Advanced search

This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at if you'd like to know more about how they work.

Talk to CQC about your maternity care experiences and you could win a £200 Love2Shop voucher. NOW CLOSED!

(207 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Feb-16 11:24:42

We’re working with CQC (Care Quality Commission), who would like to encourage more women to share their experiences of maternity care.

Here’s a video of a few Mumsnetters talking about their experiences of maternity care:

CQC say "We are the independent health and social care regulator in England. CQC inspect and rate maternity services, including antenatal services, pregnancy units, maternity assessment centres, labour wards, postnatal services and neonatal services.

There are nearly 700,000 live births each year in England, and having a baby is the most common reason for a hospital admission. Our 2015 Maternity Survey found that most expectant and new mothers are experiencing better maternity care when compared to the results from previous years, however, we know that know women will have had varied personal experiences.

If you are pregnant or recently used maternity services, we want you to tell us about the care you are receiving, good or bad. Our inspectors can’t be everywhere at once and your information will help us decide when, where and what service to inspect. By telling us about your experiences, you could stop poor care happening to someone else.

We want to hear whether you think your care is safe, effective, and caring. For example:
- You should feel that you are fully supported by staff to make informed decisions
- You should be able to ask questions if you don’t understand what is happening
- Staff should take all practical steps to make sure you receive the support you need to cope emotionally with your care"

Please share your stories of maternity care on this thread. Whatever your experience, CQC would love to hear about it

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered in to a prize draw where one winner will receive a £200 Love2shop voucher*.

Thanks & good luck,

PS: CQC will also be asking women to share their maternity care feedback on Twitter (@carequalitycomm) from the 15 February using the hashtag #YourMaternityCare. CQC want to hear about your experiences, so please tweet them using the hashtag.

* provided by MNHQ

cheerfullysleepless Mon 15-Feb-16 11:31:14

My gp and midwives were outstanding - I had a straightforward slightly early (2 weeks) vaginal delivery at uclh and couldn't have asked for better physical care during labour and the pregnancy. The two areas that could have been improved were mental health support and aftercare. Uclh had an excellent counsellor I saw for my antenatal depression and anxiety but could only see her monthly and Barnet had nothing at all available as the waiting list meant I couldn't be seen until months after delivery. I spent money we really didn't have on cbt which kept me sane but had I been in Camden where we used to live know this would have possibly been on the NHS as my friend in the same boat had it. The postcode lottery for these things is unfair. Also, the aftercare in uclh was great in the day but hugely overstretched so excellent professionals tending to far too many patients but not great at night where I could hear the midwives bitching about each other and some patients from my bed. Also my discharge took longer than normal as I'd had a history of mental health issues in pregnancy and staff there at the weekend seemed unfamiliar with the discharge process for this meaning I had to stay in an extra night until experienced staff were available on the Monday.

forkhandles4candles Mon 15-Feb-16 14:28:07

Fabulous midwife, another excellent woman delivered the baby. But aftercare was shocking - very brutal and the ward was dirty. I understand that the resources need to go to the vulnerable babies, but it felt fairly inhumane. Glad I only had to spend a night there each time.

forkhandles4candles Mon 15-Feb-16 14:29:03

funnily enough just noticed the previous post was about UCLH aftercare - that is where I was.

Dolallytats Mon 15-Feb-16 14:58:41

Most recent experience was with DC3. Brilliant midwife who arranged for me to have home visits due to my being agoraphobic.

The entire team were fabulous when I was giving birth. DD has shoulder dystocia (sp?) and got stuck, the alarms went off and everyone came running. As a result she was born quickly and healthy.

The aftercare however was not so good. In the hospital I asked for help breastfeeding (I had never managed it for longer than a couple of weeks with other DC's ) and was told that it looked like I was doing fine. The midwife said this as she walked past the bed, didn't come near me to see.

I didn't manage to breastfeed for longer than 2 weeks again and didn't feel confident enough to ask again-something I still regret.

I was also shouted at by a health visitor when I phoned to arrange a home visit (can't remember what the home visit was for, but it was something you would normally go to the health visitor for). I had been told I would get a home visit because of the agoraphobia and she just made me feel useless and stupid. I came off the phone and cried. My husband was fuming.

