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has anyone ever done that thing where you go back to the hospital after to discuss an element of the birth you werent happy with?

(35 Posts)
swottybetty Fri 19-Sep-08 22:25:34

It's got a proper name hasnt it? It's been 6 months since dd was born and i've sinced moved out of the area, but I'd still like register how appalled i was at the complete lack of care of support i got on the postnatal ward. has anyone else done anything similar and how best to go about it? also i am keen to find out why i was even kept in overnight after birth. dd born at 9.42am, induced and epidural but no intervention all straightforward.

lilymolly Fri 19-Sep-08 22:29:19

No But really wish I had done angry sad

What in particular where you unhappy with?

My post natal care involved them having NO time to help with Breast feeding, and having to get dp to clean my gaping episiotomy wound as the nurses had already bathed me once that morning hmm shock.

carmenelectra Fri 19-Sep-08 22:31:44

swotty, do you mean debriefing?smile

CarGirl Fri 19-Sep-08 22:35:10

Ours is called a birth reflections service

Heated Fri 19-Sep-08 22:36:13

I did inadvertently because the mw booking me in for my elective was the same mw I had the 1st time round when things had gone wrong. She read my follow-up notes with horror.

It was totally cathartic btw. I got an unasked for apology (rare, I thought, in these age of litigation) and an immediate agreement for the type of delivery I wanted all along - a guaranteed epidural vb.

swottybetty Fri 19-Sep-08 22:38:06

oh god, it seems so small but feels enormous to me, esp as am now pg with number two (hurrah!). basically was left to pace corridors on own thru the night with screaming baby. main midwife woman was at desk which happened to be right by my ward and just ignored me, despite the fact both me and dd clearly v distressed. had already asked her once for help - had rung bell after an hour of the screaming (did not know that dd headbutting boob meant she was trying to root, thought it meant she wasnt hungry sad).... and this MW had pulled back my curtain, i'd said "what do i do?" and she said quote "put your boob in her mouth." she pulled the curtain back and walked off. she was the computer for hours as i walked back and forward (and hid in toilets cause did not want us to disturb other mums in my ward). eventually at about half five, she took dd from me and gave her formula. and i really had no idea dd was hungry and this woman must have known all along but let an exhausted and crying me, a starving and cryiing dd just suffer in front of her tapping away for 5 hours. also keeping awake the poor bloody women i was sharing with. all i needed was a tiny bit of compassion and a bit of a hand understanding why dd was upset and getting her to latch.

swottybetty Fri 19-Sep-08 22:39:48

so -- the debrief// birth reconcilliation thing, how do i go about it given it was 6 months ago? also carmen you are a MW IIRC (seen you on another thread), does that sound like something you could bring up?

Heated Fri 19-Sep-08 22:44:53

Oh, ours is called something like Birth Afterthoughts? but have also heard it called Birth Debriefing Service.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 19-Sep-08 22:46:59

Ours was Birth Afterthoughts - it was helpful at the time but afterwards I realised I'd be fobbed off on several issues and was cross.

GreenMonkies Fri 19-Sep-08 22:53:16

I'd just write and complain. What you have said here is fine, phrased like a letter a bit more if you know what I mean. You will be much more able to say exactly what you really want to say if you do it in a letter, but face to face you may find you are agreeing and being nice. Give them hell, that was appalling, and they should not be allowed to get away with it!! Get stroppy!

APatchOverMeEyeballsintheSky Fri 19-Sep-08 22:54:01

That sounds awful Betty. I remember my first night with dd who was also screaming her head off but had been put on formula by the wonderful staff already by that time hmm. They didn't leave any with me and told me to ring when I needed one. Needless to say I waited a long long time. DD screamed nearly all night and I had no idea what to do.

I am going to ask for a copy of my notes. I want to know why dd was whisked off for 15 minutes straight after she was born when her Apgar was 9 and 10. No one said anything at all to explain why

I hope you get the answers you want.

carmenelectra Fri 19-Sep-08 22:59:28

Hello, yes i am a midwife. I would always give someone the opportunity to debrief but we do also have specific midwife/counsellors at our trust who will see women who had a bad experience and they will pull the main notes and go through it all. Also, have you ever thought about contacting medical records and getting copies of your maternity notes? You can read through then and see how it was all documented. i have my naternity notes, not because there was a problem but just cos i was interested.

spudballoo Fri 19-Sep-08 23:00:45

I had a debrief, but in strange circumstances.

DS1 went badly wrong and ended up with me having a colostomy bag for 2 years. 3 months post birth I went for a consultation with my 'bum' consultant, and he had arranged for a gynae consultant colleague to meet me and go through my notes with me.

Although I appreciated the gesture, I spent the whole time being anxious that my son needed feeding. i already had my notes and had worked it all out for myself. Later I had lawyers look at them and they didn't add anythng more than I'd figured out myself.

