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Share your maternity care experiences with CQC - £300 voucher to be won! NOW CLOSED(279 Posts)
We are working with CQC (Care Quality Commission), who through a current campaign #yourbirthplan would like to make the public more aware of their inspection reports and ratings which can help women make informed decisions about where they give birth. With this aim in mind, they would like to hear your experiences of maternity care.
Here’s what CQC have to say: ‘’While women may have the choice to have their baby at home, in a midwife led unit or in hospital – we know that many are not aware. We believe that all women should be fully informed about the options they have regarding their choices over where they give birth – it is important that expectant parents are fully informed about the options they have available to them throughout their pregnancy and understand the benefits and potential risks of any choice they make – be this at home, hospital or birth centre.
There are multiple sources of information to help make a decision and our aim is to raise awareness including our inspection reports and ratings – as one of these sources, to help ensure they are fully informed of all the options available to them and have the best possible birth experience.”
Perhaps you want to share your experience of maternity care in hospital? Maybe you gave birth at home or in a midwife led unit? Or perhaps you want to tell us about your experience of how you chose where you gave birth?
Whatever your experiences are, share them on the thread below and everyone who comments will be entered into a prize draw, where one lucky winner will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).
Thanks and good luck
Standard Insight T&Cs apply
The CQC is responsible for inspecting all hospitals, including private hospitals, GP practice, dentists, care homes and home care in England. Its maternity service inspections include all services for women that relate to pregnancy, including ante and post-natal services, labour wards, birth centres or units and theatres providing obstetric related surgery.
Each inspection answers five key questions: Is the service safe? Is it effective? Are the staff caring and responsive to people’s needs and is the service well led?
I had a great experience giving birth but the lead up to it was terrible! I couldn't get a hold the unit I wanted to give birth at and the other unit said to just keep calling them so my partner ended up calling an ambulance as at this point my contractions were just under 5 minutes apart! The paramedics were lovely and got me to the hospital pronto but I was then left waiting outside the unit for over an hour as they had no beds available to assess me and there was 2 women in line before me. I was finallly let in to be assessed and I was definitely in labour as I was already 7cm dilated, they suddenly realised how serious my situation was and rushed me over to the widwife led suite to have my water birth as I had planned. Once I was there my experience was wonderful Sophie my midwife was brilliant and kept me calm all the way through and in just under 2 hours my little man entered the world!
We were told we could give birth at the local midwife led unit during all our pregnancies 6 of us in nct group). Actually the unit had been closed due to infant deaths but this was not shared with us. Had to go to hospital instead. No options discussed at all. I had an epidural and midwife told me she hadn't taken her exams to look after someone with an epidural but wanted to be helping 'real women' having 'real labours'!!!
I had a really positive experience with Epsom hospital, which I chose after a couple of work colleagues gave birth their and praised.
My only grumble would be the tight times on antenatal appointments which mean the clinics were always running late, one appointment was 1.5hrs late.
But the hospital and staff were great, I had to be checked twice due to my concerns and had no problem getting through on the phone, being taken seriously and also promptly being checked at the hospital.
Due to a condition I ended up as a last minute planned section, I have nothing but praise for the midwives, care assistants, surgeons and other staff who were all fantastic - including the after care, when I buzzed for assistance someone always came!
Where I lived at the time, there was little choice on where to give birth, but there was also a lack of information on what the restrictions were as well. I was booked to give birth at a mw led unit, had to deliver at the main hospital as ds was premature, but I was shocked to find that there was no neonatal consultant there, and the care on SCBU was very limited - your baby would be transferred another 30 miles away without you.
The vast majority of midwifery care I have had has been fantastic, committed and compassionate.
I had all three of my DC's in Derby Hospital, I never even considered having them at home which was a good thing because the first two were complicated deliveries and the third turned out to be an emergency cesarean section.
I gave birth in Burton Queens Hospital and I received fantastic care until I actually gave birth, then unfortunately the aftercare was terrible.
