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MNHQ here: tell MPs about your experiences during the first 1000 days of your child(ren)’s life

(81 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Dec-18 10:30:02

Hello

Parliament's House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee are seeking parents’ views on the challenges they faced and the support they received during the first 1000 days of their child’s life. If there's anything you'd like the Committee to know, please post it on this thread by 21 December - more details from the Committee below.

Thanks
MNHQ

"The early years of a child's life from conception, through pregnancy to age two are vital to their physical, mental and emotional health and development. Problems that occur in this period can not only affect a person’s childhood, but the rest of their life: their physical and mental health, their ability to learn, communicate and manage their emotions."

"Parents have a critical role to play. For example, parents who are able to understand their baby’s cues and tune into their baby’s needs support their baby’s brain to develop. All parents need support during this time from their families and friends, but also from local public services (e.g. midwives, GPs, childrens’ centres and health visitors). These services can help to identify problems in a child’s development and provide support for parents and families to help make sure children are given the best start in life."

"We want to know from parents and would-be parents about their experiences during the first 1000 days of their child’s life, particularly the services they use: have they seen the same midwife, GP and health visitor at each appointment or visit? Were services delivered from the same location? How long did the appointments or visits last? Did you get the support you needed? Did you feel confident in speaking to them?"

"The feedback we receive from parents through replies to this forum post will be anonymised and used to inform our report, which will include recommendations for Government on how to improve the support available for families in the first 1000 days."

"Please reply by midday on 21 December if you want your experiences to feed into the report."

"Find out more about the First 1000 days of life inquiry here."

Kaleidoscoping Thu 13-Dec-18 12:47:37

I feel I've been really fortunate in my experiences as I know others haven't had the same. I'm almost 24 weeks with my first baby and have seen the same midwife every time. There are a team of 6 midwives, one of whom is my designated midwife. There are events to be able to meet the others, and one of the 6 will be there when I give birth. I've spoken to one of the team whenever I've called and they are informed about me and my pregnancy by my designated midwife. I am able to text the midwife with non-urgent concerns and call whoever is 'on call' through the same number with more urgent worries. The visits have varied in length but have always been with my midwife and I've never felt rushed or like I was an inconvenience.

I've mostly met the midwife at the hospital or the doctor's surgery by prior arrangement and both are convenient. I've always felt like I could speak freely, ask questions, and that nothing has been too much trouble or ridiculous. This is true of the EPAGU and MAU in St Thomas's too who have always taken any concerns or worries seriously - it's hard to know what to expect in a first pregnancy! I have felt very supported thus far and feel very fortunate to be under St Thomas's in Lambeth.

Queenofthedrivensnow Thu 13-Dec-18 14:10:30

My kids are 6 and 9 now.

With dd1 I saw a few different midwives. They were ok. I had a failed induction and a crash section. That was all awful. I struggled with post natal psychosis and was already experiencing dA. This wasn't picked up. I saw the HV at the survey she was nice enough. I was really isolated though.

With dd2 the safeguarding midwife refused to discharge me as she rightly identified I was at risk. I had a non mol and was a lone parent my then. She referred to to domestic abuse services and they supportEd me for 2 years and I did freedom programme. I had a lot more support if my own by then.

They both went to a private Montessori which I chose. No service help from anywhere.

I present as a very middle class parent. I had to seek out any help I need it wasn't offered at any point.

Philomensapie Thu 13-Dec-18 14:10:49

The first 1000 days are a bit of a blur! We had the same midwife and health visitor, but our GPs are a shared practice, so you could see anyone.

niceupthedance Thu 13-Dec-18 14:52:37

I was suicidal during my pregnancy, this got worse before I was allocated a safeguarding midwife who supported me until a week after the birth. I was then discharged from perinatal mental health as I said I felt better.

I was a lone parent with no nearby family support. I can't remember being visited by a health visitor despite my risk for PND.

Turns out I did have quite bad PND which was never diagnosed and consequently my son is now diagnosed with attachment issues.

So I would say services did not support me.

Ladyezra9 Thu 13-Dec-18 16:41:51

My children are three and one.

I found my first pregnancy exciting and though apprehensive I was looking forward to being a mum. Despite a congenital anomaly diagnosed during pregnancy being worrying, I thought the care was generally excellent and I enjoyed being a mother and felt both me and my baby were doing well.

