. Every single time one of the nursing staff came into the ward they would throw back my curtains and every single time, once the nurse had left, one if the other mums in the ward would quietly come over and close my curtains again for me, while I lay sobbing. It was all unspoken and very touching.

addictedismoving Mon 07-Jan-13 18:35:51

anyway you can afford a private room?

after dd2's birth the most traumatic part was the night on the post natal ward. we got to the ward at around 2am after being up since 5am the previous morning with dd1. I was shattered after a long day then giving birth! and proplr just kept arriving, aparantly one woman was scared of being on the ward so had to have her mum and partner there till 4am when the nurse finall kicked them out (she arrived about 10 minutes after me) the woman next to me felt the need to call the midwife and try and feed her sleeping baby very loudly every 10 minutes untill 6 am and the baby opposite just wasnt happy. I finally fell asleep at 7am (after dealing with dd2) only to be woken up by partner visiting hours at 8am and some physio who wanted to go through pelvic floor exercises.

at one point I was rocking on the bed in tears praying someone would come and take this thing (my dd2) off me so I could go home and be with my family sad I was delerious with tiredness. The thoughts and feelings I had still haunt me now.

I was relieved when dh turned up at 8.30 and when he offered to take dd2 for a walk so I could sleep I told him where to shove it and that we were going home!

Next time round I plan on having a home birth or paying for a private room, np way I could go through that, or anything like it again sad

I dont think this will cheer you up much tho blush sorry

SilverLake Mon 07-Jan-13 18:41:45

DifferentNow, so sorry to hear you had a traumatic delivery but it's heart warming to hear that one of the other mums was so observant and acted on it.
That's what I must focus on, the good things and not the bad. Staff here are very attentive and I overheard womean in next cubicle is leaving tomorrow. Hurrah.

Pancakeflipper Mon 07-Jan-13 18:41:58

With my first the woman opposite me had 11 people gathered round her bed until 10pm singing and praying. Loudly. Even though only partners were to visit in evenings and leave at 8pm.

The staff wouldn't ask them to leave even though the other 3 of us in the ward asked them to repeatedly.

My bed was near a sink and I keep my curtains closed as Ibwas struggling breast feeding and didn't want all 11 of them staring, so they'd come over run the tap and open my curtains. And stand there and stare Grrrrrrr. Due to my hormones and lack of sleep one of them got my slipper chucked at his head.

AliceWChild Mon 07-Jan-13 18:42:37

Congratulations silverlake!

I too was found sobbing and rocking. They are hell.

Really racking my brain for a better story...

One MW decided we should all be more sociable and threw back our curtains one meal time so we all ate our little meals perched on our beds looking confused with our partners looking even more confused. Then we gradually closed the curtains again.

It's hell - i spent one night on the post natal ward with dd2, and got no sleep at all due to constant feeding and the noise of the others on the ward. Then the next day it was the constant stream of people that kept coming in when all i wanted was rest and privacy -consultant, paediatrician, counsellor, midwife, cleaner, consultant, cleaner ad infinitum. When the bounty lady turned up to ask if I wanted a photo to capture those precious moments she took one look at my face and wisely didn't wait to hear my replygrin

congratulations on your new baby though!

AliceWChild Mon 07-Jan-13 18:47:09

Just remembered when I first arrived the couple in the bed next door had named their baby shakira. The father had changed his ring tone to that bit from that song that goes 'shakira, shakira, shakira' and then has that fanfare bit. I was glad when they left.

Pancakeflipper Mon 07-Jan-13 18:51:46

My second visit with DS2 was quieter and we had a lovely new mum on our ward who told the Bounty photographer to keep trying until she got one of her baby smiling.

ImKateandsoismywife Mon 07-Jan-13 19:03:19

I know its wrong but some of these stories have made me giggle! I'm so glad I was discharged straight from labour ward first time round and had a homebirth with dc2 so have never been subjected to the joys of the postnatal ward.

Congratulations silverlake grin

AliceWChild Mon 07-Jan-13 19:06:04

Pancake that is just brilliant! I wish I had used that. If I end up in one ever again I shall delight in using that. Rather than just 'go away'. What did the bounty woman do?

Sounds like I was pretty lucky. Got taken up and there were a couple of other people there but once they left there was just two of us opposite eachother. Made for a lovely quiet night aside from people insisting on heel pricking dd2 every three hours sad

Pancakeflipper Mon 07-Jan-13 19:11:15

AliceWChild - The Bounty woman spent a very very long time trying to explain to the new mum ( who was utterly lovely) and new father that babies less than a day old don't smile. We had the bed sheets crammed in our mouths to stop the giggles when the new mum said to the photographer "so why do you come round to take photos then?"

I had no intentions of staying in with DS2 but he had low body temperature so we were captured and whisked off to a ward. But made good friends with one mum who had been there 10 days ( iron issues with her baby).

addictedismoving Mon 07-Jan-13 19:27:23

pancake was she being serious?

eagleray Mon 07-Jan-13 19:30:25

Congratulations SilverLake but also v sorry you are suffering on the postnatal ward. I am shuddering at the very thought - due in a few days and really hoping for a homebirth so that I don't have to go through this!

I'm sure that most women on a PN ward are lovely (as shown by DifferentNow's experience) but then you have the visitors, crying, snoring - and I can't think of anything worse than being in a relatively public space at the most vulnerable time of your life.

I have asked about paying for a private room if I have to go in and they said it shouldn't be a problem.

Pankcakeflipper - your stories have brought on laughter-induced BHs! Surely you would need to have the hide of a rhino to be a Bounty photographer...