When I did manage to make the appointment I told the health visitor and she knew exactly who I was talking about before I said the name. I don't know if someone said anything to her.

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Mon 15-Feb-16 15:15:35

I had DC2 in 2013. I was under consultant care, so didn't have a named midwife and never saw the same doctor more than twice. I was a very high risk pregnancy. On a couple of appointments the notes didn't accurately reflect the conversation I'd had so I wrote in the notes myself saying that it wasn't a true reflection of the appointment and adding a record of what had been said.

The birth was great (a planned c-section - DC1 was a horrendous crash section and I made it very clear I wouldn't be going through anything like that again). Aftercare was terrible. I was discharged on the Saturday night, and had no midwife visit on the Sunday. We phoned the number they had given us and had no reply. No visit by a midwife on the Monday and I was feeling really ill so we went back in to the maternity unit ourselves- good job we did as my blood pressure was dangerously high and they thought I had pre-pre-eclampsia and I was readmitted. I was there for another 4 days and they didn't have enough staff to even take my blood pressure every 4 hours. At one point there was only one midwife on the whole of the postnatal ward.

I am so glad we're not having a third as the experience with 1 and 2 was so bad.

shitwithsugaron Mon 15-Feb-16 16:24:17

I had my DD 12 weeks ago...

Antenatal care was great, I was lucky to have a very easy pregnancy so didn't need to lean on GP/midwife that much but when I did need my midwife she was there for me.

During labour, I had a midwife and a student midwife both of which I would trust implicitly to bring another child of mine into the world. They were brilliant not just to me but to DH as I had 3rd degree tear and had to go to surgery they looked after him amazingly as he was quite anxious for me.

Care in hospital for a one night stay due to spinal/severe tear was quite varied. I found the lower ranked (right phrase??) midwives and nurses etc to be much more caring and approachable.

Breastfeeding buddies in the hospital were very good at their jobs, it didn't work out for me but I did still appreciate their efforts.

Unfortunately, postnatal care by GP and midwives was absolutely shocking. I developed an infection in my stitches that my GP surgery couldn't get me an appointment to the RECEPTIONIST decided I must have thrush and told me to use my maternity exemption certificate to get free canestan over the counter. It turns out my infection was fed by the thrush treatment and I'd taken 2 steps forwards and 3 backwards. I had a phone appointment when my GP asked me to 'feel my tummy just like the midwife would, you know, give it a good squeeze and if it hurts you've got a problem with your uterus'
Prescribed antibiotics before telling me 'to get them in your system quick before the infection takes hold and you have to be cut open and restitched, cos I'm sure you don't want a night away from your baby do you?'
Midwives continued my care in a similar vein, after every visit I cried and cried as nobody would listen to me and what I was saying felt wrong with me. One midwife even said to me 'there is no sign of you WANT there to be something wrong with you?'
DH was told by HV I was heading into PND territory when she first visited. Luckily my infection was treated but the damage has been so profound I will be under the care of a consultant gynae for the foreseeable future.

I then changed GP and put in a complaint, not that anything will be done but it made me feel better, even if it helps another woman avoid the awful care I received.

ToastedStoat Mon 15-Feb-16 16:59:22

I had pretty lovely postnatal experiences. Both ds 2 and 3 were inductions due to maternal health, pre 40 weeks so could have been horrible but they weren't. Both times I felt listened to and respected. I can't remember any bad feeling towards staff at all. Apart from the paediatrician who, for seemingly no reason, left ds3 out of his round of checks so we had to take him back in after we had been discharged which was a pain. But everything else more than made up for it. With ds3 I had particularly lovely midwives during and after the birth. One really supported me to breastfeed throughout baby's low blood sugar issue, she said the higher ups might want to give him formula and put him in Scbu but she could see I didn't want that so she spent time with me and it paid off, he was allowed home after 48 hours.

