Discharge from Hospital - what do you need to know?(19 Posts)
Hello Mums (and I'm sure Dads),
I am a midwife who is looking in to ways to improve our service and am currently trying to update the postnatal information that we give to our new mums as they are discharged from hospital to community care.
I am trying to do a bit of research to find out what sort of information you feel that you need to know when leaving hospital.
Currently our information includes details of visits from your community midwife and health visitor, registering the birth, breastfeeding support groups, sleep safety advice, postnatal excersises. Emergency contact phone numbers, signs of if a baby is unwell and signs of postnatal depression.
I would really appreciate feedback from mums on if you were given information similar to this when you left hospital.
Did you find any of it useful?
What would you have liked to have information on and didn't?
Was the information you were given easy to follow?
I have just been reading the thread on 'postnatal care and how to improve it' that features some awful experiences and I hope that some of you would appreciate how some midwives are trying to make things better bit by bit and hopefully with some good feedback from you, this is one bit we can improve on.
I appreciate all of your comments - Thank you
How about a specific information sheet for mums who have to leave their babies in the hospital?
I had to leave mine (born 30 weeks) and it was horrible when i got home and opened the booklet i was told to read and its first words were welcome home baby. However, i still needed some of the info i.e about registering the birth (i was in a new city), what expect to be happening in terms of your body. If it was a prem baby leaflet you could explain about expressing, storage in the hospital for milk, procedures over visiting etc as well as support lines. I will stop but want any more ideas send a message!
I'll second the comment from Loopsy, It seemed to take an innordinate amount of time to get the paperwork done, dragging on and on. I also was kept in an extra night because my first born lost quite a bit of birth weight due to poor feeding and traumatic birth. They kept me in even though the following morning he was exactly the same weight! And then sent me home I was so exhausted due to busy noisy ward, I would have been more relaxed at home and probably DS would have fed better.
What Loopsy said x10. It was really detrimental to my bonding with my twins to be in hospital, not being cared for.
I was not waiting for the paperwork though, but for the paediatrician to do the new baby check and after 7 hours we had to just walk out, feeling like really naughty people stealing our own babies.
I think what you have outlined would be great to receive, particularly what care to expect next (from mws and hvs), but I didn't get any of it.
What I would have loved, and didn't get, would be a single page sheet of midwife, health visitor visits, etc. We just get told that the midwife will visit you on day 2 (or whatever) and then go from there. I appreciate it might vary, but a sheet which says how many times the midwife visits and roughly when; when the health visitor takes over; jobs, which appointments we need to book and which we get called to would be great.
The biggest thing I would say is that the pack I got had been photocopied and photocopied until it was all blurred and off centre. Whatever packs you put together, keeping a couple of master copies is a good plan!
Thanks so much for all of your comments - it is always awful to hear of women having poor experiences.
There are a lot of midwives though working hard to give women a positive care experience and this is why your feedback really helps.
I think it is a very important comment from mrspear about considering the needs of women with babies on special care.
We are aiming to produce a booklet to get away from leaflets which should make it more legible.
Would you have preferred to get given this information as you are welcomed to the postnatal ward so that you can read through the information whilst in hospital?
Did you have enough information on bathing baby or sterilizing bottles? Did you have enough information on looking after stitches (c section or perineum)
This is all really helpful stuff - thank you
I had an emergency section so I could have done with some information about recovery from surgery. I was avoiding coughing and ended up feeling quite ill with a lot of phlegm (TMI - sorry). My mum searched online and found a leaflet from another NHS trust about how to cough (i.e. don't worry about it too much, hold a cushion over your stitches if you feel nervous) and it would have been helpful to have had that in hospital.
Also, some trusts provide leaflets on post-section excercise and scar-reduction, which mine didn't. I would have found those useful too.
And you're right - it would have been nice to have all this on the ward.
Also - information about bathing the baby? Pffft! I phoned my mum! No idea what first-timers with no family help do!