With my second child however, I was sick throughout the pregnancy, anaemic by the end and felt pretty mentally terrible throughout, trying to juggle working and caring for a one year old whilst feeling increasingly depleted and run down. I feel because I seemed quite outwardly capable there was an assumption from health professionals that I'd thrive with my second child because I'd done it once before but I really didn't find that to be the case.

Though I mostly saw the same community midwife and health visitor, I feel no-one picked up how awful I was feeling after the birth and when I tried to explain I feel the health visitor tried to play it down and make my experience fit a narrative that didn't really apply - .i.e. she looked sympathetic and asked if it was because I had a traumatic labour and kind of wrote it off as "baby blues" (actually the birth was very easy and straightforward and not a contributing factor to what I now think was PND for the first 6 months at least.

I didn't really seek help because I didn't want to take medication for PND and I didn't see how I'd be able to access talking therapies, even if they were offered, because I had no-one available or willing to look after my baby and toddler.

I had a bad time initiating breastfeeding but because it was only affecting my mental and physical health (i.e. being in pain due to poor latch), and not my baby's weight gain, not much attention was paid to me as the mother.

My partner's employer also didn't permit him any annual leave after his two weeks statutory paternity leave, and I really feel if fathers were allowed a slightly longer period of leave (maybe 6 weeks?) it would have helped me cope better during those initial weeks with a newborn. He had four weeks off with my first child and it made a huge difference, especially when not everyone has extended family they can call on close by for support.

I live in a rural area, and while I feel I can access services, if I didn't drive I would be quite isolated.

Seniorschoolmum Thu 13-Dec-18 17:19:34

My pregnancy was very straight forward. I didn’t take a single day sick. However my employer -a large city IT integrator- tried to get me to sign a new contract the day before I went on maternity leave, without reading it. I refused, took it home to read and discovered it removed my annual bonus, my car allowance & reduced my pension by 3% - I didn’t sign. Then I was refused KIT days, the company pension company wrote to me when my ds was 8 months old to tell me I had left the company scheme. and then I was “made redundant” on my first morning back. My joib has been given to the sales director’s wife.
I had to take them to tribunal, they messed me around for 9 months and then paid out 3 days before the hearing. It was very stressful. I had to sign a gagging agreement.

I had my ds at Salisbury Odstock hospital in Wiltshire and they were brilliant.

My GP care was good.

Only the employment part of it was horrendous.

BertieBotts Thu 13-Dec-18 20:37:38

It took me way too long to work out a thousand days is about three years blush MN could you include this in the post?

I found my local children's centre an absolute godsend when DS1 was little. I used to go there four out of five days a week, I think it probably saved my life as I was very low and very isolated at that point. Please please reconsider the closure of children's centres, they are a fantastic resource.

My midwives during and after birth were all fab. I wasn't so keen on the health visitors, though. I found their information was often at odds with the most up to date NHS guidance as found on their website and they weren't very communicative. When I was struggling and confided this I felt criticised by them rather than helped. I had one later on who was lovely and supportive. She was helpful, the others were not.

BackforGood Thu 13-Dec-18 21:29:02

Is there a time limit as to how long ago these thousand days were?

There have been so many changes since some of us had our babies.

April2018Baby Thu 13-Dec-18 22:35:39

Became a first time mum in April 2018

The care received throughout pregnancy seemed good, saw the same midwife throughout until I went into Labour

Care throughout Labour was ok - midwives were supportive of offering pain relief and good at explaining options

Post natal care in hospital was terrible. I stayed in for 4 days for “breastfeeding support” and found the advice to be inconsistent and frustrating

I had formula pushed on me by midwives telling me if I didn’t my baby would become very unwell and be wired up to a machine - as a first time parent this scared me and due to this advice i agreed despite my baby being below the threshold for treatment for jaundice

I was discharged from hospital on the basis of having formula with me, despite me repeatedly crying telling the midwives I was desperate to breastfeed

The support at home was ok, but I continueliously felt as though Health Visitors and Midwives were pushed for time and they were there to tick boxes and fill out paperwork

Every healthcare professional (Health Visitor, Midwife, GP) I have seen since leaving hospital has pushed formula on me rather than providing support to breastfeed