I had a miscarriage and the care was horrendous. During my 13 week scan the radiographer who was foreign couldn't find the English to tell me my baby had no heartbeat and just apologised whilst she went to find another member of staff to tell me he news. I was then left in a maternity ward with mums who had just given birth and was given no support whilst I waited for a Dr for four hours after I had been scanned and no heart beat was found. I had to return the next day for Surgery and was again in a maternity ward beside the nursing station where phone calls were coming in from women who had just gone into labour. When I had my first son I felt powerless over the situation of labour and was made to take diamorphine which I really didn't want to take. This made me really sick and drowsy and for my second delivery I chose to use hypnobirthing as my previous experiences had left me worried. It was amazing and I delivered naturally a baby who was compound and back to back. Afterwards the midwife told me had she examined me (I wasn't examined at all due to it being a hypnobirthing) she would have encouraged me to have a section so I felt very proud and glad to have practiced so hard for the birth.
I had very good care (consultant-led, high risk pregnancy): the staff were excellent (both on hospital & community).
When it came to an actual birth plan, I didn’t make one as I realised it was going to be a bit beyond my control. I would not have gone against medical advice, and luckily didn’t have any strong feelings about birth. Certainly not beyond “baby out safely”.
When it came time to have my baby, the maternity hospital was closed to women in labour, due being at capacity. I had an EMCS, and felt very let down about breastfeeding support, especially in the community.
I would have loved to have had more informed knowledge about the hospitals I gave birth in. The questions the CQC are asking are ones that would have mattered to me. I was very happy with my experiences in two different hospitals but feel this was more luck rather than anything else as had little prior knowledge of either beforehand.
I gave birth at my local hospital, the midwives were great and couldn't do enough for me and my baby.
My actual birth was fantastic, I completely panicked and got angry with the pain and my midwives talked me down, organised an epidural for me and made me feel secure and lovely. Dd was born with no intervention and they encouraged delayed cord clamping, skin to skin and immediate breastfeeding. Truly a wonderful birth.
The aftercare was another matter. Nasty, rude midwives, obs being missed/late - at one point my blood pressure dropped massively and it took them 3 hours to come back and re-check it. The wards were massively over-crowded (8 beds in each bay and partners as well as mothers and babies). Toilets and showers absolutely disgusting. No help with breastfeeding, and hounded by the bounty lady. I begged to be discharged as soon as Dd had her 12 hours of observations, but they kept us in for another 12 as they were so busy. Truly the worst start to life as a brand new mother! It was pretty much entirely down to understaffing which is such a shame as the contrast between giving birth and the aftercare was just so shocking.
This was the N&N in Norwich.
It is also a right that any woman can request and receive a section. Too many women are denied sections by community midwives. Your birth, your choice. Should be the new campaign.
My elective section was perfect. My midwives post section were perfect. Amazing breastfeeding support. The birth I'd dreamt of.
I had both my children at the womens hospital in Birmingham. Both babies were delivered early due to complications in pregnancy which totally messed up my carefully prepared birth plan! . The care was very comprehensive and specialised in the hospital but I preferred the far more personal care and attention delivered by the community midwife team.
I've had five preganancies, One missed miscarriage, one stillbirth and three children. One child on the NHS in London in a hospital, (emergency C section) one child private and another C section, last child NHS elective C section outside of London. Will have been pretty good except postnatal first one was pretty dicey. To be honest I would say you can tell when you go private and the service I got was amazing, in terms of personal care. That being said, the surgical quality was excellent throughout. With the still birth, the care was compassionate and very good. Miscarriage less so.
I had a high risk consultant led pregnancy. I only had one choice of hospital but didn't fancy a home birth or midwife led unit anyway. Who wants to spend their birth in an ambulance on the way to the nearest proper hospital?
You can check your local hospitals out on the which website. It tells you what facilities they have, how many birthing pools etc.
I was induced and ended up with a section which was fine. I'd go for another section rather than a VBAC. Labour and birth is pretty brutal, it's not so bad you can't do it but it's not the wonderful spiritual experience the NCT would like you to think it is, for most people.
