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To Ask for your experiences of post natal wards

(458 Posts)
RozziPringle Tue 26-Jul-11 16:57:57

Mine was Noisy and hot with incredibly overworked midwives. The most memorable incident was around 12 hours after a c-section i was made to get out of bed to walk along 5 corridors to shower, doubled over in agony. When i told the widwife i wasnt going to make it and i felt faint she tutted and muttered about me been lazy under her breath.
There were some fantastic midwives Don't get me wrong but they seemed few and far between.
Im due to give birth in 3 weeks and im dreading going through all this again

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 26-Jul-11 17:32:06

One of the worst experiences of my life was the post natal care after the birth of my son (first child). The midwives were nothing short of bullies. DS was delivered by Ventouse (under epidural) and I was really really shaky on my feet the next day. I was ORDERED to get up and learn how to bath the baby although I could literally hardly stand. Even the consultant who came round later was horrified at this! I was also told off for being a reluctant breast feeder (they really were the Breastapo) and for asking for my son to go into the nursery so I could sleep for a few hours. Did I complain. No, too shell shocked, too worn out by the badly managed labour (the ante natal care was only marginally better)

Now, i am an intelligent woman but I was reduced to a gibbering wreck, and all this in one of London's largest teaching hospitals.

COmpletely different with DD in a different hospital - I of course had grown in confidence as a Mother then which helps. Plus the whole atmosphere on teh post-natal wards was different. Plus the stay was shorter!

Mrsxstitch Tue 26-Jul-11 17:33:05

I was too scared to complain. The MW who was shouting at me had me do convinced I was a rotten mum I didn't want anyone else to think badly of me.

This time I am actually considering an irregular discharge as soon as the anaeasthetic has worn off enough for me to hobble.

oiwheresthecoffee Tue 26-Jul-11 17:34:00

These are awful. I feel so sad for all of you sad

paddypoopants Tue 26-Jul-11 17:35:35

Terrible. It was understaffed at night. I arrived at 10pm and after an epidural and loads of stitches couldn't get out of bed (not helped by the fact my bedside was broken so I had to shimmy down the bed to get out which was agony) Noone came near us all night so my baby only got fed at 7am next morning when I managed to get out with the help of the woman in the next bed. Noone ever came when the buzzer was pressed and i got told off the next night for coming to look for a midwife for a woman who couldn't get out of bed. The bathroom had rows of jugs of pee in it from all the woman who had to show they could use their bladders- but they never checked them.
It was a truly dreadful experience. When they made me stay in another night I literally started sobbing- I hadn't slept for 3 days previously. They promised me they would get the baby for me if I went to sleep - someone came at 5am and shoved ds in the bed and disappeared. I was so worried I would squash him as I was so exhausted I couldn't sleep. I phoned my dh at 6am to tell him he had to come and get me out. If they hadn't discharged me after pleading with them I would have discharged myself.
No staff at night yet loads of breastfeeding midwives during the day- it was stupid. The women in our ward were so desperate to get home because it was so horrendous at night that they weren't going to hang around to get any more breastfeeding help. (and I am very pro breastfeeding).

MrsKravitz Tue 26-Jul-11 17:35:37

I felt so bad and kept telling them. They bitched, tutted, sighed and moaned at me for saying I didnt feel right. One threw pads at me from behind the desk when I asked. Turned out they finally checked my bloods after 4 days and my haemoglobin was under 4! (when I say checked, I mean checked the results, not new bloods).

AtYourCervix Tue 26-Jul-11 17:36:29

I'm nice. I don't shout at people, I try my bloody hardest - But I cannot split myself 20 ways at the same time. I cannot spend an hour helping a woman breastfeed if there are 12 other women needing me at tthe same time. I cannot discharge you and deal with the mountains of paperwork if any other woman or baby is ill.
Most days working postnatal I get no chance to wee let alone have a drink or break and yet still at the end of the shift thee is still a list of jobs that needed doing 3 hours before.

northernrock Tue 26-Jul-11 17:36:41

oiwheresthe coffee
The aneasthetist, who eventually and very reluctantly turned up to give me an epidural, all the while complaining about being called out of a meeting, did not wait until I was through a contraction before attempting to insert a needle into my spine, so I did tell him to fucking well wait until my contraction was finished.
Then he said "good girl" after doing the epidural,and I turned on him and said through gritted teeth that seeing as I was in labour I could safely be called a woman. TWAT!!

CarrieOakey Tue 26-Jul-11 17:37:20

3 sections in 3 different hospitals. 1st experience with DD awful post natal ward (although section and immediate post op care fab). 2nd experience with DS at York hospital - absolutely bloody brilliant. 3rd experience okish but I knew what I was doing by then and what to expect so that made it a little easier.

MrsKravitz Tue 26-Jul-11 17:37:50

You may be AYC but not all are.
I am also a HCP and know what it is like on the other side.

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 26-Jul-11 17:37:53

first time around, baby born Hogmanay, MWs all having a party, got very stroppy when I tried to get someone to help me with bf'ing, then they came and snapped at me because she was crying ("FGS, have you tried feeding her?!")

Food dreadful. Bizarre mix of mums on the ward, which meant things were a bit strange (got even stranger after another new mum battered on the door while I was in the toilet, then when I came out, as fast as possible, she glared at me and told me I had made her shit herself!)

With no's 2 and 3 got a 6hr discharge, and was sitting in the comfort of my own home with a chinese carry-out that evening- bliss!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 26-Jul-11 17:38:15

"Did any of you say anything when you were spoken to like utter shit ?"