I have persevered and am breastfeeding 7 months down the line, however the constant message of “breast is best” in combination with the complete lack of support available to breastfeed is inhuman

I have limited confidence with my next baby and limited confidence in Healthcare Professionals I see now for my current baby

The hospital I had my baby at is St. Richards in Chichester, Wesy Sussex

bluejay227 Fri 14-Dec-18 02:02:40

DD1 was born at an overcrowded hospital where midwives were great but overstretched. No room in natural birth ward so no patient choice. I was one of the lucky ones as all local maternity units in a huge radius closed to new maternity admissions just as I was being induced. this is common in my area due to overcrowding, and mums being ambulanced to distant hospitals around 20 miles away to give birth isn’t uncommon.

Eventually I was given a labour room, midwives incredibly busy. Had to wait hours in a queue for epidural as anaesthetist had to see other patients first. Mistakes made due to midwives rushing (syntocinon drip was dislodged for hours and no one noticed, caused problems in my labour, narrowly avoided EMCS after a 28 hour labour).

After baby arrived, no room in post natal ward so I was sent back to ante natal ward and told “under no circumstances leave baby unattended even to go to the toilet as there is no security here and baby could be snatched”. Husband was sent home as not allowed on ante natal ward. Very hard to rest, handle new baby as first the mum, and deal with bleeding after a 28 hour labour when you can’t leave baby for a moment and have to use bell to call already busy staff to mind your baby so you can go to the loo. Eventually was transferred to post natal ward where felt like there was no help for hours, really tough when you haven’t breastfed before. Delayed discharge next day because staff too busy to give my baby required bcg jab and blood tests.

I have since heard far worse stories of over stretched maternity resources at the hospital so I think I escaped lightly. I couldn’t believe how insanely busy it was and feel desperately sorry for people working under such pressure.

Regarding the first few years of my daughter’s life, mainly the issue is crippling cost of high quality childcare. Compared to relatives in Germany and Portugal, UK experience is inexplicable. Other rich and poor neighbouring countries manage so much bettter... why? After age 2 it gets easier but still, a lack of part time and flexible jobs inhibits efforts of professional mums to return to work, unless on low salaries.
In my experience this contributes to stress, isolation, a loss of feeling “useful”, reduced standard of living, and means many mums don’t contribute to our economy as much as they could. Very low take up of shared parental leave underlines something isn’t calibrated right in how the system motivates people to combine work and family life.

scoobyloobyloo Fri 14-Dec-18 03:19:50

I had a very, very complex pregnancy. Found out at 12 weeks it was twins but that one wouldnt make it. This was after 7 fertility treatments and my first IVF. I had a selective termination at 32 weeks and gave birth to one live baby and one dead baby at 38 weeks.

My mental health care was non existant and not suprisingly I had a breakdown 12 weeks after the birth.

No one had picked up that I was struggling and in retrospect I should have been under the perinatal MH team the whole way through. I probably present quite well and I think that this ticked a box, no one seemed to take a true interest in how I was doing, it would have taken very little digging to find out how fragile I was.

I'm still fixing myself now, 3 years later and it has taken a massive toll on us as a family. If only someone had taken the intitiative earlier to help, things could be very different now.

My GP was great but the HV and midwife care was shocking, from my meeting with them at 8 weeks onwards. I cant even to this day write about how traumatic my birth was, I was very high risk and was basically ignored. My surviving twin nearly died due to poor planning and incompetant midwives.

MH in pregnancy is SO important, at the moment the approach is so piecemeal that people are falling through huge gaps.

jessstan2 Fri 14-Dec-18 03:54:24

I'm so sorry for you, your husband sounds horrible and useless. I hope you can get out of this relationship, I know it isn't easy but I think you would be better out of it. Some people need a wake up call - some never really mature! If you part you'll find out which category he falls into.

Wish you lived near, I'd give you a helping hand or two.

Love flowerswine. x
Stay strong.