It's definitely worth a chat, or a letter. But I would caution you to be prepared to come away feeling neutral. Alas nothing can ever take away or compensate for how you felt that night, but that doens't mean it's not worth pursuing.

For myself I found that drawing a line under it myself, and accepting the here and now much more healing. But that's just my persona view.

peonyflower Fri 19-Sep-08 23:01:29

I made an appointment to see someone at the hospital to discuss my first DD's birth which, although was straightforward, left me feeling a bit shocked. It was quite a long labour and I felt as though I just wanted to talk it over.
I think the hospital were worried i wanted to sue them and got me an appointment to see the consultant who was great and went through the whole labour and my notes with me. Felt much better.
Can I suggest that you just ask to see someone. It might be more simple than you think....hope so!

cali Fri 19-Sep-08 23:04:37

How long do you get to do this?

I still have issues surrounding dd1's birth and my notes did not accurately reflect my labour and care I received.
She was born in 2005 so may be too late to do anything.

peonyflower Fri 19-Sep-08 23:06:58

I did this within months of birth but don't see why you can't go back at any time. If you feel you need it go for it.

carmenelectra Fri 19-Sep-08 23:07:56

There isnt a time limit. Your maternity records will stil be avaialble

swottybetty Fri 19-Sep-08 23:14:57

sorry to hear about other peoples' bad stories. spud i am particuarly shock by what must have happened with you to result in needing a colostomy bag.

i guess i am largely over it. tho' now i am preg again, more than anything else i dread being kept in after the birth. i would have been a lot better off at home with dh, MN and access to 24hrs helplines. crazy that the worst place to be was the hospital. i think discharging people should be seen as a positive thing - and if mum express desire to be discharged then all attempts should be made for that to happen. i am going to arm myself with all relevant facts for next time and be prepared to force discharge myself if it needs be.

i think a large part of my motivation for some kind of debrief is for it not to go unoticed and for the hospital to work towards a culture where this wouldnt happen again. really, all it would have taken was five min of someone's time. to have been so openly and coldly ignored was awful.

cali Fri 19-Sep-08 23:30:58

thanks, will try and get round to writing as we have now moved 500 miles from where dd1 was born.
I was never happy with the care I received and this was highlighted when dd2 was born. I can not fault the excellent care I had.
To have a midwife tell me that "labour is called labour because it's bloody hard work" then leave and not listen to me. I ended up with an emcs after 24 hour long labour, dd1 completely stuck as she was in a very poor position, foetal distress present, had stayed at 6cms dilated for 12 hours, dd1 weighed 10lbs 3oz at birth (told no more than 8lbs!!!!)

dd2 elective section and couldn't have been happier.

carmenelectra Fri 19-Sep-08 23:48:57


That midwife sounds horrid, but thankfully most of us arent like that. Ring up and ask how you go about making an appointment to debrief and at least you can highlight how bad you felt and make them aware so (hopefully) they can address this and make things better this time

tutu100 Fri 19-Sep-08 23:50:17

I'm not an expert, but at my local hospital it is procedure that if you have an epidural you are kept in overnight even if you have no other complications. This is just to monitor you. My ds was born at 9.35 am and we didn't go home till 4pm the next day. My catheter wasn't removed till 7pm on the day ds was born though so couldn't have gone home any sooner as I had no feeling in my legs til that evening.

In my local area I think you can contact the birth after thoughts service no matter how long ago you gave birth. Have you asked you current midwife as she may have seen your birth notes?

carmenelectra Fri 19-Sep-08 23:52:38

I would always urge women to get hold of their notes though. I bet things read very differently from that midwife's point of view!

Also, you will probably read some lovely stuff that will make you feel better. Even just reading about your dd being born will touch your heart! I know when i read mine i fill up every time! Its so weird reading about myself giving birthsmile

AbstractMouse Fri 19-Sep-08 23:58:08

Instead of a debrief could you not just put in a complaint Swottybetty, or maybe contact pals.
Obviously you got a really duff midwife, doesn't really help you though.

GreenMonkies Sat 20-Sep-08 07:55:00

"I guess i am largely over it. tho' now i am preg again, more than anything else i dread being kept in after the birth. i would have been a lot better off at home with dh, MN and access to 24hrs helplines. crazy that the worst place to be was the hospital."

So why not stay at home for the whole thing this time? I had DD2 at home and it was fabulous!

Lib76 Sat 20-Sep-08 11:38:16

i didn't have reason to complain (far from it) my consultant wanted to see me for a 6 week check and when i saw him he was great, went over everything that happend (emer cs) and asked me if i had any worries or concerns about it.

i don't think that happens too often but it was good to just chat to him again, as when i saw him post-op i was still pretty high on drugs!!

swottybetty, sorry you had a crap time of it, here's hoping you have a better time. smile

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