Recent experiences of Simpsons maternity(5 Posts)
Had my first DC at Simpsons a few years ago and have forgotten most of the details apart from some pretty negative highlights.
Anyone have any recent experiences of the labour and postnatal wards there? Good, bad, practical tips etc? (I don't qualify for the birth centre unfortunately).
My DD was born 17 months ago at Simpsons. I was not progressing as they would have liked in the birthing centre so got transferred to the labour ward. I don't really remember much about the birthing room itself except that they just had an old chair for DH to sleep on.
Ignore the height measurement they give your baby. All the mum's I know got completely random figures compared to their HV check a week later.
I think the recovery wards are really hit and miss. I had a fabulous nurse, but I really think others were not so lucky.
- I had a catheter but no one told me I had to empty the bag myself, or even how to, so I got a telling off when it was discovered it was full.
- I got a telling off for having a bag on the floor (far enough, it should have been in my locker) but the floor under my bed was not cleaned in the 3 days I was there.
- I was there in January but I remember others saying it was really warm in the summer months.
- I asked for some cotton wool to wipe over DD but no one offered me a bowl, water or even told me where I could find these.
- They only realised I wanted to leave when DH turned up with a car seat!
- Ask for a lavender ice pad (for your sore bits!) They were bliss. Again, I think this was down to the nurse you had as I don't think the other girls on my ward (4 bed) were offered one.
- The food was really good (but they didn't even offer my DH a cup of tea on the afternoon tea round and were a bit put out when he asked). For breakfast the catering staff gave me toast with a separate wrap of butter and jam and obviously expected me to butter it myself (I could barely move post-op) and my lovely nurse did it for me and gave them a telling off! As I said, it seems really hit and miss depending on who you get.
- As far as I remember DH could stay 24 hours (not limited to visiting hours) and they were not strict with visiting times for other visitors.
- My nurse changed DD's very messy meconium poo as I was asleep and DH had gone home!
- drink lots of water. I remember they wanted me to pee something like 250ml twice in one day to check my bladder was ok and I peed 750ml in one sitting - so got lots of brownie points from the senior nurses!
- don't be afraid to ask for assistance. The buzzer is there for a reason and I didn't use it when I should have (at night when baby was crying - the night nurse got us co-sleeping which the morning staff were not super happy about!) I also shouted loads from the loo when I needed help!
- I wouldn't bother with a private room. They seemed to have less privacy than the wards.
- take loads of photos and videos. I don't have any video from DDs first few days and I regret that.
They don't like you closing your curtains (fair enough, they want to check on you and baby) but the Muslim lady in the bed next to me really struggled with this and I only realised why when she left in a full burka!
Overall, for me, it was a pretty negative experience, only made better by the care of one particularly fabulous member of staff.
All the best!
Something to bear in mind is that if Simpsons is full, you may end up at St Johns in Livingston.
This happened to me with DC1 which was terrifying at the time as we were literally a few mins from Simpsons and had just assumed we would be going there. However, St Js were fantastic. It was quiet (me and 2 other mums in that night), the staff on the labour ward were lovely, they made a fuss of DH (fed and gave him tea when I was spaced out on morphine!) and generally very attentive and caring.
I valued the experience so much, i opted to have DC2 there also. Again, a fantastic experience. In and out with DC2 in 7 hours (thankfully a straightforward birth). My family were allowed in to see me outwith visiting hours, and everything was very relaxed and calm.
I found out later that if I had chosen to go to Simpsons for DC2, that in actual fact, when I gave birth, it had been shut again to new admissions, so I would have been diverted to St Js anyway!
I often wonder how straightforward my births would have been had I been one of the last admissions to Simpsons at that time. Would I have got the full care and attention if they were run off their feet? That was my fear and another reason I chose to go to St Js for no 2. Yes it was a bit of a pain to get there (30 mins v 5/10 mins) at the time and for friends and family visiting, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm glad it worked for me.
All the best with your birth!
I've been to ERI twice now and am signed up for my 3rd CS there later this year (unless they are full and I'm in labour naturally). I was there for 4 and 5 days respectively so have a decent amount of experience of the postnatal care.
First time, I went straight from triage to theatre so no real experience of anything. Second time, triage to labour ward and then to theatre.
The care in labour has always been great, although the post natal wards can be a bit chaotic and you may feel a bit overwhelmed.
1) do not be afraid to use the buzzer if you are struggling. No-one wants a mum in tears as her baby is crying and she can't reach him as she can't move her legs. However do not be the woman who buzzes to ask for a hot cup of tea (unless the above applies and it was out of reach). One woman ended up with a telling-off as she basically expected the midwives to bottle feed her baby for her.
2) as for as much help as you need with B/feeding, changing nappies, bathing, bottle/cup feeding until you are confident
3) bring some snacks with you and get your OH to pick you up a coffee/hot chocolate when they arrive each day (there are only two tea rounds apart from those with food).
4) first time round, I had the most awful snorer in my ward, which meant after three nights I had no sleep at all. I asked to be discharged and they said no as LO was not b/feeding well, I said I didn't care anymore. Later that day, I asked if a private room became available and it wasn't needed could I have it. I was transferred at 8pm and the difference for me was incredible. Second time round, there was no need for it, but if you are really struggling, ask.
5) don't let your OH use the loo in the ward (nothing more annoying for the other mums).
6) say if you are itching post epidural/surgery, have trapped wind/ bunged up as there are drugs they can give you to help.
7) outside each post natal ward are units which have fresh towels in. I used to go and just help myself second time round. Also the assistants will help you get dressed after your first shower post a section, just let them know if you think you will need help and they will wait for you. This was potentially the most embarrassing moment of my life, but a godsend in retrospect.
Can say lots more so ask if you have any specific questions .
I don't have recent experience, but am sad to read the postnatal care is still so hit and miss. I was there almost 13 years ago and it was dire (the food was also dire, looks like that has picked up). I chose to have my second baby at St John's which was amazing.
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