The majority of my care pre, during and post birth was good - excellent. A few standout horrible care moments though:
- Being spoken to like I was stupid when I said I wanted to avoid as much intervention as necessary. It wasn't until I mentioned that I'd read the RCOG report on the hospital that I was suddenly spoken to like a competent person.
- Being told by a midwife during induction (after refusing to have my waters broken) that a senior registrar was coming and he would be breaking my waters, ermmmm not without my consent he won't! (There was no medical need/emergency for this intervention) I 'knew' that my waters were going to go naturally and sure enough 10 mins later they did.
- The tone of voice used accompanied by the sigh and eye roll from the female consultant who was stitching me when I winced saying 'Im not going to have to take you to theatre to stitch you am I. It's not that painful"
- The woeful lack of breastfeeding support both in hospital and in the community, which then becomes pretty much non existent once your baby is over 28 days old, as according to my NHS trust women/babies don't have breastfeeding problems past this point!
Other than this though I generally had very good care.
I had my baby in my local hospital in the birthing centre and had a great experience.
My antenatal care was good although I did feel at times that measurements/ positioning of baby wasnt explained to me.
My post natal care was good but I did feel like it was rushed and I ready needed more support in breast feeding which the midwifes clearly didn't have time for despite trying their best.
All in all I feel the care I received was good and the answer to the five key questions would be yes.
I had no choice as to where i would deliver as was high risk consuktant led and required a C-Section.
Ended up having an emergancy section 2 weeks before planned one. Baby was iver 4 weeks premature.
The care i had in triage was great. The theatre staff were overall pretty good.
I needed HDU after section (under GA) those midwives were absolutely brilliant. I could not have asked for better care, they took great care not just of me aand my premature baby but also my very stressed husband!
Sadly less than 24 hrs after section i was moved to a ward. The 'care' there was diabolical at best non existant at worst. And i day this as a HCP who understands the demands of wards. But i am a first time mum. Had a prem baby (just out of tge nicu) in an incubator. Had had an emergancy c-section under GA less than 24 hrs before. Had only just had my morphine drip stopped. And still They gave me no help with anything. If i dared to ask for advise about what to do or how to do something with my baby i was made feel like a nuisance or as if i should already know. And heaven forbid i asked for stronger painkillers, apparently i should of been able to cope with just paracetomol and ibuprofen after major surgery (which is something that would never happen in a general surgical ward).
It was an awful experience and sadly i now know that is the 'norm' for that ward. Its shocking and disgusting.
No matter what i would never consent to going back there.
I had a great time with both labours. Cannot fault the midwives at all x
I cannot complain about the care we receive here, midwives are very capable however one midwife I'm guessing with not much experience sent me for an agonising walk whilst in very late labour as she said I had plenty of time, to make it atleast an hour, which I painfully did by the time I got back barely able to walk they had to quickly take me into the room to deliver the baby as she was just about to pop out literally!! Hence no option of pain relief thought I was going to die! The more experienced midwife who started her shift after I had delivered was not very happy with the midwife and asked if I wanted to complain. But all in all they do a good job.
I had brilliant experiences of giving birth for both of mine. The problems I had was with the post natal care with my first baby. I was in shock after a 40+ hour labour and one of the midwives on the ward was an utter horror. She was very rough and unsympathetic with me. She ripped out my catheter, told me it wasn't painful when it most definitely was, criticised me, was impatient and hurtful. I could not wait to get out.
In reality I had no choice where to give birth. My first choice would have been the birth centre at the local hospital. On the day I needed it it was closed due to staff shortages. My second choice would have been the Maternity ward at my local hospital. On the day I needed it it was full due to higher demand (caused by the birth centre being closed). I was sent to an awful freestanding birth centre instead. I would rather have had a home birth or gone to a different hospital MLU or ward but was not given any option. I was told where to go. Options are pointless when there isn’t enough staff to make these options actually available on the day.
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