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Can midwives really be mean?

(73 Posts)
FGSholdthedoor Thu 26-Oct-17 21:26:28

Sorry if title is a bit strange.

I'm currently pg with DC2, DC1 was an extremely quick labour - we got to the hospital and I was ready to push so I didn't actually experience the whole labour on the ward, just the pushing stage.

I've recently spoken to a few mums and also read a bit about bad experiences when it comes to midwives and the general way they treat and talk to labouring patients.
Also I've heard a lot about women in labour not being listened to - a friend told me a lady in bed next to hers kept telling the midwife she wanted to push and was ready and if she (the midwife) could check but kept being fobbed off and told she wasn't - another midwife came in and it turned out the lady was crowning!
Another one where the midwife was trying to get a patient to take some pills - the patient repeatedly refused as she said they made her feel light headed and not in control of what she was doing and she wanted to be aware of everything as she laboured, the midwife proceeded to push the cup with the pills right towards the patients lips, the patients swore at her and pushed her away. Other midwife came in and told sent first midwife home as apparently it wasn't the first patient she upset that day...

Also heard lots of stuff about snide comments, wired doctors, patients not being allowed to birth in any other position apart from on their backs despite there being no risk associated with anything and being refused pain relief other than gas and air/pain relief being deliberately discouraged and/or delayed etc.

I don't know how common that is, if I'm just being hormonal and silly and I know people always talk about the bad more but I'm a bit worried about being in a vulnerable position and potentially not having the right people with me. I'm not great at asserting myself either.

I guess I just wanted to ask for people's experiences?
How have you found your birth experience?

OP’s posts: |
venys Thu 26-Oct-17 21:31:00

Yes. Rubbish in the hospitals. More or less Ignored both times on ante natal ward as giving birth prematurely. Almost gave birth to DS1 in their toilet. And yes was only allowed to birth on my back as they had to monitor babies Hb the whole time. My home birth was much more amazing. Short, sweet and midwives lovely. Didn't even step foot in the hospital..

FuzzyOwl Thu 26-Oct-17 21:31:26

The midwife I had with DD1 was abolt it awful. So yes, I would believe all of these situations you describe above have happened and far worse.

To balance things out, with DD2 I had a lovely midwife so there are good ones out there.

Winterhotchocolate Thu 26-Oct-17 21:32:15

It’s like anyone you meet. Some are nice and get you some are not so nice or don’t get you. That’s just life. You are very vulnerable during labour and just after birth though so I’d like to think that all midwives do their best to be understanding and supportive. Best plan is to have someone with you who can advocate for you if you are not being listened to. Also, be prepared to stand up for yourself if you have an instinct that something needs to be addressed. Other than that there’s no point worrying about it in advance

venys Thu 26-Oct-17 21:32:21

If first birth was quick and straight forward, I would consider a home birth for sure..

allegretto Thu 26-Oct-17 21:33:06

My first midwife was awful. Really rude. She kept saying that I had ages to go yet and I should stop moaning with the pain (I was being induced without pain relief and it bloody hurt! ) Shetold me I had at least 2 hours ahead of me. Ds was born 10 minutes later and she got a bollocking for leaving me alone!

PlugUgly1980 Thu 26-Oct-17 21:34:16

Yes, absolutely terrible with DC2, refused to believe I felt ill, said it was all in my mind (to the point she referred me to the mental health team)...turned out after I haemorrhaged, I had a massive interval infection which had been missed. Just thankful baby was fine, but I absolutely knew I wasn’t but she wouldn’t listen. Awful experience.

Bitlost Thu 26-Oct-17 21:37:39

My caseload midwives were great. The hospital ones were awful - made me feel like I had to "pay" for having had sex. I was 32!

fixyourgardengate Thu 26-Oct-17 21:38:44

I never had a problem with any of the midwives in either of my pregnancies in two seperate parts of the country. Admittedly I had reasonably uncomplicated pregnancies and births, but they are all just people doing their jobs. Some good, some bad. Best of luck! flowers

Wooooooopsadaisy Thu 26-Oct-17 21:41:13

I've had really good postnatal care with my dc. Although things went a bit tits up so they kinda had!

I found with my d3 preplanned c- section, when I went in to labour early they really tried to push for a natural birth consistently asking, made me wait 12 hours before I got an epidural and taken down to theatre. Dh got pissed off in the end and I'm glad I insisted on planned c- section as dc was back to back again .

It's the luck of the draw I'm afraid. Just prepare your self to be firm and not pushed about

WallisFrizz Thu 26-Oct-17 21:41:47

To be fair, all midwives that I dealt with before or during labour were amazing. However, there was 1 evil cow that "cared"for me post dc2. Dc2 was seriously ill in intensive care, it was Christmas, I could barely move. All I wanted was to clean myself up a bit, she watched me struggle with getting hold of my toothbrush and drop it on the floor. She smirked and did nothing. Still now, I hate her.