The difference in antenatal care between ds 2 and 3,who are only 3 years apart, was very pronounced. With ds2 I saw the same midwives for every appointment, they were easy to contact and always returned my calls. I had home visits from them which were really appreciated. With ds3 I had to change midwife in the first trimester as the disorganisation of the first didn't fill me with confidence. The second was slightly better but I still felt I had no out of hours support, calls and messages weren't returned, never any home visits and if I called to rearrange an appointment there were often none to be had. I was under consultant care from 28 weeks and they seemed to take this as an opportunity to effectively end my midwife care. I didn't see the community midwife again until she happened to do the 5 day check when I was home with ds3. I know services are stretched but I spent so much of my pregnancy worrying, not being able to speak to someone in the know really compounded it.

If we were planning any more children (we aren't) I'd be concerned about antenatal care.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Mon 15-Feb-16 17:56:41

My midwife is fantastic. She's s lovely person, very friendly and very sensible. I have complete confidence in her.
The sonographers at the hospital have all been great. The midwife who did my 12-week scan helped me talk through whether or not to have the downs screening. She didn't offer any opinions, just let me talk and allowed me to realise my own decision.
I've been very happy with my care and would definitely recommend the hospital and community midwives

CopperPan Mon 15-Feb-16 18:34:11

I had a lovely midwife with my last dd, and no fuss when I wanted an epidural. Everything was really straightforward but I also didn't ask for that much help as I was quite confident by that stage.

Flingingmelon Mon 15-Feb-16 18:53:41

Cheerfully, I could have written large chunks of your thread.

Fantastic water birth at UCLH. Awful three days in their mat ward afterwards. Left for hours and hours on end (other than aggressive breastfeeding councillors), three days of the same bloody sheets, waited forever for pain relief, sometimes got a meal (but several times I didn't), no quiet so no sleep. We had to get a private midwife to deal with my son's tongue tie just to escape.
I shouldn't have even been there. I was guilt tripped into exclusively breastfeeding and my son lost 10% of his birthweight as we struggled, so that triggered us being unable to leave. If I'd been able to mix feed whilst we got the hang of BF in our own time and in our own home, I'm sure we would have been home sooner. I'm not entirely convinced about tongue tie either. This was July 2013.

Doobydoo Mon 15-Feb-16 19:08:13

Would rather talk to CQC about unrealistic expectations they have re services expected when staffing very low and also how much they get paid for what they do.and why cqc NEVER recomends more staff etc etc

SerenityReynolds Mon 15-Feb-16 19:16:55

My ante-natal care at Kings College Hospital London was amazing in both pregnancies - midwives, obstetrician and haematology. I felt fully in control of my care at all times and listened to. I had my first child at Kings and the second at PRUH in Farnborough. Care during deliveries was mostly excellent (though for DD2 that was only 20 minutes!). Post-natal care was probably the weak link for both, especially Kings. The bay was noisy with disruptive patients and relatives (think loud radio on at 4am), both times tongue tie was missed (despite a 4 day admission at Kings for problems breastfeeding hmm). The breastfeeding support was not fantastic and consisted of each person who saw me contradicting the one before, and spending half an hour manhandling my boob into baby's mouth. Also, waiting for discharge seemed to take forever!

I was lucky to get a side room for the few hours I was in with DD2, but again a significant posterior tongue tie was missed. Continuity of care into the community was good however, especially as I was out of area both times.

wonkylegs Mon 15-Feb-16 19:22:38

I cannot fault my maternity care so far.
I have split care - community MW in the trust where I live, consultant/ hospital care at the larger regional centre in the adjacent trust.
Last year I had a late miscarraige and my care was sympathetic and really good.
I am now in the third trimester and once again have had fab care. I have a pre-existing condition, which has been monitored and reacted to really well, I have been given good care, my options and the consequences of decisions have been explained really well, my choices have been supported.
I was given the option of emotional support to cope with pregnancy after our late miscarriage, I declined but was given an extra scan to reassure me at the most worrying time (same week as previous loss)
I have been offered fab additional services like physio, hydrotherapy to support me physically. I have also had helpful practical help like the option of a parking permit as I am a frequent hospital visitor. We have discussed treatment and birth options in depth.
My community MW has been lovely and a good listener and has supported the hospital care well.
So far I cannot fault my care even when things haven't gone to plan due to my health. I hope that birth will be as smooth.