SilverLake Mon 07-Jan-13 19:48:22

I'm just too mean to spend £900 per night to go over to the private wing. (I got the £900 figure from some other thread on mumsnet so it might not be correct but it's probably not be far off.)

There was a Bounty lady doing photos this afternoon. I said I was feeling far too shattered, she took one look at me and didn't push it. grin What is so special about Bounty photos anyway? I'm sure DH could take just as good a photo...he sure is busy trying.

I have mumsnet to keep me occupied so it's not all that bad.

Pancakeflipper Mon 07-Jan-13 19:52:11

Addicted - she was. She was lovely, sweet and lived in a bemused bubble at life. She sat in her bed surrounded by helium balloons asking the nurses if it was ok for her mum to take the baby home at night so she could get sleep.


After a very very quick delivery with dc4 a year ago my sister persuaded me to go onto the postnatal ward for a few hours to rest before my other 3 wanted my attention at home..

In a room with two beds but to get to the toilet you had to walk past the other persons bed.

And climb over her suitcases (plural)

And her two small children. Loud.

And her husband.

Not fun when you've just given birth

Dogsmom Mon 07-Jan-13 19:56:27

Could you ask your husband to pop and get you some earplugs and an eye mask?
I've literally just sat down after packing my hospital bag and have both of them in there.

Needingthework Mon 07-Jan-13 19:58:25

I hated the pn ward so much when I had DS1, I had DSs 2 & 3 at home. And that was the only reason.
Luckily the births went smoothly.

COCKadoodledooo Mon 07-Jan-13 20:01:19

Congratulations grin

The day after ds2 was born (we were still in hospital post-section), a lady came on to the ward with her newly delivered baby. Into the bed opposite mine. Once her dp had left after an hour or so, she gave baby a quick cuddle and put it in the fish tank at the end of her bed. Shortly afterwards the babe whimpered a bit, which was ignored. It got more vocal but aside from an "oh do be quiet" it continued to be ignored. Full scale yelling ensued (baby was no more than 5 hours old at this point). Midwife comes to check all is well and utterly fucking delightful mother says yes. Mw says that baby is unhappy, mother says there's no way she's giving in to it - "I'm not starting that caper, he needs to know who's in charge and it's not him!". Mw and most of the ward were shock and sad too for the poor chap. Hideous.

Or maybe I'm just too soft. I hadn't put ds2 down at all by that point!

lucidlady Mon 07-Jan-13 20:05:08

I had a private room at Lewisham and it cost me £30 - ask howrah it is, you might be surprised!

lucidlady Mon 07-Jan-13 20:05:30

Howrah = how much

Oh god. My first dd was born in Whitechapel and I was on a ward with a baby who was born addicted to heroin angry his sister who was about 13 had a Winnie the pooh toy which played a certain tune, I have never forgotten it. Poor baby.

Then six years later DD2 born in a nicer hospital but I had a hideous woman next to me who key calling her new baby dd a little bitch and a shithead, I reported her and told them to call social services.

I feel for you OP. xxx

SilverLake - when I was in the same situation a private room cost £70! That was 5 years ago, so it's probably gone up a bit, but if you can afford £100 or so, it'll be the best £100 you ever spend.

Worth asking (next time I'm pre-booking mine!!)

Jollyb Mon 07-Jan-13 20:07:54

pancake I think I can beat your 11 - the woman across from me had 16 visitors at one point. I was mid induction on all fours on my bed and they all kept pulling back my curtain grrr.

There must have been about 4 generations of mothers there and then they had the nerve to complain that the midwife hadn't shown the woman how to bath her baby.

Fortunately this baby is going to be born at a hospital that only has single rooms.

Bubblegum78 Mon 07-Jan-13 20:11:39

I've had 3 children and none of those times were hell.

Yes, NHS hospital and yes I was on the ward not in a side room.

Everything you have described is entirely normal and not at all hellish.

It's a hospital, not a hotel!

I'm seriously beginning to wonder what the public expect from hospitals nowadays!

MzPixielated Mon 07-Jan-13 20:12:57

with DD she was born at midnight so i went into the PN ward in the early hours, unfortunately it was also being used as a early labour ward because they where so full. on one side i had a woman in the throws of labour being sick and on the other side i had a very angry lady arguing with everything anyone said the bounty lady got told to piss off by pretty much everyone. the worst was the girl opposite me whom was still in early labour angrily glaring at me constantly (never allowed to shut the sodding curtains), not the easiest thing to cope with when i was having problems getting DD to latch on (found out at 6 weeks it was tongue tie, i knew it was but all the midwives insisted she didn't * sigh *) home birth anyone?

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Mon 07-Jan-13 20:37:54

I had a c-section so I had my own room. Aside from a super gadgety bed that moved in every conceivable direction but made my arse go numb, whoever was on the floor above me would spend the night scraping chairs across the floor. I know other mums who've stayed in that room comment on that too.

Three very long nights ...

Jollyb Mon 07-Jan-13 20:40:56

bubblegum I don't think expecting post natal wards to enforce their rules on visiting numbers is too much to ask.

mrlazysfishwife Mon 07-Jan-13 20:44:39

The PN ward was like the seventh circle of hell when I had ds1. I swear I have never been more exhausted in my life, and that was nothing to do with crying babies! With ds2 I had a £50 a night private room. Would happily have paid for the more expensive £120 a night room but was v lucky. I was there three nights and it was by far the best £150 I have ever ever EVER SPENT!!!!!!!!!!! smile

Bubblegum - I expect a hospital to make sure that an entire extended family isn't stood 3 feet away from me, shouting into their phones and leaning on my babies cot! I expect that the toilet is actually useable. I expect that when there are only 4 patients in a ward that I can get out of bed and not be stared at by 20+ fucking visitors.

and, like in any other ward in any hospital, I expect that visitors be considerate and fucking quiet.

mrlazysfishwife Mon 07-Jan-13 20:50:41

bubblegum of course I know a hospital isn't a hotel. But that doesn't excuse the women in my bay chatting loudly ALL NIGHT, and basically telling me to F off when I asked them to please shut up! Or the girl in the bed next to me being on her phone, loudly, from 5, yes 5 am onwards. Or the midwives talking to each other VERY LOUDLY in the middle of the night by the end of my bed. Or the mw refusing to help me settle ds even though he was under a phototherapy lamp and my first baby so I no fucking clue what I was doing. I repeat, it was the SEVENTH CIRCLE OF HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe bubble is one of those people who yap into their phone all night and has 73 visitors? wink

StellaNova Mon 07-Jan-13 21:00:09

Congratulations SilverLake!