HumpHumpWhale Thu 26-Oct-17 21:43:28

Jesus, these are horrifying. Every midwife I met during two pregnancies and births was lovely. I felt supported, listened to, valued... and very very sorry for the poor midwife who slipped in the waters that were gushing out of me as I was supported down the hall (having point blank refused to sit in a wheel chair - I think I was almost crowning by then). Apparently she was crossing the hall behind me and did a spectacular, legs in the air, arse over tits fall. Poor thing. Anyway. I know people have awful experiences. But lots of people have great experiences too.

ElizabethShaw Thu 26-Oct-17 21:44:59

I've had three hospital births and countless midwives and only one was a dickhead.

Most recent birth the two midwives I had in labour were brilliant and postnatal care was great too.

annlee3817 Thu 26-Oct-17 21:50:56

I had lovely midwife's, I had a few arsey doctors when I went in a couple of times and had to be monitored then examined and they treated me like I'd wasted their time and were very rude. When I was actually in labour the receptionist was the only one that annoyed me, she decided that I couldn't be more than in early labour and left me on my hands and knees in the waiting area contracting in front of a room full of waiting relatives. DD was born 3 hours later hmm other than that all the midwives I saw were great, I had a lot of different ones too.

otherdoor Thu 26-Oct-17 21:55:13

A mixed bag. At the birth the first midwife was great, the second one awful. The postnatal care was bad but the midwives themselves were fine, the ward was just horrendously overstretched and understaffed.

If your first birth happened so quickly though, aren't you likely to have a similar experience next time?

Dairymilkmuncher Thu 26-Oct-17 21:55:15

I've had two kids and due a third next year, all the community midwifes, hospital and aftercare have been wonderful and I've had heaps due to shift changes and holdiays etc and every time I'm surprised at how nice they are and how much they seem to care because they are seeing worried pregnant ladies and new tiny babies a lot you think the excitement would ware off!

I've never actually came out and said that before but every single one was decent and I think you'll find that the case that you only hear about the worst case senerios because it boring to hear about lovely ladies just doing their jobs.

Please don't worry and go into labour scared of what could be, go to the ante natal tour of your ward and speak to your midwife

Singleandproud Thu 26-Oct-17 21:57:24

I had a brilliant experience when I had DD and all the midwives were lovely.

They are human, we dont know what they have dealt with in their own personal lives (I know if DD has been up ill in the night and I go to work the next day Im never as cheerful or patient with my students). They may have had a really awful shift, been involved in some high stress dangerous births and then had to pop in and check on another mum who took her attitude to her personally or was making a fuss about something comparatively insignificant.

In a perfect world midwives would be constantly professional to everyone but they are human and thats not likely to happen. People are more likely to complain about poor experiences than rave about good ones. Pregnant women are also very vulnerable and can in some instances take things in a way that wasn't intended.

Lules Thu 26-Oct-17 21:58:01

Yes I'm sure they can be but I've only had good experiences of midwives when I've been in labour. My first took forever so I think I had 4 then and they were all great. Postnatal ones were good too, although very busy. You always hear about the ones that go wrong not the others.

Mouthfulofquiz Thu 26-Oct-17 21:59:37

I've had three babies - my community midwives: one patronising, one daft, and one brilliant.
Hospital midwives: first one was amazing, second one even more amazing and the third one was okay but a little patronising considering it was my third!
I didn't have to stay over on a ward at all so can't comment on after care.

Foxglovesandsweetpeas Thu 26-Oct-17 21:59:58

I had a horrible midwife and she kept telling my off for screaming in pain. Then afterwards when my big baby was born, she had to beg the registrar to stitch me up because in her words "these are the worst tears I've ever see and I wouldn't know where to start". She never even apologised for being so unkind. She also kept telling my husband that she never had any pain relief when she gave birth and implied that I was making a fuss when I asked for some.

ToadsforJustice Thu 26-Oct-17 22:00:49

IME, the MWs that I have had the misfortune to come across were just vile, callous, mean spirited, sour faced sadists that took great pleasure in denying me pain relief and laughed and smirked as I wept lying in my own filth.

However, I’m sure there must at one one nice out there. I hope you find her/him OP.

Ttbb Thu 26-Oct-17 22:02:48

Yep. Happened to me both times from multiple people. The older ones and the trainees theme to be the nicest. I was very lucky to have tranees both times when I was pushing because they really do get so excited and that really helps.

Gowgirl Thu 26-Oct-17 22:03:07


SandSnakeofDorne Thu 26-Oct-17 22:04:01

I only met one who wasn't kind and she wasn't exactly mean, just a bit abrasive. I found out later that her father had died that morning and she'd come in until someone could cover her. Everyone gets to be human.

PonderLand Thu 26-Oct-17 22:05:51

I had what you could call a 'mean' midwife, I'll never have a cannula again anyway! I work on wards and on every single ward I've worked on there's being a cunt. You get them everywhere, it's just shit when you're vulnerable and can't assert yourself like you would normally in day to day life. I think the issue when it's a midwife is that usually you're in labour and you don't have time/energy to ask to speak to the sister/ward manager so you just keep getting more and more vulnerable until it's over and then you can't go back and speak to anyone as you should 'just be glad the babies okay'.

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