Has anyone complained about their childbirth experience? How to go about it?(7 Posts)
Hi, I have had my birth debrief and I still have not had any closure about how my body was managed at the c-section. The consultant answered all my questions and did offer that he would personally handle my case if I got pregnant again. Tbh this is no consolation to me as I am still absolutely petrified of how unpredictable the whole thing is.
My partner thinks that a complaint would just be a waste of my time and energy as nothing would come off it. He thinks I should move on now and he agrees with the consultant that since it was an emergency c-section we should be glad that the baby is ok and I there is only a cosmetic issue with the scar.
I think that the fact someone else may have had a worse experience is no excuse. I am feeling confused and unable to move past it. I still can't look at my scar. I find it quite upsetting. I am also feeling vain and that is making me feel upset about being upset.
Sorry for the rambling post but if I were to make a complaint how would I go about it and are my reasons for the complaint valid?
What is the actual reason for you wanting to complain?
I've just had an appointment with the psych associated with the maternity department (am pregnant with DC2), and I found it really helpful to identify what it is/was upset about my EMCS first time around.
You talk about being confused and unable to move on, as well as being upset at being upset. Could a similar appointment shed some light for you?
Yes but I didn't find it helpful in gaining closure of any sort tbh, their response was a pile of lies and arse covering and it was all so upsetting to deal with that I didn't pursue it any further. I swing between wishing I hadn't bothered and wishing I had fought more. Happy to pm if you want any more information on the process
Was your care mismanaged? What led to the EMCS? Tbh, it is all very unpredictable, and emergencies happen. Did your anaesthesia wear off mid section? Were you under a general? Or was it more that you weren't prepared for the eventuality that the birth could become complicated enough to require a section? Do you feel you weren't informed about the possibility of a section? Or that in the moment you weren't communicated with fully? I get the impression that you weren't prepared for any eventuality in which you would end up having a section, as you seem concerned about the scar. A lot of people focus on wanting a particular type of birth and end up traumatised when it doesn't go to plan. And we are encouraged to make birth 'plans!' Ahh well.
I think knowing what your actual complaint regarding the birth is will help you massively, as you say that you are confused. Did your meeting with the consultant clear up any confusion, or just create more? Have you read through the NICE guidelines on intrapartum care and c-sections? It might help clear up whether you have a complaint to make regarding your care.
I hope you start coming to terms with the birth soon.
Yes, I complained in writing, and when the response was unsatisfactory I wrote again for further clarification. Initially I didn't feel able to go in and see someone in person, but when they ducked the questions in the second letter I felt I had no choice. It was worth doing, I feel a lot better now, and following the meeting I felt ok to TTC again- 19 months afterwards. Could not have faced doing so before this.
If you can face it, I would recommend it. Your local hospital should have a PALS service, this is the first port of call.
Hi, There will be a complaints process and someone you can write to at the hospital. Make it clear what it is you want to be addressed and investigated.
In order to move forward emotionally you could find out more about the Natal Hypnotherapy CD for Overcoming Birth Trauma, it may help to give you some peace. Best wishes.
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