BeakyAndBun Mon 15-Feb-16 20:09:58

Our community midwife was fantastic. Very straight-talking and I always trusted her judgement. I had an induction so ended up with a hospital birth rather than the floaty earth mother birth I envisaged. It was all great (bar the absolutely dire food) but staff didn't have much time so we felt once DS had arrived that we were left to it a bit.

Merrilymerrilymerrily Mon 15-Feb-16 22:06:36

I have 2 children. In both cases (different hospitals), the antenatal care was fine but disjointed. Long waits for appointments, never the same midwife etc.
The midwife care at both of my births was absolutely fantastic. Could not have asked for better.

Was not in hospital for long after either birth, so no real comments there.

Had a bad experience with jaundice due to feeding issues with my first. Due to a mix up, midwife failed to attend the second at home appointment. She attended on the next day, but by then the jaundice was quite bad and baby required readmission. We feel that if the midwife had attended the day before, the signs would have been seen earlier. It was then very difficult to get help re establish breastfeeding on discharge from hospital

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 16-Feb-16 07:21:32

I had excellent maternity care all the way through. I saw the same community midwife for all my antenatal appointments then continued to see her afterwards - this was true for both children so we were able to develop a real sense of care and continuity. I had a home birth with my second and the care was outstanding - unobtrusive and supportive. I also had great help to establish breast feeding so I am very grateful for our local maternity services here in Brighton.

Wardy1993 Tue 16-Feb-16 08:05:54

I had ds (first baby) 7 weeks ago. Consultants decided to induce me. I went into hospital in the morning and was waiting around until the early hours of the next day to be induced. I asked for c section in the afternoon but baby suddenly came quickly after no signs of labour all day. The midwives and my consultant were excellent. The delivery suite needed updating but was clean. For reasons unknown we were put into a special side room rather than going into the post natal ward so that was quite nice as it meant we got to bond as a family and my husband could stay. The nursery nurse on the ward was really helpful with feeding tips and didn't judge me for putting baby on the bottle. Overall it was a good experience. Oh and the lady that actually delivered him was absolutely amazing!

zombiemeow Tue 16-Feb-16 10:52:59

I had my ds in 2014 following a stillbirth the same year. I actually had someone from the cqc come and speak to me when I was on the ward I was an emotional wreck grin

I went in to be induced and the staff on that ward were amazing. When I went to labour ward I had a lovely midwife looking after me but her shift finished and I got a new midwife. The new midwife barely uttered a few words to me, she had no understanding of how anxious I was given my last delivery and didn't offer any reassurance. When ds was born he went straight into scbu.

On the ward, the person looking after me was awful. She had me in floods of tears multiple times. She shouted at me like a school child as 'I wasn't feeding my baby right' but wouldn't tell me what the 'right' way was. My son then was ill again and had to go back down to scbu so I was on my own again, I was very worried about him and was crying again upset, the midwife came in and told me to stop being silly and left again without another word.

Then the cqc came to speak to me to ask about the care I received, they went and told the person in charge of the ward who got me a new midwife smile I'm so glad they came round and sorted it, I was terrified of having that woman look after me again, she really scared me hmm

zombiemeow Tue 16-Feb-16 10:54:50

And I must add, every student midwife I came across in the hospital I went to was amazing. So friendly and would listen to all my concerns.

But none of them beat my community midwife, who is infact the best in the world grin

Gooseysgirl Tue 16-Feb-16 11:17:54

I have two children. Ante-natal care with both was mostly in my local community and was very good, almost always saw the same midwife. Hospital experiences (2 different hospitals) were good during delivery (EMCS for DC1, ELCS DC2) but my birth plan wasn't read for my ELCS - if they had read it they would have known my husband wanted to cut the cord - he was gutted and had forgotten to ask yet there was no problem doing it in the middle of an EMCS!?! Post natal care was fantastic for DC1, lots of help with BF, decent pain relief, decent food. However after DC2 and myself left post-op the care was atrocious (Homerton), in my opinion this was due to simply not having enough staff. The staff themselves were mostly lovely and doing the best the could in awful circumstances. Food was awful... I don't expect 5* gourmet but what I got was inedible and I'm not that fussy! I got no sleep in three days, had an epic BF failure (DS blood sugar went v low and they didn't spot this as do know as they should have) and was hysterically upset with absolutely no privacy. Getting upset now just typing this so I'll leave it at that.