It would have been great to get all the info leaflets on the ward pre-discharge, rather than one leaflet on how to chase a MW visit, then one on how to contact a HV from someone else, then someone else coming to give me a leaflet about physios, then being sat down for a lecture on contraception and given a leaflet, then someone else coming in and telling us about the need to register the birth, then the Bounty woman coming in and telling me if I didn't give her all my contact details I wouldn't get the form to get child benefit (when I told her where to go she said she'd check with her boss - she stood outside the door for 30 secs then came in again with the forms!), then someone else giving a leaflet about feeding, then someone else wanting to talk to us about something else...
Sounds like you're doing a great job already - thank you for putting effort and thought into this.
Oh yes, on the ward would be great. I had a hideous long labour with DD1 and she was knackered. I, on the other hand, only slept fitfully because of the noise. It would have been a good time to read all that stuff.
Looking after stitches would be good - didn't get anything on that. We also got a leaflet on pelvic floor exercises which said start on day one. I had forceps and couldn't even feel those muscles until about day 14. It would have been good if that was a bit more comprehensive, because when I mentioned it to the midwives they all said, "oh yes, don't worry about that at all".
Sounds like you are doing a great job. So nice to have someone thinking about all this. Have you also thought about an insert for those having a homebirth - it would be nice to have had something about paed checks, etc with DD2?
Agree about ridiculous length of time to wait before being discharged - DD born Fri 7pm, discharged Sat 5pm, despite having a hb booked and therefore being told I would be able to leave whenever I wanted. And the mws on the ward couldn't agree how long I 'had to' stay in, due to induction three days after membrane rupture The only reason I stayed was because the last thing they gave me was my painkillers...
We were shown how to bath DD (think they were trying to entertain us to stop us complaining!), lots of people came to tell us stuff, though nothing about episiotomy stitches. Someone (I have no idea who) did want to look at them, though. I declined.
I found the info useful, but it would have been nice to have it while on the ward. I had a 3rd degree tear, and I think the information in the booklet as to what was normal, how long to get back to normal etc could be more comprehensive.
When I was stiched up in theatre, the surgeon said to come back into hospital for a six week check and I would be sent an appointment. When I mentioned this to my otherwise brill community midwives, they said just the GP would check at 6 weeks. When I saw the GP all she said was do you feel normal down there??! No check. What is normal!!! It would be good to have things like this covered!
I'd have liked info in how to look after my c-section scar. I got all the info from mumsnet
How about something on local mum & baby groups to go to? I had my NCT group so had people to go for a coffee with once I fell up to it, but if I'd not had that I could have been very isolated as I didn't know anyone with babies. I did get one for breastfeeding support groups, but just general baby groups would have been nice.
The breastfeeding sheet I got was very useful, it had the big helpline numbers on it (which I used) and all the local groups (which I also used). I can't remember what else I got. There were so many bits of paper and the doctor went through them at top speed and it was all a bit overwhelming to be honest.
I think info on looking after a scar would be good, although I've never had a cs, I would imagine that sort of info would be extremely helpful.
TBH, I'd just have appreciated it if the info that you describe was given to all women. My bugbear is the lack of bf support or even basic instruction. So a list of support helplines etc would have been very useful. I had to come on here too but ultimately, chatting to people online, lovely as they were, wasn't enough. I could cry when I read my post asking for help, even three or so years on.
Info about what to expect in first few days: baby only sleeping on you, strategies to manage, constant feeding etc. Wish I'd known. Lack of sleep was just the worst.
I was actually given a really useful 2 page Q and A my my midwife after delivery. I had 3 home births so don't forget the homebirthers too!! It's not just those being 'discharged from hospital' who need the answers
The sort of questions on it were the things that, had i not read, i would have called the labour ward/midwife/GP, such as why newborns seem to have a cold (the sneezes, snots, coughing up phelgm etc - we thought DD was really sick until we read the sheet that it was completley normal and was congested from being in me).
How much to expect a newborn to feed especially formula. My friend was given a 4oz bottle and thought her DD had to drink the lot and panicked when she only took 1oz.
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