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Did the midwife stay in the room with you during labour?

(59 Posts)
Fabulosososo Tue 06-Sep-16 22:43:48

Wondering if this is normal? I assumed it was normal at the time as it was my first DC but friends seem to have had a different experience. During my labour with my first baby in MLU the midwife was never in the room with me. She came in to check the heartbeat approx. every 30 mins and left immediately. She didn't even write the notes in the room. Checks increased in frequency slightly later on as there was a concern about baby but again the check was performed and midwife left promptly. Later as there were more concerns, she would stop for a couple of mins after checks or VE to explain the outcome. even when I was fully dilated and expressing concern for baby she still spent minimal time in the room. Also she would sometimes leave the room while I was having a contraction so I wasn't able to ask some of the questions i had. It was awful and I was terrified each time I was left especially when I had concerns for the baby. At this point I transferred to hospital and someone was with me constantly from then onwards and it was such a relief to have someone supporting and reassuring me and keeping an eye on the health of DC1. Just wondering what other people's experiences are? Is it normal for the midwife to spend minimal time in the room? Do they think it's better to give a woman privacy in labour or something? Or maybe if the woman is coping well with the pain they see no need to be in the room? Or is this how the nhs is going with the lack of staff and funding? Or is this unusual?

OlennasWimple Tue 06-Sep-16 22:45:05

I had minimal MW time too, even though I was a high risk delivery, until I progressed to Stage 2 labour

WhatTheDickensian Tue 06-Sep-16 22:46:45

Once Inwas in established labour the midwives stayed with me in each of my labours. But two of the labours were inductions, two were epidural a and one was super fast so maybe that was why I was never left.

Fabulosososo Tue 06-Sep-16 22:47:20

Olennas What's stage 2 labour? Is that pushing?

essieestherson Tue 06-Sep-16 22:51:06

With my first baby the midwife was not around much...I found it really unsettling. It's the reason why I had my second 2 children at home!

MrsHam13 Tue 06-Sep-16 22:51:14

I'd imagine it depends on the speed.

My first labour was an hour and ten minutes. The midwife left briefly and came back with her make up topped up.

Second one was forty five minutes and I went in at 6cm so she didn't.

Third I went in pushing, so she didn't leave. Gave birth in the assessment room.

OlennasWimple Tue 06-Sep-16 22:53:31

Yes, stage 2 is pushing. TBF I went from stage 1 to 2 very fast, so if they had realised I doubt they would have left DH and I alone quite so much

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 06-Sep-16 22:54:42

I had low risk delivery in pool. Had between 2-3 midwives present at all times.(1 was a trainee)

ImperialBlether Tue 06-Sep-16 22:54:54

If you have a (useful) partner in the room, though, do you need to midwife to just be there?

Soubriquet Tue 06-Sep-16 22:55:59

Once I reached 3-4cm and was in active labour, the midwife didn't leave the room.

wobblywonderwoman Tue 06-Sep-16 22:57:54

Mine stayed the whole time.. I went into hospital at 7.30 pm and was admitted due to labour pains but she didn't stay with my until midnight when they got strong. I was struggling at 4pm and a consultant came in abd ordered an emergency c section as baby in distress abd I was still 3cm. I am not fully sure what happened really.
I think she only left once for her break abd someone else came in

PeppasNanna Tue 06-Sep-16 23:00:37

6dc & never has a MW stay in the room all the time.

3 water births included. With dc6 i was almost ready to deliver when i arrived at the birth centre!

Sierra259 Tue 06-Sep-16 23:00:42

My first I was 4cm dilated when I went in, but baby was back to back and I was in agony. An amazing student MW was with me constantly while the qualified MW was in and out. 2 hours later I was 10cm so not left alone again.