Post-birth, if it hasn't gone 100% hunky-dory, you can feel like you've been hit by a truck, you're very reliant on the staff, you're wearing your PJs or confined to a bed and you're not at your most assertive. I don't have a partner but remember thinking at the time they'd be far more use in the post-natal situation than they are at the birth itself. Frankly, I was so glad to get out of the place that I've never been back to complain

catgirl1976 Tue 26-Jul-11 17:40:18

Atyourcervix - do women just leave after delivery? This is now what I am planning to do as I do not want to go on a post natal ward unless there are medical complications

Also (this may sound stupid but) WHY do you have to go on a post natal ward? Why are you not just send home if you are healthy. I am pretty much of the opinion I will be leaving as soon as I have delivered so how will this work?

AtYourCervix Tue 26-Jul-11 17:40:25

Makes me feel like shit to think that all of that up there ^ is what I do day in day out. It's just not good enough.

MrsCog Tue 26-Jul-11 17:40:31

Please name and shame the hospitals on here and tell us the good ones - it might help people make decisions about their care/what to expect and how to be more prepared to deal with it.

Kladdkaka Tue 26-Jul-11 17:40:39

Awful. My daughter fell asleep as soon as she was born and slept and slept and slept. I kept asking if I should wake her up and feed her and the midwives kept saying no, leave her, she'll wake up when she's ready. This went on for over 12 hours. Then a new midwife came on shift and absolutely tore into me for not waking her up to feed. She shouted at me in front of everyone telling me that it was child abuse and that people like me shouldn't have babies. She then woke daughter up, who was still sleeping, and fed her, all the while pushing me away and refusing to let me do it.

MrsChemist Tue 26-Jul-11 17:41:48

Hated it, but that's because I couldn't sleep because I was nervously checking PFB every few minutes. They were really busy, but still found the time to try to help me bf. There were only 4 beds, any only three of us in them, so it was quiet.

I was just tired and achey and anted to be home.
The only thing that pissed me off is that they said I couldn't leave without DS having a feed. I wanted to go home so badly, I just gave him a bottle.

With this pregnancy, I mentioned my concerns to the mw booking me in, and she said that they like women to stay in, but can't stop you leaving. This time, if I'm not happy, I'm just going to demand to be discharged. If they think I'm a bossy cow, then fine. I'd rather be bossy but happy.

AtYourCervix Tue 26-Jul-11 17:42:22

most of the women on a post-natal ward are high-risk, high BP, bleeds, caesareans, instrumentals, sick babies, diabetes, first-timers etc. The healthy ones rarely get the choice to stay. there's no room for them.

oiwheresthecoffee Tue 26-Jul-11 17:42:35

northern rock bet he loved you ! I cant imagine being so alone and frightened and being spoken to like that.
I didnt mean that comment as in "why didnt you say anything ?!" sort of way im just so shock that people would treat another person like that sad

Mrsxstitch Tue 26-Jul-11 17:43:21

I agree with how it must be for MW but to me nothing can justify getting in a woman's face and screaming at her while she sobs because her baby is slowly starving due to no milk.

Nor does it condone accusing a new mother of not loving hwr baby. I still feel traumatised 6 years later.

btw I changed my bed to save the MW's work, I did try

catgirl1976 Tue 26-Jul-11 17:44:09

Thank you atyourcervix. This is my first time so I am totally ignorant. I was getting the impression you were somehow forced into staying so that is a relief. Obvioulsy I understand if there are problems then it would be necessary, but if all goes well I will just want to leave.

PS I am sure you do a great job and am sorry if this thread is upsetting you.

Katisha Tue 26-Jul-11 17:44:28

This is 9 years ago but it was awful.
Noisy, full of families barging about at all hours bringing really smelly food in and bellowing.
People wailing at night.
Midwives suddenly taking it upon themselves to supplement DS2 with formula (I didn't realise how stupid this was at the time, but he subsequently turned out to be allergic to it)
I kept asking to go into a private room and they kept saying none were available, until they came and took my blood pressure and all of a sudden a provate room WAS available to me.

Katisha Tue 26-Jul-11 17:46:59

I should add in the interests of balance, that my time with DS1 was loads better, which is why the situation in a different hospital with DS2 came as such a nasty surprise.

paulapantsdown Tue 26-Jul-11 17:48:56

I can echo a lot of the above posts - great ante natal care, terrible post natal.

I have actually talked to a midwife since about this and she confirmed what I already believed - they are interested in the pregnancy/birth part and have absolutely NO INTEREST in you afterwards.

With a couple of exceptions, the midwives were a bunch of cows the first time, second time I checked myself out 3 hours post birth - couldn't wait to get out.

zelda1982 Tue 26-Jul-11 17:49:18

I mut be in the minority of havaing quite good aftercare. My 1st dd's birth (7 years ago) was the worst as i'd had an em c section and was knackered. The aux nurses were very abrupt (god i hated the bed bath i had about an hour after the c section, i thought they were going to rip my wound back open) But all the midwives were lovely.

After my 2nd and 3rd births it was all great. Lovely midwives before and after. If (and thats a big if) i have another i think i would try for a homebirth, just for the experience.

NoobyNoob Tue 26-Jul-11 17:50:46

God, I must be one of the lucky ones who has a decent hospital nearby!

Mine was fantastic, both through the labour and on the ward. I got nice hot food, help with breastfeeding, they even took my DS for me so I coud get a few hours sleep as I'd had a long labour.

I had to stay in for a few nights as I'd had a rough time, and they couldn't do enough for me. Painkillers on tap, regular checks with me and DS.

I find that people are very quick to give you horror stories regarding anything to do with pregnancy. No two pregnancy or birth experiences are the same, so there's a chance it'll be better this time.

I'm 14 weeks pg today, and you never know - when I have my second DC I might have shit care - but I'll go with my positive story and hope it's the same this time round.

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