My first time round I had never stayed in hospital before so had no idea what was going on. When the lights went out at 11 or whenever it was, I was in the middle of changing my first sticky meconium filled nappy and suddenly plunged into darkness. I didn't know there were cubicle lights or where the light switch was and I fumbled around in the dark for about half an hour (with water and cotton wool as I had been advised by the hospital antenatal class rather than baby wipes), entirely unable to work out how the poppers went on the vest and babygro, until I weepingly took baby to the midwife on the desk who said "Goodness! What HAS mummy done to you?!"

DifferentNow Mon 07-Jan-13 21:07:44

Bubblegum no-ones asking to be treated like a guest but privacy and respect cost the Nhs nothing and isn't much to ask for. PN women are generally emotional, hormonal, bleeding and learning to care for their new baby in view of a room full of strangers and any tom, dick or harry who fancies visiting them. I have had 4 DC and it is my idea of hell.

elizaregina Mon 07-Jan-13 21:15:53

you poor thing, i was desperate for private room but the MW told me in that partiucalr ward they were a rip off as not sound insulated she was right - the couple in there you could hear everything and the baby screaming so she must have been able to also hear ours.

i however had a miraculoulsy wonderful night - all babies actually were was the mum talking at NORMAL VOLUME as though it were the middle of the day that was the NIGHTMARE...

v v painful....

elizaregina Mon 07-Jan-13 21:17:35


we expect people who talk in the middle of the night to do so quilety, we expect if you are allowed x guests = then only allow, ask x guests to come in - AFTER WASHING THIER HANDS AND ALCHOL GELLing....

basic human kindness to each other after such a thing as labour or section....

turkeyboots Mon 07-Jan-13 21:23:35

Had horrible time on PN ward first time round. Lady opposite kept complaining about everything, and yelling "and I know very high up people in this hospital"! Didn't do her any favors with midwifes.

I was another who had to deal with other peoples guests, and cubicles were so small that they pushed into mine and u couldn't get to my bag.

And ward had 46 women on it. When one baby cried, it went round like a Mexican wave. I paid £75 for a private room for 3 nights second time round. Was bliss.

StepfordWannabe Mon 07-Jan-13 21:33:17

On my first (high on morphine) night post-section, the angry Russian woman next to me watched her recorded labour and delivery at full volume. I felt like I was going through it myself! Awful stuff.

The next four nights were fine tbh, angry Russian went home next day and the 5 others on the ward were lovely. It was the height of the swine flu epidemic though so no visitors were allowed which was blissful! Earplugs and eye mask are indispensable ;)

With DC 1 I didn't get to the antenatal ward till midnight it was full. I stayed on delivery with DH. I got no dinner or breakfast tho.

With DC2 I had a section so had to stay in. Room of 4. Cubicle 1 very young girl ignoring baby on mobile or tv whole time. Cubicle 2 young girl who refused to try for a poo. Endless poo conversation with everyone. Loudly. Cubicle 3 an Afro carribean lady whose culture seemed to demand 15 women fussing over her 8am to 10pm ignoring visiting hours. LOUD FUCKERS. She refused to let them remove catheter she had no intention of getting out the bed whatsoever.
All of them were bottle feeding.
I was breastfeeding. At about 11 pm the midwives bustled into the ward, picked up my case and wheeled me out in a frenzy no explanation.
They took me to a side room and said I needed a chance to latch and bond. Then they gave me a lovely jab in the arse and I slept for 10 hours.

Had to go back in ward next day but the others had all gone and no one else ever arrived.

Congrats. What did you have?

TameGaloot Mon 07-Jan-13 21:41:02

When I was in with my first we had to barricade ourselves in (or our husbands did) at visiting time as there was a man wielding a weapon threatening to come in as he wanted his baby and 'the stupid bitch' (his wife) shouldn't have it

Shattered, that sounds amazing, what did they give you?

FrameyMcFrame Mon 07-Jan-13 21:53:38

After just delivering my baby and feeling very nauseous I arrived on the postnatal ward to be greeted by the 4 family members of the lady in the next bed along eating fish and chips. which stank the room out good and proper. Couldn't open the window for fear that the babies would get cold!

Steth Mon 07-Jan-13 21:55:21

I had DS at 3am and went onto labour ward at 5am, bed across from me had a girl who spent the entire time on her mobile talking about this person and that person who 'dissed her' and she wasn't bovered blah blah for about 4hrs, then her DP turned up and started arguing about the babys name, then they spent the time discussing how he would sneak past security that night to sleep with her!