With my second I arrived ready to push and she came within 30 minutes of me getting in the hospital door. I was wheeled into the delivery room and it was "yep, baby's there. Start pushing"

GloveBug Tue 06-Sep-16 23:02:24

1st birth the midwife was out of the room most of the time just popped back in now and then until the 2nd stage. 2nd birth midwife was in the room the whole time. It was a home birth so she didn't really have anywhere else to go. She mainly sat on the sofa filling in paper work.
In the birth centre/hospital they have phones to answer, a desk to go to do paperwork etc
It did annoy me though the midwife leaving the room during my 1st labour. I didn't know what was happening and wanted reassurance but she just kept dissapearing!

TwoLittleBlooms Tue 06-Sep-16 23:03:14

I can't remember fully with my first baby (14 years ago and shed load of gas and air) but I think they stayed most of the time - was an induced labour and a consultant delivered as there were concerns for baby's hr. Youngest (19 months old) I had at least two midwives in the whole time and a doctor in and out (again concern for baby's hr) - this time I went in at 7cms and baby was born nearly 5 hours later.

NapQueen Tue 06-Sep-16 23:03:25

Dd - not much mw contact until I was ready to push. Sporadic checks and observations and bit of chatter then off to I assume see another labouring woman.

DS- had a student with me the whole time and mw only had a chance to pop out the room once as DS was born within 22 mins.

Fabulosososo Tue 06-Sep-16 23:06:19

impereal Is that how some midwives think? Maybe they think we were doing fine on our own and they're not needed? Surely once there were concerns that would have changed though? If that is how they think they are greatly mistaken in my case. The midwife had medical knowledge, skills and experience so I always felt safer when she was in the room. If I really didn't feel I needed her skill I'd have had unassisted home birth and saved myself the hassle of driving to the mlu

moomin11 Tue 06-Sep-16 23:11:39

I had a student midwife with me the whole time (was 10cm when I got there though) and another midwife there most of the time. I was the only person in the birthing centre at the time though which made a difference. A friend of mine went in when it happened to be really busy and had a completely different experience so it does depend how many people they're looking after. Student mw was amazing, even stayed well after her shift to be with us in theatre and see DD arrive.

doleritedinosaur Tue 06-Sep-16 23:14:06

The midwives aren't thinking it's fine for you to do it on your own there's just not enough of them anymore.

All my local hospitals are Amber (not good rating) & can't guarantee 1:1 care before active labour unless you have a home birth. Or there are enough students.

If there was actual concerns they would stay or transfer, not just left alone.

PikachuSayBoo Tue 06-Sep-16 23:16:12

Research shows that women have better outcomes in labour if they're supported by other women. As a midwife I would want to stay in a room with a woman as much as possible even if it looks like she's coping fine. Maybe she's coping fine because the midwife is there even if the midwife isn't "doing" anything.

I think it was Mary Cronk (famous midwife) who said that ideally midwives should spend most of the labour sat in the corner of the room knitting. I think she was trying to say that you should support the woman but not interfere!

PikachuSayBoo Tue 06-Sep-16 23:17:10

Meant to say that sadly a lot of the time it's not one to one care. Your midwife on labour ward is very probably also caring for another woman, possibly another two women!

Fabulosososo Tue 06-Sep-16 23:19:36

Just to be clear I was in active labourp. They confirmed that when I arrived

VashtaNerada Tue 06-Sep-16 23:22:48

Very little time with MW with either of my births, not really until I was pushing (& then I did have someone with me until the baby was out!). I think they have so many women to look after they can't possibly stay in the room unless they have to. The biggest disappointment for me was being refused pain relief with my second birth because they were too busy to even get me some gas & air. That was fairly shit sad

Fabulosososo Tue 06-Sep-16 23:23:35

Pikachu that's a lovely post. Thank you. I wish I'd had you as my midwife! Do you think most midwives think the same way? So maybe the mlu was understaffed for the number of women they had. Don't mlus usually turn women away if they don't have the staff? Or are they under pressure like the labour wards?

Fabulosososo Tue 06-Sep-16 23:25:07

Omg Vashta that's appalling! I don't know what I would have done without gas and air! Sorry u had that experience!

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