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Terrifying tour of maternity unit

(10 Posts)
tryingtobeagooddadandhusband Sat 06-Aug-11 21:46:04

Can anyone advise please...
Our baby is due in the next few weeks and our experience of the local maternity ward has been positive up to now. Today, however, we toured the ward and encountered an unbelievably aggressive midwife. She asked personal questions and made disparaging remarks about the instructions given by both our doctor and physiotherapist (neither see the whole picture as she does, it seems).
We realise there is every chance that this nurse won't be handling our case later on, but there is now a great terror surrounding the whole idea of the maternity unit. Half an hour with this woman and we were both upset and taken aback. Having her involved in birth and after care is really not an option.
Has anyone had experience of this kind of thing? Please don't waste time pointing out how unlikely it is that we'll encounter this lady again as it's a small hospital and the issue is the fear we are now dealing with at the very possibility of having her involved.
As there is a history of anxiety and depression, we really have to take this situation seriously.

Sidge Sat 06-Aug-11 21:49:31

Try not to be too disheartened as even if she did turn out to be on duty when your wife is in labour you can decline her input and request another midwife.

lolajane2009 Sun 07-Aug-11 07:33:48

I'd just decline her if you get her tbh and not be overly concerned.

icravecheese Sun 07-Aug-11 08:22:44

my husband had a bit of a run in with a dragon midwife after I'd given birth to our first born. She wasn't involved in the delivery, but was on the post natal ward & went around opening everyone's curtains round their bed, saying "we don't have closed curtains in this ward" (when we were all knackered from labour & wanted a bit of privacy when trying to establish breastfeeding without wanting to show the rest of the ward mammoth boobs etc!). Then she had a go at my husband because I couldnt manage my pudding after lunch, so he ate it. She marched up to him and told him he was wasting NHS money eating my pudding, it was meant for me (even though I'd been served it, wasnt going to it so it would have hit the bin anyway).

My husband quickly put her in her place (a few choice comments, re-drawing curtain round the bed). My community midwife told me to complain about her afterwards in writing.

I appreciate that this was only on postnatal & they were slightly trivial things & not labour ward, but once my hubby had 'stood up to her' so to speak, she was alot more friendly to us (perhaps she realised we weren't all a bunch of naughty school children, which was how she was treating us).

As husband, your job is to stand ground for your wife - she won't be in any state to stand up to a dragon midwife when in labour, but you will.... treat her like you would a difficult colleague, if she crosses the line, or does / says something which contradicts your wife's birth plan, request a 2nd opinion or another midwife. Chances are, the other midwives know she's a bit of a cow (our community midwife knew exactly who we were talking about when we mentioned our experience) so will come to your aid.

Sorry for long post, good luck with the labour, I hope its a wonderful experience for you both.

icravecheese Sun 07-Aug-11 08:44:59

ps also meant to say, chances are, the aggressive midwife you encountered is probably a very good midwife - she just had a bad bed-side manner when you met her. She might be totally different in a labour situation, pls don't think, if you did encounter her during labour, that she is going to be awful / useless etc, she could be the best midwife on the ward!

Jill72 Sun 07-Aug-11 09:01:22

Difficult one - I would at the very least write down your concerns about your visit then if you do decide to take it further you have recorded it while fresh in your mind.

Boosaphena Sun 07-Aug-11 09:12:06

You can request another mw in labour. Its quite normal and apparently happens v frequently in our ward.
I will say tho I started off with a right old cow, told me she wouldn't deliver me if I was going to name baby what she deemed a 'stupid' name. We had a new one due to shift change. However my friend had this woman and completely raved about how amazing capable and competent she was, so I clearly just got her on a bad day.

allthefires Sun 07-Aug-11 09:41:20

I would ring head midwife and address concerns over the phone. That way they know she has upset you and could actually have words with her.

edwinbear Sun 07-Aug-11 13:45:03

I made a complaint about the midwife who delivered DS and am due to have DC2 in the same hospital in Nov. I am writing on my birth plan that I do not want any aspect of my care provided by midwife X due to a previously bad experience. I'm sure you could do the same.

redexpat Sun 07-Aug-11 22:32:30

Well mothers who are relaxed tend to have better births (so I've heard - don't know how true it is but seems logical enough) so don't let anyone play down your anxiety over this one. As others have said she might be absolutely wonderful during the delivery, but you can't be sure of that and I don't think you really want to find out the hard way.

I would put it at the top of my birthing plan. Brief your husband. Practise requesting another midwife. Seek some kind of assurance ahead of the event that she wont be involved - call the ward possibly?

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