Woman next to me had her DC's cot jammed against my bed so I could only get out on 1 side. Midwife's were all really mean and totally unsympathetic. I was crying from lack of sleep and she shouted at me "whats wrong with you!"
I was so sleep deprived from noisy ward at night and constast stream of visitors to every bed during the day. MW's kept whipping back my curtain when I was trying to get some privacy to breastfeed. The worst was when i had my legs spread having my stitches checked and another MW whips back the curtain to my fanny is on full display to the visitors at the bed cross from me..........never again!!! I am due this week and will be requesting a private room or check out asap

Meglet Mon 07-Jan-13 21:59:48

My 3 nights on the PN ward with DS after an EMCS were pretty much the worst 3 days of my life. All the noise, lack of support from midwives and pain have stayed with me for 6yrs now sad.

Second time around I acted like a right diva and got a private room and the midwives to help me, so much better.

Maggie I have no idea!
I'd delivered at midnight and arrived on ward at 5 am so I reckon they took pity on my total lack of sleep.

Although I mainly had lovely midwives there was one who was a compete cow and the contrast was startling.

scooterchik Mon 07-Jan-13 22:12:44

Congratulations! When i was in the PN ward in Homerton Hospital a woman who had just given birth was brought into the bed next to me and had her friend on hand with takeaway chicken and chips and was munching on them like there was no tomorrow. It was the most revolting attack on my senses...I was so relieved when she was finished and got moved to a side room that night. Free for me as I'm a nurse! But usually £70...

ledkr Mon 07-Jan-13 22:17:48

I was so lucky with my last baby now nearly two. There was just me and another woman and we got on really well and had a giggle. We even synced our babies feeds so we could sleep without one if them waking up. Only fly on the ointment was the stupid domestic who crashed in at 6am to change our bloody water jugs putting all the lights on in the ward and yelling "morning ladies"
I had to go back in with her later as she had a cleft palate. I was beside myself and naturally keeping in touch with family by phone. A domestic who was fresh from jezzer Kyle shouted at me for stealing electricity from them cos I was charging my mobile.

Runningblue Mon 07-Jan-13 22:44:02

Ear plugs, eye mask and an iPod with ear phones. Just have to block out the... In my case ... Screaming unattended baby in the next cubicle, the woman watching telly full blast after midnight,then snoring for England, and blah de blah. Ask, ask ask about the private room!

Congratulations and good luck for a speedy homecoming

Fishandjam Mon 07-Jan-13 22:48:02

My experiences with DS and DD were fine. Lucky cos my local maternity unit - Hinchingbrooke - is a small one, so they don't try and kick you out before you're ready. Nice food (yes really!) Midwives mostly lovely, and very hot on booting visitors out once visiting hours are up. And limiting visitor numbers too. Only gripe was the woman in the bed opposite. Her baby wailed a lot, and she just left it in the fishtank. Eventually, in the middle of the night, I buzzed for a staff member (catheterised, before anyone says I'm lazy!) and asked them to suggest to her that she takes the baby for a walk down the corridor, or gives it to the staff to mind, so the rest of us could get some fucking sleep. And lo, it was done grin

DoItToJulia Mon 07-Jan-13 23:02:02

Eugh, post natal ward. I sobbed more or less the whole time I was there. Visiting for family finished at 8 and didn't start again till 12 the next day. I gave birth at 4, was on the ward for 6, DH had nipped home to fetch ds1 and arrived at 6.30, so he had spent hardly anytime with newborn baby and wasn't allowed back till 12, missing the newest part of our baby's life.

Also I was breastfeeding and the baby was feeding pretty constantly. Every 30 mins through the night the MW kept coming to my cubicle to tell me to put the baby in the crib. Obviously I refused.obviously she just kept coming.

They wouldn't loosen the name bands on his ankles either when I asked them to because they were too tight. That was when I got stroppy. I actually said " maybe you didn't hear me? Loosen the damn things"

Funnily enough I was discharged first the following morning.

Newforestpony Mon 07-Jan-13 23:18:48

The ward I was in the night before having ds was just me & 1 other. She popped out for a fag (for about an hour!) then returned after her own mother had arrived to tell her that she really should tell the dp that she was in hospital ready to have the baby any moment. Fag-break mummy-to-be announced that she wasn't even sure which of several men was the father-to-be!!!!

I was given a private room (no charge) the following night once ds was born as he was in NICU. I even got brought breakfast in bed! Thank you lovely NHS :-)

ckwkatie Tue 08-Jan-13 02:14:55

First post but had to share! I was still numb from the waist down from my epidural when a midwife came along and told me I must get out of bed and go to the canteen if I wanted any breakfast. When I apologetically explained I couldn't move she huffed and puffed away, came back 10 mins later and slammed a tray down in front of me with cold toast and soggy cornflakes with temperature room milk already poured on them. Also my son was unwashed from the birth for 24 hours...nothing provided for me to do it was the Bounty photo lady who eventually helped me bathe him because she couldn't bring herself to take a photo of him covered in goo. Due late Feb with baby 2, seriously hoping I get to go home same day!

ledkr Tue 08-Jan-13 07:40:33

I love the way post section they tell you not to lift but are happy tort you carry your strangely heavy tray of food. Dh was getting them for all of us on the ward.

doublecakeplease Tue 08-Jan-13 07:55:05

All private (free) rooms in our hospital - Sunderland. Fantastic staff - they brought coffees - I'm easily pleased. Baby was in nicu so i was upset and lovely auxiliary came and sat with me for an hour on 2nd night. They even let me stay an extra night [usual after section is 2 nights i think??)

Only gripe was my own fault really. Was in the room from about 2am - could barely move after cs - and the glaring light was left on. I assumed it was so they could keep an eye on me but couldn't sleep at all because of it. Lovely breakfast lady who popped in at 7 asked if i was scared of the dark!

plonko Tue 08-Jan-13 08:21:14

Oh no! Some of these experiences on here are awful. I'm 33 weeks with dc1, and having read the whole thread I think in going to be demanding a private room or immediate discharge from labour ward!