CorBlimeyTrousers Tue 16-Feb-16 11:37:58

I have a 5 year old child and a 6 month old baby. Both born at NWPH by caesarean. My antenatal care in both cases was good. I had diabetes in pregnancy both times and saw the diabetes midwives regularly. They were very helpful and reassuring. I was also referred to the diabetes dietician which helped a lot with diet (diabetes managed with diet alone) and to a specialist mental health midwife in my second pregnancy as I had PND the first time. She referred me on to the perinatal psychiatric service who were brilliant - I had very good care when I developed PND again. The only criticisms I would make of antenatal care was long waiting times at hospital (but I just brought along a book and expected to wait) and that it felt like I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get my elective caesarean agreed - this was a source of anxiety for me and it wasn't formally agreed I could have one until 36 weeks.

The care I received during my caesareans was very good. I noticed improvements between 2010 and 2015 - in particular that my baby was placed on me for skin to skin straight away rather than being wrapped in a blanket. I was all round very happy.

Postnatal care in both cases was noticeably worse. Every midwife and midwife assistant had different advice about breastfeeding and I found this very confusing. The staff seemed too busy to really give individual care and the quieter women and babies were overlooked in favour of those who were more demanding. I saw another woman being fobbed off when she needed help feeding being told that someone would come along and help her soon but they didn't until her baby had been waiting a long time (far too long in my opinion). It all felt rushed and that they wanted you out yo get the bed back - it is a very busy hospital.

I hope that's helpful. I couldn't really fault my antenatal care but the postnatal ward staff were too busy and would benefit from updated breastfeeding training. The care I received at home visits after we went home was good though.

CorBlimeyTrousers Tue 16-Feb-16 11:43:14

I just want to add what made the caesareans good - obviously the key thing was that the operations went smoothly. But also that it felt like a very special experience and that everyone was happy for us. We have some lovely photos of my son being born and all the staff are smiling. Yes a caesarean will never be as intimate as a home birth for example but it was far far from the experience the NCT had described (and scared me about!)

ButterflyOfFreedom Tue 16-Feb-16 12:18:39

I've had 2 DC in the past 5 years, both vaginal births in hospital, and I cannot fault the care I received.
I was very lucky to have straight forward pregnancies and births, and to have lovely midwives throughout (though I had a number of different midwives when I actually thought I would have had one).
The antenatal care was fine - appointments were kept, my questions answered, and advice given. All in a friendly, understanding way.
The team at the hospital when I was giving birth were fantastic! They listened to me, let me do things my way, didn't patronise or make me feel uncomfortable in any way.
Even the hospital food was fine (tea & toast just after the birth, followed by a sandwich & yogurt for lunch a little later).
The facilities were great, I was impressed with the room we got - very big, en suite, everything we needed. And the shower I had post delivery was amazing!!!!
I know I have been very lucky but I cannot fault the care I received or the experiences I had.

PurpleCrazyHorse Tue 16-Feb-16 13:15:36

DD was born in 2009 in a birth centre. Great experience and although I was transferred to hospital I came back to the birth centre for an extra 24hrs of breastfeeding help. This was pivotal in me continuing to breastfeed.

I had DS 8 months ago at UHCW. Anti natal provision was good but there wasn't clear information over whether I could go to the birth centre or not. This needs firming up so mothers know what to expect.

I can't comment on the labour ward as I had DS about 15mins after arriving in the triage room. Very nearly without a midwife! Post natal care was okay for me but it's not great being on a ward where partners need to leave. A lady on my ward was in agony after her CS, her husband was sent home and the nurses were really cruel to her when she kept pressing the buzzer for help. Either the nurses needed to help her or they should have allowed her husband to stay. I nearly got up and gave the poor woman a hug!

Community midwives were okay but I lost track of who I was seeing really. I've mostly avoided HVs as DS is over the 99th percentile for weight and they keep telling me to stop BFing him and give him water. They have never stopped and measured his length (also over the 99th!)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now