ChangedNames1000Times Fri 14-Dec-18 05:00:10

DS is one tomorrow grin

Pregnancy wasn't good, but I didn't know that till the very end. Midwife and GP care was horrendous, I'd get an appointment, but it was just a box ticking exercise. It was things like the MW failing to measure and weigh me, taking blood then losing it (but not asking me to come back in to give another sample). Only when my usual MW was in annual leave and I went to a hospital clinic did another MW realise I was measuring about ten weeks behind, was severely anemic, and DS was just not as big as he should have been. But at this point it was too late to do much other than send me to the hospital for an urgent scan. To be fair, the hospital were fantastic, although I did have to be continuously monitored for the duration as his heart rate kept dipping in and out. I had the same two midwives throughout, I was in labour for about 2 days, and they alternates shifts bless them. I was honestly so reassured it would be alright, and they'd keep both of us safe. Even if there were about ten people in the room when he finally bothered to come out.

DS was eventually born at just over five pounds at 42 weeks. Gave birth at the John Radcliffe in Oxfordshire. While he was okay, they decided that my placenta hadn't been working properly. I still can't believe neither GP's or MW notices until I was overdue. To say the least I was relieved when it was the MW from the hospital clinic that visited us at home after he was born.

DS was also severely jaundiced. Thankfully improved on his own, but we needed to take him to the MW clinic at the hospital daily for about two weeks for checking (as a complete aside, I came back to the car nearly every day with an arsey note from the ticketing bloke in the car park for going five minutes over time. He'd seen me limping in and out every day, with a newborn and struggling to carry a car seat and walk thanks to my many, many stitches.)

We've seen a few of the Health visitors in our area, they've all been really helpful and not at all pushy with things like breast feeding (which I failed miserably at). They seem to have pretty up to date information in our area, and I was really grateful that she supported me in explaining the dangers of taking DS on a four hour drive to see family at a few days old.

One thing really lacking in my local area is baby groups. I felt quite isolated for a while, there's not any community funded stuff where I am, so it made getting out and meeting other mums white difficult. I live in quite an affluent area, so a lot of stuff is paid, daft things like £150 for six swimming lessons. A lot of activities are around which aren't actually that social for the parents. It did make maternity leave quite dull at times, trying to keep both of us me entertained.

Childcare now I'm back at work is also cripplingly expensive. DH is away, so I'm paying out 3/4 of my salary for childcare that fits with what I need. There's no option at work for working from home to cut my commute, so I'm looking into more family friendly options which just don't seem to exist. I feel generally burned out, all I seem to do is get my son dressed and battle to put him to bed as he's overtired after a long day of nursery. Seriously considering leaving my job next year.

sad April I honestly don't know anyone who has had a good experience at St Richards. It's my mums local hospital, and I actually refused to stay with her at any point during my pregnancy because I just didn't want to give birth there. They need a serious overhaul.

HoHoHolittlepea Fri 14-Dec-18 05:26:27

I have an almost 5 year old and a baby.
The difference that austerity has made in support snd services berween having the two has shocked me.
1) Less than half the amount of weigh in clinics avaliable (and many are just self weigh). No opportunity for a casual question or two over the scales/ quick pop in for support.
2) Huge cuts in Surestart. I absolutely loved attending the centres for play groups, stay and play, sensory room and parenting support, I had one i could walk to and two a short drive away. Now I have one a drive away and the services it offers are much less than were avaliable before.
3) Health visiting has become like an emergency service, ur seems like there is so little preventative support for families now which makes me worried/sad.
Ive had nice support from the Breastfeeding Network and Mind charity, but these are loosing funding too.

The people I meet in these services are generally amazing, but the systems tgey work in are struggling so much. Id like to see surestart return properly.

Ome thing i have really appreciated is my area do online access to the solihull parenting approach course, that is brilliant.

Cleanlife Fri 14-Dec-18 05:48:09

I found out that I was pregnant at three months at the same time as they found huge tumours on my ovaries. I was told I would probably have to abort my baby in a matter of a fact no warning way by the scanner. I saw the consultant an hour later who was brilliant and had open surgery at 20 weeks to remove these with drugs to stop me going into labour. They were great at that point to be fair.

I had regular and extra checks but never saw the same midwife.

I then developed pre eclampsia and was made to return each day. Mostly seeing different people and having to explainy full history again and again and told that if my levels were still high I would be induced that day but they had no beds so they kept sending me home. Heavily pregnant, post major open stomach surgery with pre eclampsia back at forth on three buses (nearest hospital with a maternity unit).