MrsHoarder Tue 08-Jan-13 08:43:32

We had one night on pn. Last on one side was lovely, we had a chat and I have her some lanoish as she'd forgotten hers. Was spending a lot of time topless and bfing, fathers were allowed to be there 9-8. So I want impressed when a nurse whipped my curtains back to reveal me to the ward.

But there was one lovely hca who when I buzzed to be helpedgetting ds into his cot so I could change him sent me off to wash and hobble through to breakfast whilst she changed him and made me tea and today an hour early.

I also had one woman in my bay who zoned out and watched TV instead of focusing on her baby. Was v glad when the baby's GM turned up at general visiting (limited by pass to only 2 per bed) and cuddled the poor little mite.

FirstTimeForEverything Tue 08-Jan-13 09:10:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vladthedisorganised Tue 08-Jan-13 09:20:22

Congratulations silverlake!

DD and I were that pair. I was kept in a standard post-natal ward after a C-section (wrong one, but there was no space on the one I should have been in, as they were using it as a labour ward..), so I was the one pressing the buzzer for a drink of water while the spinal block wore off - I knew I was pissing off all the other ladies on the ward, and was told in no uncertain terms that I was pissing the nurses off too! (Didn't get any water apart from when DH visited though)
DD proceeded to scream from 9pm to 5am and no amount of cuddles, singing or feeding would calm her. Since I couldn't move, we had no choice but to sit it out - I felt so sorry for all the other ladies, including two who complained to the nurses ("Isn't there something you can do to shut them up?"), as I was desperate to sleep myself! Turned out she hated the flourescent light that was never switched off, and was perfectly OK otherwise.

Next time it's a private room!

mistlethrush Tue 08-Jan-13 09:44:59

I had emcs (after 34 hrs) so was in for (then) standard 3 nights... First two nights not too bad but on 3rd night new mother arrived at about 9pm (after visiting hours) with partner, mother and apparently two friends. Friends went out and came back 15 mins later with KFC for everyone but the mother. Meanwhile mother, her mother and father arguing (loudly) with medical staff that they should go home despite needing to get test results on blood levels due to haemorage. Friends left at about 10.30pm, but arguments continued, leading to extremely noisy packing up after midnight (normal day-time volume).

DS had slept through all of this, but took this as the cue to start crying - and wouldn't be settled. Sister came and told me I wasn't bf 'right' (although others had commented in the earlier days that DS and I seemed to be getting on really well, and this had actually been the only thing that had gone to plan with the birth. She even tried forcing him on - we found out later that he was starting colic really early and was exhibiting the same movements and cry that he did when it kicked in properly. So I ended up in the corridor at 2am because he was so loud.

The nurses took pity and said they would look after him and sent me to bed - but brought him back (still crying!) at 4am!!! I was so glad to go home the next day.

HRMumness Tue 08-Jan-13 10:05:56

After a very long labour and roughly 3 hours sleep in as many days (baby was back to back) I was wheeled into postnatal at 4:30am. Husband and mother duly kicked out. Left holding my screaming DD, crying my eyes out, unable to get her to latch. Unable to get out of bed due to being still hooked up to catheter etc and not able to reach crib or water that was placed out of arms reach. Buzzed midwives to get help, they were cranky with me and didn't give me much help. One even forcefully held my babies head to my breast, while she screamed and screamed to get her to latch. By the time my husband returned at 8am, I was lying in pools of my own blood as I couldn't get to my bag to change my maternity towels. It took them another four hours before the took various lines out so I could actually shower. The hearing check person didn't bother to check us so I had to get this done in the community. They had one paediatrician for labour and pn ward. We finally got discharged at 10pm that evening, only just making the cut off. I told the midwife in no uncertain terms I was self discharging if they didn't discharge me. There was no way in hell I was staying another night in there.

Startail Tue 08-Jan-13 10:16:54

This is why DD2 was born at home, I absolutely loathed the heat, the noise, the feeling that you were 8 and doing your baby care exam.

I failed the BFing section and eventually lied that DD had fed and left.

theboutiquemummy Tue 08-Jan-13 10:29:37

I am sitting on the ward after a night of breast feeding hell slightly delirious 3rd degree tear of my bladder n Caesarian

My milk won't come in they won't let me home day 3 here n I've had enough

Bounty ladies have just been told to royally F%23%^^€€€$$$!<~~?

Had enough do just told them I'm going home balls to it

Hate hate hate hospitals n the woman next to me has the whole street in every bloody visiting time

babyicebean Tue 08-Jan-13 10:40:25

With the first it was hell - the midwives were condescending to the husband when he queried DD's temp, she was too hot and when finally she was checked on the second night with a lot of tutting and eye rolling, they suddenly burst into life and I ended up with her being transferred to the hospital in the next city with blue lights and wasnt allowed to go with her as I hadnt been seen by a doctor, so spent a night on a ward with seven other newborns and no baby.Admittedly the other mums tried to keep their babies quiet as they could see how it was affecting me, I spent a lot of that night on a chair in the TV room.They also refused to let my sister visit the first night as she wasnt 16 - it was about three weeks before her 16th birthday so the husband informed them he was taking the baby out to see her, had she been my daughter, which is possible due to age gap, they would have not said anything.

