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What did you want from midwives on postnatal wards?

(117 Posts)
Studentmidwife247 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:19:36

Hi ladies, I am a first year student midwife heading out on my first placement next week. I will be spending a fortnight on a postnatal ward and was just wondering what you most wanted from the staff during your time on postnatal wards? I'm mainly hoping to be a supportive, consistent friendly face who can get to know the women (due to the high risk nature of the ward, ladies are likely to be spending long periods of time on it). I know that staff on these wards are normally incredibly busy, so from your experiences, what would you have wanted from a student midwife to make your stay more comfortable/pleasant? Was it just someone to chat to? Someone to assist with practical skills such as breast feeding? I want to make myself as useful as possible during my time there! Thanks smile

stargirl1701 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:21:02

More staff. Everyone was lovely but rushed off their feet.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 16-Nov-14 14:26:13

Please chase up cleaners etc. the number of women, including myself, who were left in filthy beds with sheets smeared with blood and other bodily fluids was appalling, unsanitary and undignified.

Ditto - chase up re: cleaning toilets etc. they are normally filthy in my experience too

happylittlevegemites Sun 16-Nov-14 14:26:33

Someone to pass me things from my bag when I couldn't (post section) reach. Someone to pass me my baby, get me something to eat and drink, and help me get dressed.

Pico2 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:27:44

Someone who had read my notes and organised appropriate care base on my history. I only got the right care by overhearing what others were getting and suggesting the same for myself. E.g. Blood test for anaemia following a transfusion.

Panzee Sun 16-Nov-14 14:28:06

Another post section request: don't push baby and the fish tank out of reach from the bed!

WidowWadman Sun 16-Nov-14 14:30:12

I'm still grateful to the midwife who sat with me at something like half two in the morning with a knitted boob giving me breastfeeding advice

ByTheWishingWell Sun 16-Nov-14 14:33:22

Breastfeeding support was so important to me. We really struggled at first, but with the help of some lovely midwives, eventually got there. The most helpful thing was feeling like I wasn't being a nuisance (which initially autocorrected to nudey nice grin) if I called the midwife back to help us get latched on for the fourth time in ten minutes. The least helpful was the midwife who told me I might as well just give up and give DD a bottle of formula, which she then brought the next time I buzzed for help.

ClariceBeanthatsme Sun 16-Nov-14 14:34:55

When we say we want to go home please don't make us wait 6 hours before discharging us angry

floatyflo Sun 16-Nov-14 14:34:55

More staff. Food. And better breastfeeding support.

AWombWithoutAFoof Sun 16-Nov-14 14:35:27

I would have loved people who actually respected it was the middle of the fucking night therefore they could have spoken in low voices and stopped putting all the main lights. That goes for the cleaning staff too.
The best postnatal midwife I had was one who recognised I was traumatised after the birth, who treated me with kindness, and crucially didn't minimise my feelings or talk to me like I was thick.

EllaJayne123 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:38:27

Someone who helps you post c section if you asked them to help you/ pass baby rather than saying 'you should do it yourself' (which gave me the rage) help breastfeeding rather than telling you you can't and giving the baby a bottle anyway, be like the lovely midwife who took the time to sit with me and burp and rock my dd in the middle of the night while comforting me while I was struggling with the baby blues

meringue33 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:38:53

Bf support but needs to be sensitive not grabbing your boob.

Offer to look after baby while mum goes for first post-birth poo

purplemurple1 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:39:10

For them to really assess who needs help. I had a fast straight forward birth ans tbh wanted to be left alone so I could get some sleep. I could hear my neighbours wanted more help with fetching and carrying learning to bf etc yet we were all seen the same amount.

FishWithABicycle Sun 16-Nov-14 14:40:50

Be aware of which women want the Bounty Lady to back right off and leave them alone, and make sure that happens. No woman at this vulnerable time should be feeling she has to defend herself from rampant capitalism with no backup.

Be ready with breastfeeding support and reassurance. I had no idea till my baby was 2 weeks old that it was normal and expected to be difficult and without much milk being produced during the first day or so.

Be aware of which women are being antisocial/loud/space-invaders and be the champion of the rights to as much privacy and peace and quiet as possible for the women around them, who are too darn polite and English to tell the unreasonable woman to be a bit quieter and more considerate. You are going off-shift in a few hours and it's OK for the inconsiderate woman to resent you telling her to be a bit nicer, because you won't be there later, and the rest of the women on the ward will love you for it.

Keep an eye out for any women who are being overwhelmed by too many visitors. They may be desperate to be left alone with new baby but having to deal with inconsiderate inlaws. Ask them, before visiting hours, whether they might need your help with establishing boundaries - you can be a huge help by enforcing the probably-already-there rules and getting overbearing relations to back off.

Please do everything you can to speed up paperwork where possible. It is hugely frustrating to know that there is no medical reason for you to still be there, but you can't leave till a particular bit of paper is signed.

Keep an eye out for women who miss the standard meal hours due to spending hours trying to give a decent breastfeed, and make sure they get a chance to eat.

HansKristoffAnnaSven Sun 16-Nov-14 14:41:33

I wanted a clean sheet and some painkillers! In the end my DH changed the sheet for me and brought me paracetamol from home.

carlsonrichards Sun 16-Nov-14 14:43:32

I brought my own painkillers and food after my first and left as soon as possible. Filthy toilet, no help at all whatsoever, loud, dodgy men staying past visiting hours and no one did a thing.

Studentmidwife247 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:47:21

This is all SO helpful - it makes me really sad that so many people get such poor postnatal care angry

BikeRunSki Sun 16-Nov-14 14:50:39

Bf support - and I got in in droves. Then, ff support, which I also got.

niceupthedance Sun 16-Nov-14 14:51:25

For the staff to not put the call bell out of reach so I couldn't use it. (Had section, it was also Christmas so staff were extra grumpy about being there).

MillieMoodle Sun 16-Nov-14 14:54:02

I wanted the curtain around my bed open so I could see other people! Every time I opened it, the midwives closed it, so I spent 3 days looking at a blue curtain. I've never felt so isolated. Painkillers, a bed not covered in poo and clean toilets would have been nice too!

AutomaticShoes Sun 16-Nov-14 15:01:22

Buzzer in reach, not being forgotten for food (even though it was appalling), not being grabbed and shoved in a poor semblance of breast feeding 'support' and not being discharged at 8pm at night with a baby who hadn't bf at all and only the advice to 'go to boots and get a breast pump'. Boots was shut. Home with a dehydrated newborn and not a clue. Hideous.

fairgame Sun 16-Nov-14 15:09:59

i had a high risk pregnancy and did not see a midwife on the post natal ward. It would have be nice if they came and said hello even once per day just so that i was aware that they knew i existed. In fact on the last day the ward manager did come round and check that everyone was ok but that was 3 days in!
Simple things like not having to navigate around someone else's blood in the toilet and the healthcare assistants not repeatedly referring to my son as a girl hmm

YouAreMyRain Sun 16-Nov-14 15:10:41

Curtains around my bed that close. Staff who know how to use the breast pumps on the ward (baby in nicu) as I got it wrong and thought it wasn't working and the staff didn't know what to do. It turned out that I hadn't assembled the unit properly but I wasted hours on it and my self esteem was at rock bottom thinking I couldn't produce milk for my poorly baby.

FATEdestiny Sun 16-Nov-14 15:15:08

12 hours post section, I changed my own bed sheets.

Did not want my other three visiting children to see Mummy sat in a pool of blood. I didn't really care about it from my own point of view, but would have traumatised a 5 year old seeing that.

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