Eventually they did induce me and I was given additional drugs to quicken the process. I was left despite pre eclampsia and the other complications with a student midwife who was not skilled enough to manage complications and on saying I needed to push said I couldn't possibly need to yet.
My child was stuck as back to back and ended up in distress. I had them by vontouse in the operating theatre in a last ditch to get baby out quickly before surgery.
I tore very badly and they had to call the surgeon out of bed to operate. The midwifes were laughing and joking while I was being stitched up and the surgeon went ballistic. He knew my parent and was mortified at the level of care I had received.

I was placed post surgery in a right state unable to move due to epidural, groggy and feeling horrendous back onto a normal ward during visitors time with a large very noisy family way over visitor numbers wetting the babies head in the next bed who kept banging my bed. Again a consultant came and saw me and immediately moved me.

Hours old baby was clearly not right and not fully responsive while in hospital and i was told they were fine, it was my first baby and I was just worrying. In the end my parents colleague came to see my baby from another ward and said if they didn't do something she would take my baby herself to the local children's hospital and submit a complaint . My baby was jaundiced and ended up on a billibed. The midwife who looked after me after that was very good.

Took baby home a week later. Pretty traumatised by the whole pregnancy. Midwifes were different most days . Some good some not so good but mostly competent.

The Health visitor was okay. She wasn't a parent and had set ideas from a book about everything but she definitely did her job.

Looking back now I developed awful PND which wasn't picked up on. I had gone from fit and active to having bowel and bladder condition due to the damage .
My saving grace was the local Sure Start Centre. I attended all the sessions I could (baby message, play and learning sessions and baby book club etc)
I knew something was not quite right with my child and I was getting no where with my GP. I spoke to someone there and was able to see a Speech and Language therapist who referred us to a paediatrician. We got massive support and it became clear my child had some special needs.
Seriously stop closing Sure Starts. They are vital.

Shaftesbury Fri 14-Dec-18 08:02:42

First scan: Some delay between GP and hospital communication so first scan later than usual. I’d ring hospital to hurry them up and be told “you need to have it before X date..” but no one would tell me what the suggested threat was if not, or give me the appointment, I was just left anxiously waiting and unsure what the ‘..or this will happen’ was. On day of ‘booking in’ with midwife she got a notification on computer ten minutes into apt saying ‘last day for X’- scan or bloods (?) so I had to rush through the booking in with her filling out the forms myself hurriedly to help her and run off to the next bit. The booking in I think should take an hour but we did it in 20 as otherwise they’d miss their bloods/scan deadline. They did ring to apologise later as my husband complained. Also complained as once a midwife apt date was given on my answer phone so I missed it (can’t tell if answer phone messages have been left on my mobile), and the next apt I turned up and they’d given me the Tuesday date on phone but written me in for Wednesday in the book so midwife fully booked. All very apologetic but was harder work for me. And received note through door saying I’d missed two apts and if missed third my baby could go to social services.
Then great consistent service from 3-9 months.
At birth I wanted a water birth but although rooms were free there wasn’t water birth trained midwife available. I spent 36 hours in basic bed room with a dripping tap that couldn’t be stopped. Midwife commented ‘that must be torture’.
Health visitors: suggested wet tissue stuck on baby head for hiccups. Told us we’d get BCG but never heard from her again and officially I see now we don’t meet current criteria. She was agency. Told us I can’t eat past 6pm as baby will get gas. Said shouldn’t go swimming before jabs but i now know there’s no evidence on that being bad- think historic connected to polio.

90mammasophie Fri 14-Dec-18 08:59:42

Loneliness and isolation.
I was very scared to leave the house with a small baby, who was breast fed. I was terrified she may need a feed or nappy change while out. Or get cold. I wasn't sure on a lot of things and didn't have maybe enough family support.
I eventually (after 10weeks) ventured to my local LIBRARY. There, I found support. After that, I took the baby to their weekly Baby Rhyme Time. I met other mums and found I began to build confidence and gain a social life for myself with the baby.
Community is important. They no longer offer children's activities at the library, due to funding and staff shortage.