The second and third were ok, different hospital and totally different midwives who seemed to care, the last time I was in we were on a c-section ward and there were four of us.

mackerella Tue 08-Jan-13 10:45:00

My antenatal and delivery care were superb, but my experience on the pn ward was horrendous. DS was born early by EMCS after a failed induction. He had a serious medical condition, so was whisked up to NICU while I was dumped on the pn ward alone. Unlike Newforestpony, I wasn't given a private room, just a cubicle on the massive (40-something bed) ward - so I was the only woman there without a baby sad All the other babies cried all night but I didn't have my own to cuddle and distract me from the general hellishness. I spent the whole time feeling weepy and hormonal and anxious about DS (no-one would tell me how he was doing in NICU and I couldn't go up there myself as I was still immobilised by the spinal block). Because I didn't have a baby with me, the midwife ignored me completely, until one burst into my cubicle in the middle of the night to shout at me for not expressing milk for DS and call me a selfish mother. When I said I didn't know how to hand express, she made a few hand gestures in my direction, threw a syringe at me and left hmm The minute I could walk again, I went straight up to NICU, where the contrast was startling - the staff were so kind and helpful, showed me how to express milk properly and get involved with DS's care, gave me frequent updates, let us phone or visit any time of the day or night... I spent most of my recovery time in NICU rather than on the pn ward and discharged myself from the latter as quickly as I could!

Sorry, a bit of a (cathartic) rant there! blush I'm currently pregnant with DC2 (who will also be born early due to the same condition that DS has) and I'm dreading another stay on the pn ward, especially as they are so insensitive to women whose babies need special care sad After reading this thread, I think I'll insist on a side room, even if we have to pay through the nose for it!

addictedismoving Tue 08-Jan-13 10:58:03

£900! I was quoted £90, I think you may be refering to a private hospital rather than a private room in an NHS hospital?

Why dont you ask? I cant believe its £900 there when everyone here has said under £100.

Ephiny Tue 08-Jan-13 11:04:43

£800-£900 sounds like the rate to transfer to the private wing for post-natal care (this is possible in some London hospitals). It's a different thing from having an individual room on the NHS ward, which there might be a small charge for, but won't be nearly as much.

I was there for 10 days! Women opposit had family with her continuously who were very noisy.

The women in the next bed was told off every night for not sterilising the baby's bottle/sleeping while bottle was proped in babys mouth. She kept going off ward for hours on end and leaving the baby with mw, who in the end refused to have her so she just left her on the ward on her own.

Women came in over night to have a rest hmm shouted at her mum/boyfriend all day. The rest if us had prem babies so had to set alarms for feeding every 3 hours. The alarms woke her up so she shouted at us too.

We have a hotel on the top floor where your partner can stay with you, it's around £80 a night, but as ds3 was prem we couldn't go up there.

I'd already been there a week by the time ds was born, it was the longest 17 days of my life!

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Tue 08-Jan-13 11:38:30

Well. With DS it wasn't too bad. Old style mat home, lovely old style nurses, cosy, decent food and only 3 to a room. My only bugbear was that as our room was at the end of the corridor, the breakfast equipment was put in with is and everyone trooped through each morning!
With DD, we were in the new wing of the local general hospital. It looked lovely, but was in fact draughty, cold, noisy and unwelcoming!
It was february, and windy. As I lay in bed, I could see the ceiling tiles lifting in the gusts! We were all freezing and only had one pillow each, so as there were only 3 of us in a 6 bed room, we went round and pinched all of the bedding off of the other beds! The food was diabolical. Thankfully, owing to the fact that the entire wing went very quiet, we often got seconds! As I "hadn't filled in a menu card" all I got to eat on the day following delivery was a sandwich and a small salad! I eventually enlisted DP into bringing chinese takeaway for all of us!
The two ladies I was with were lovely. We chatted all day and a lot of the night and at one point a midwife came and asked if we were having a party! We even had ladies coming in from other rooms to chat! confused

NAR4 Tue 08-Jan-13 11:51:47

Usual moans here about mums who simply left their babies to 'cry it out' which I personally found upsetting and my husband had to practically sit on me at one point to stop me walking down the ward and picking the baby up. Inconsiderate visitors to other mums and generally a lot of coming and going all hours of the day and night.

On the bright side I did strike up a nice friendly relationship with one of the ladies who had been in for a week with a baby who was struggling to breastfeed after being born early. Also we had a little day room (although it was quite cold in there) were you could go and escape from it all for a bit, which I often did throughout my 3 day stay.

All the midwifes were lovely, which always helps.

Congratulations, just remember you will be home before you know it.

NAR4 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:04:54

Just to highlight how lovely the midwifes were, they went to each bed every morning and took breakfast orders e.g. what cereal, what do you want on your toast, what hot drink would you like, and then bought it to us in bed. They also did this for a hot drink every afternoon. They offered to bath my baby or look after her so I could rest if I wanted as I had been in labour for over 38 hours, but I declined. They were happy to look after babies whilst mums bathed/showered and made time to come and chat to each mum every day and make sure she was alright. They were always cheerfull and never made you feel you were an inconvenience.

IdaClair Tue 08-Jan-13 12:05:55

OMG this all sounds awful shock

I have to ask though - why and what is a fishtank and why are they putting babies in it? It can't actually be a fish tank. I'm having visions of aquatic hospital wards. Please help grin

addictedismoving Tue 08-Jan-13 12:44:02

idaclair, think more of an empty fish tank!

lol, here

PetiteRaleuse Tue 08-Jan-13 13:14:25

Where I gave birth (cs) we were in rooms with two beds. The last time the room was really hot and the woman in the other bed had at one point twelve visitors including noisy children who weren't told to be quiet or stop running.

Her and her dh's extended family were in and out all day, both days of the weekend. I'm not allowed painkillers stronger than paracetamol, as I said the room was hot and I was in so much pain. Eventually a kindly mw came in, took one look at me (it was 7pm) and said she needed to examine me and kicked everyone out. She then stayed and chatted with me until 8pm at which point visitors were no longer allowed.

I will forever be grateful to her for that hour of peace. The woman in the other bed was mortified but didn't feel able to stand up to her dh's family and tell them to bugger off she explained later that evening. I got her permission to tell them to quiet down myself the next day, and she was grateful (she'd had a traumatic birth and actually didn't want so many visitors)

I'm so glad it was my last child as the post natal ward was so awful, despite really good food and care.

lakeofshiningwaters Tue 08-Jan-13 14:45:22

I recommend everyone get to hinchingbrooke then - just like fishandjam I had a good experience on the post-natal wards there. Lovely staff, clean, quiet wards and good food. In fact, after dd was born I was moved onto a side room and I begged to go back on the ward. It was just too lonely on my own (dd was in scbu) and I missed the signs of life.

Oh, and one of the midwifes did open all our curtains, but only to suggest we all have a chat for some adult time, and recommended we talk to the lady in one of the bays who was on her 6th baby as 'she'll likely talk more sense than any of us midwives and health visitors put together!'

mycatlikestwiglets Tue 08-Jan-13 16:02:00

I paid for a private room (about £70 per night 2 years ago - although the hospital still hasn't billed me grin) instead of the postnatal ward as I'd heard horror stories. Tbh even the private room was pretty awful - I was totally neglected by the midwives and a total wreck outside visiting hours as DS wouldn't sleep other than on me and I was too scared to sleep with him in the bed, I was left to lie in the sheets I was put on right after delivering DS for days even though they were covered in blood (and I couldn't move for over 24 hours as they hadn't taken my catheter out), the toilet in my private bathroom got blocked and was deemed an infection risk so couldn't be used and noone told me that I had to go to find my own breakfast instead of it being brought to me so I had pringles for breakfast on my first morning there. Next time I'll be discharging myself asap, whether the midwives like it or not.

YokoUhOh Tue 08-Jan-13 16:42:21

I will definitely pay for a private room next time; it's about the same as a hotel and well worth it. Two separate hospital stays when DS was born due to being readmitted for jaundice; I found it marginally less stressful the second time. Huge groups of visitors bearing KFC, the X-Factor on full blast (no concept of headphones), one mum singing Twinkle Twinkle at 100 decibels to her (fast asleep) newborn, I could go on...

Pontouf Tue 08-Jan-13 21:21:37

I can totally recommend the Royal Derby Hospital. People were strictly limited to 2 visitors per bed and were strict about visiting times too, although partners were allowed from 8am till 10pm. It was unvelievably busy while I was there (2 nights post ELCS) and the midwives/care assistants were incredibly helpful throughout the first night when I couldn't lift DS from the fish tank myself. I rang the buzzer about once an hour to get someone to pass him to me and they treated each time like it was the first with no signs of being too busy despite the fact that the ward was full to bursting and there were three sets of twins and one set of triplets! DS wouldn't settle at all the first night so I was awake till 4am trying to get him to sleep for more than ten minutes. At 4am I pulled the buzzer and sobbed on a care assistant who showed me how to swaddle DS. He went straight to sleep. I very very nearly kissed her.

SilverLake Wed 09-Jan-13 04:28:40

Thank you everyone for your replies. I have been busy reading them during feeding ( is that disrespectful to DS?) and I have come out of my grump.

I love the use of the word fish tank. Made me smile when feeling down.

The £900 i was referring to was a transfer to a private wing, I didn't know you could pay say £100 for a private room in an NHS hospital. Mine doesn't have these as I would definitely have gone for that. There is a side room with two beds but I am happy that is reserved for those who really need it. I have a happy and healthy baby and am grateful. Plus I'm also grateful the ventouse worked and I didn't have a section.

I think it's all down to everybody being considerate of the others in the room. Day 1 i was shattered, sore, hardly mobile. Needed to sleep when my baby did but found that hard during visiting hours. Day 2 I didn't particularly appreciate being woken at 6am for the drugs run but since they removed the awful catheter which restricted my movements I was actually happy to be woken for that.

Staff have been wonderful. Back home tomorrow and I'll have to get back into things. In hindesight I've had a good space of time to recover here and been looked after really well even if I have felt a little bullied at times that is better than being ignored.

Right I'd better focus on sleeping now.

Thanks again everyone.

DoIgetastickerforthat Wed 09-Jan-13 04:56:40

Congratulations on your new arrival.

Night 2, post section with DS3. It was 3am and DS3 had been on a feeding marathon but had finally settled to sleep when the doors burst open, all the lights are switched on and a girl who has just delivered is wheeled in. The midwife proceeds, very loudly, to sing "Happy Birthday to ya" because the lass has given birth on her own birthday. I could hear the orderly shushing her, saying there's somebody in the next bay, to which she throws my curtains back and declares it to be ok as I am awake!

The girl was then a right royal pain in the arse for the rest of the night as her baby was unsettled but instead of seeing to her she just kept saying "uunh baaaby, mummy's tiiiiiiired. Be quiet." Ad infinitum.

I wept... Literally sobbed with exhaustion. I'm going in at 8am today to have DC4 - I am not looking forward to the two day stay, wish me luck.

SilverLake Wed 09-Jan-13 05:18:11

Doigetastickerfor that - that is unbelievable! Some people really need a talking to or training. I definitely wish you better luck for later today.