KellyMarieTunstall2 Fri 14-Dec-18 10:01:16

In my last pregnancy I didn't get a booking in appointment until I was 16 weeks. It was 4 weeks from when I visited the GP at 12 weeks. I was 44, had been seen and managed by a recurrent miscarriage clinic for the first 12 weeks. I continued to make my own arrangements in my pregnancy. I had a harmony test and all my scans at the FMC in london. At my surgery I never saw the same midwife so there was never any rapport.
At my local hospital for the last 12 weeks saw a consultant and this was managed very well. I gained n excellent rapport with the Dr and felt that shepersonallt cared about my pregnancy outcome. She carried out my csection. Post natally I had little support and I told my HV that I suffered terribly with anxiety and depression after my second child and she put this down to my age and suggested at 44 it was the menopause.
I haven't seen a HV since. My baby is now a year old. I am mature and middle class and no support was offered.

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Fri 14-Dec-18 12:00:38

My DD is now 5 and I was 19 when I fell pregnant with her.

I found that the midwives were beyond judgmental of me. Everytime I called my midwife or asked her a question, she treated me like an idiot. She also refused to listen to what I wanted. For example when I said I wanted to formula feed from the start she said "Don't be silly you can breastfeed". Every appointment she'd ask and I'd say bottle feeding and she would continue on the same track.

Even after birth, the most judgments I got as young parents actually came from professionals, the people who should be the ones supporting us.

I'm now pregnant with our second and have noticed the difference this time and it's sad really. I know lots of mums in their 30s and 40s who have had the same issues in parenting as I have, yet they've been treated with kindness and respect whereas I was treated like a child.

Batteriesallgone Fri 14-Dec-18 12:27:27

I am interested to know how they are planning to get replies from people too traumatised to write out their experiences.

I am a survivor of sexual abuse and I was treated horrendously by midwives. There’s no way I can write out all three experiences at once it would give me a breakdown.

Suffice to say I am left with a deep distrust of medical services and struggle to engage sufficiently, taking my children for their jabs results in huge panic attacks etc. I always do take them but it takes a huge toll, and I haven’t sought care for myself even though I needed it post my third birth.

First HV was horrendous and told me to bathe my one week old and put him on formula because ‘a good sleep routine is more important than anything else’.

Luckily current HV is wonderful and going above and beyond for me to help me work through my challenges. But guess what has happened to my lovely caring HV...signed off with stress and now only working two days a week for her own mental health.

The system is destroying the people who care and look after people leaving wards and clinics staffed with abusive bullies.

StargazyDrifter Fri 14-Dec-18 13:07:07

Currently pregnant after a number of previous losses earlier this year. Receiving care in London.

These following are all things that are tolerable and just part of how it is, I'm grateful to have the care at all. However I hope these points help inform the bigger picture. Professionals' advice can also vary: one told me I would be referred for fertility tests after third loss, one said not, despite being in the same hospital; one told me I'm high risk for an ectopic pregnancy because of a previous one, another that it is only 10% more likely, again same hospital; one midwife said an underlying condition would be exacerbated by pregnancy, another that it wouldn't. Of course there are marginal cases and pregnancy is tricky to judge, but it leaves me feeling no one is ultimately responsible but me.

Continuity Never seen the same GP or midwife twice on pregnancy matters, appointments take longer because of having to explain my history, also upsetting because of having to revisit losses. Often worried that I can't always tell what in my history might be relevant, I'm probably under-reporting, but time is always so tight.

A&E/EPU links Was directed by NHS 111 to A&E recently in current pregnancy because of severe abdominal pain. Waited 3 hours to be seen (fine) then 4 further hours while doctors on duty concluded they couldn't offer me a scan and I'd have to go to EPU at the same hospital the next day (also fine). Had asked for the duration of the latter 4 hours at A&E whether I could please just go home as feeling exhausted, hungry and cold. Consistently told that would be against medical advice and to stay put. Only to be told 'ok fine, back tomorrow please' in the end. It seems inefficient for me to have been taking up an A&E bay all this time, also for NHS 111 to have sent me to A&E at all. EPU handled everything brilliantly in the end.