Mytwobeautifulgirls Wed 09-Jan-13 10:31:27

although post natal wards are abpit hellish and u would rather be at home with your brand new addition.
bit of a looser but I lenjoyed it like someone else mentioned u get time alone also one thing what grated on me was visitors coming to my house hours and hours drinking and eating take aways and leaving me to do the tidying uo after 4 days post csection. so in all honesty I liked it in hospital at least people have to get out at a certain time. lol
on the other had the novelty soon wears off and you get back to normality smile

TaperJeanGirl Wed 09-Jan-13 10:55:39

I have had 4 babies at the Homerton, 1 natural but traumatic birth, and 3 planned sections, postnatal ward was hell each time, across the 4 times I had the usual noise, extreme heat, zillions of visitors and mums that would wait till their baby was screaming before deciding that it might be hungry, then taking 15 mins to boil a kettle and make up a bottle then another 15 mins to cool the thing down angry, I also had a mental health patient and her 3 week old baby opposite me one time that shouted on her phone all night and used to bring her baby over to mine and compare sizes and was amazed that her older baby was larger, had the police turn up to remove one of the dads, a woman that screamed for gas and air to have an INJECTION hmm really was awful, I begged for a private room told them I was happy to pay but was told I couldnt as I had to be monitored and obviously a door would obstruct them? And wtf is their problem with curtains?? WHY, when I am feeling sick, shattered, trying to breastfeed, trying to have something to eat, do I have to stare at strangers? I discharged myself the morning after each of my sections, limped off the ward dragging my case, made my bid for freedom! Awful!

I spent a week on the postnatal ward as DD was in SCBU, and it was one of the worst weeks of my life. I couldn't sleep, and barely ate anything - a combination of the food being terrible and me not feeling like eating. DP ended up bringing me painkillers as it was impossible to get hold of them from the midwives.

I was there over Christmas which didn't help.

I had planned a homebirth and will try for one again next time (if there is a next time!)

Geekster Wed 09-Jan-13 22:36:47

Post natal ward was hell. We were there for six nights they were the longest nights of my life. I had next to no sleep, I was seeing things in the curtains and calling my dd the wrong name on the last night. If I'd been in any longer I think I would literally have gone a bit insane.

Geekster Wed 09-Jan-13 22:45:12

The only thing that get me going was the lovely family in the bed opposite me. When they went home it turned into Jeremy Kyle ward. Two of the three others were far more interested in when they could go for a fag than their babies and used to just go and leave them. One night one of the midwifes just caught one of their babies on time before they rolled off the bed when it's mum had gone for a fag. This was the same one who had to go to court to see if she could keep this baby as her other two were in care. Quite sad really and did actually make me grateful for what I've got.

theboutiquemummy - hope you are home now!

TaggieCampbellBlack Wed 09-Jan-13 23:06:37

I've been on the post natal ward today.
I looked after 14 different women, 15 babies. I discharged 5 of them home. I admitted 6 others. I gave them water, tea, meals. I gave a blood transfusion. Checked about 17 blood pressures. Removed a catheter. Talked through discharge paperwork. Gave out drugs. Arranged physiotherapy and phototherapy. Checked blood sugars. Changed nappies. Taught expressing. Held a women as she cried. Got called a stupid fucking cunt and called security. I didn't have a wee between 1pm and 10pm nor anything to eat.

Taggie and STILL they close the maternity wards in London..... Stupid men in charge of the country.

Get some brew or wine in now you are home

PootlePosyPerkin Wed 09-Jan-13 23:24:46

Congratulations! I must be odd as I quite liked the PN ward!

MrsHoarder Thu 10-Jan-13 05:23:56

Taggie, is not the midwives that are being attacked, its the managers who close wards and cut staffing to the bone. Because you should routinely be able to eat/use the loo, and there should be enough staff looking after the patients to make that possible.

DoItToJulia Thu 10-Jan-13 08:36:59

I think part if the problems described above stem from the shortfall of about 5000 midwives that the UK currently has. If that gap was bridged, then maybe taggie could have a wee and a lunch break.

I think the part are some of the users of the services. Calling you a cunt is horrid.

I think the other part of the problem is that we just want to be at home....and anything else just isn't quite. Right!

ImKateandsoismywife Thu 10-Jan-13 09:16:51

Taggie that sounds awful! It really pisses me off that the petition to recruit more midwives failed to get enough signatures to even get the issue discussed in parliament angry

Pandasandmonkeys Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:28

I paid 60 quid per night 11 weeks ago. Best money I have ever spent! Well, I didn't actually pay anything in the end as the staff made a huge error in judgement which ended in a nasty accident, after that we were never sent the bill!! The PN ward was hell

Pandasandmonkeys Thu 10-Jan-13 13:11:13

On earth! I'd done 3 night on there before moving to the private room. My bed was next to the door so the constant coming and going woke me up all the time. I had some extremely loud women on my ward who would talk loudly on their phones all night! The private room was the best thing ever!

MaryJane1962 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:23:04

These stories are so sad, hearing about lack of sleep and privacy etc. I think its only going to get worse I'm afraid to say. The hospital I work in is pressing forward with allowing partners to stay 24/7 on PN wards....and in shared rooms as well as side rooms. To me this is horrific. The thought of someones horrible smelly partner sitting in the chair all night next to my bed thats just separated by a curtain...sitting chatting to their partner as god know what time of the day, using their phones at all hours, using the same bathroom as women who have just had a baby, farting and burping (as men do), bringing their own food in (of no-telling what smells). Yuck. If there is no privacy and rest periods now then god help us in the future.

Wereonourway Fri 11-Jan-13 00:42:43

Ooooh I'm a sunderland lady too doublecake!
Think we are very lucky, my ds was in nicu there too.
I stayed 3 nights on post natal was discharged and then got to spend another 5 nights "rooming in" on nicu as ds was breastfed.
Care was second to none, rooms on delivery suite and post natal ward were fabulous.
The staff in the nicu were particularly fabulous

maryjane it would have really helped me if dp had been allowed to stay on the ward, as I don't think I would have felt so lonely and isolated.

In the days after giving birth I farted way more than dp ever could grin

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