Mental health I suffer from severe anxiety, which has been worse this pregnancy, incl physical symptoms like panic attacks, heart palpitations and really negative thoughts/avoiding daily life. The background is complex. The hospital where I have my maternity care only supports severe MH problems in expectant mothers, e.g. Schizophrenia (fine), local secondary MH service to me has closed down, next closest one never came back to me after self-referral, GP said 'well things are busy and to be honest unless you're taking active steps to plan a suicide, buying stuff etc, you're ok'. Another GP said 'well what do you want me to do?'. Eventually one of the excellent midwives managed to get me into the hospital's pregnancy MH clinic even though I'm a little below the severity needed to be there. There were delays getting that appointment because of internal hospital admin errors. That clinic has now been cancelled due to resourcing, awaiting new appointment. 3 months of limbo, and not able to take regular medication because harmful in pregnancy. All of this has really affected my wellbeing and my work.

Records My hospital still uses paper records that I carry with me everywhere, and professionals wrote in. It's no trouble but also not integrated with my wider medical records at the same hospital and midwives rely on me to say which operations/problems I've had in the past, even under the same roof. Not sure what'd happen if I lost these papers. Also some historic records of mine, that are now relevant to pregnancy, been lost between old and current GP surgeries. We have to re-do the investigations.

Overall, there are a lot of wonderful people doing what they can in very tricky circumstances. I've been so moved by the pockets of endless kindness and compassion, and by the commitment to patients I've encountered in my last 12-18 months in the pregnancy system. But it is patchy and I always quietly dread appointments because I don't know what I'll get. It is also clear that there is tremendous pressure and that things aren't going to be sustainable for much longer.

One final thought on private scans, if in scope. There is a whole cottage industry of private 'early resistance scans', some as cheap as something like £49 on Groupon. If you look on the pregnancy boards here on Mumsnet, these are often far from reassuring - I get the sense that sometimes the tech is not of good quality or the expertise/after-care aren't there when it's bad/inconclusive news. People can walk out of there desperately worried. Then they can get more worried when their private scan results don't match up with NHS scan results in terms of measurements/dates. There has been a bit about it in the press. Maybe there is room for tighter regulation here. Would also be interesting to know if these private scans have a knock on impact on the demand for early NHS scans due to additional worry/poor handling.

StargazyDrifter Fri 14-Dec-18 13:09:30

private 'early reassurance scans' - sorry!

Nineoutoftenducks Fri 14-Dec-18 13:13:28

4 DC. An amazing health visitor spotted my PND when I’d managed to successfully hide it from freinds and family (other than DH), I hear a lot about HV’s not being needed, I don’t agree. If she hadn’t spotted it I’m not sure where I would have ended up.

Sure Start centres are amazing, please don’t shut anymore! My local one was a lifeline.

Housing; unluckily we had to move to rented accommodation when DC1 was small, previously I had had no idea how unsecure rented accommodation, especially for the not well off. We’ve negotiated and worked ourselves into a better position now, but many can’t, or haven’t yet. Unsecure housing such a stress for parents but children suffer as a result.

All of the midwives that I have come into contact with have been amazing, I don’t know how they do what they do under such pressure. At every birth I have been attended to by calm midwives but I could sense the sheer volume of work that they were up against.

FestiveNut Fri 14-Dec-18 13:38:43

The NHS service I received was amazing in general, but they falsified documents saying that baby had a 'golden hour' and fed immediately after birth, when in reality I had her for as long as it took to cut the cord and then I was taken fur stitches. My husband agreed with me on this. Stitching was awful, a trainee did it (asking for guidance from a midwife who did things like 'just feel for the apex, I can't see'). Then I needed to be unstitched and restitched which took ages. I appreciate that these things happen but I would have loved a debrief and apology.

Staff could do with training on breastfeeding-every new person I see have me different advice - and new mums with more 24 hour face to face help. A lot of new mums believe the breastfeeding myths, such as 'if you're feeding him every hour your aren't making enough milk and need to switch to formula', fed to them by the older generation and not enough is done to combat these.

The 'if it hurts, you're doing it wrong' slogan was so unhelpful! Yes it did hurt and being told I'm doing it wrong made me feel like a failure. I wasn't, it just hurts for some people. My baby hit the 90th centile and stayed there, clearly she was getting enough milk and eventually I got used to it. I would have given up if not for the support of my local hospital, who admitted me for bf support and didn't let me go until I was happy. Not everyone gets that help and so a lot of women give up. It's all very well encouraging women to breastfeed, but the support has to be there, otherwise you just cause a feeling of failure and depression.

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