Recent experiences of NHS care during pregnancy and labour
Rooandtwo · 11/05/2022 08:21
This is my first time posting and I hope this will make sense. Due to my job I am exposed to a lot of people experiences of nhs care. Recently I’m hearing a lot of terrible stories about failings and this is adding to anxiety about childbirth.
I want to say firstly that I completely feel for the nhs workers, what they have been and continue to go through. A friend who works for the nhs said ‘we’ve been treating people in broom cupboards for years even before this’. I feel absolutely sure that everyone is doing their best in very testing circumstances.
I am posting because I think probably I am hearing the far negative end of the spectrum and that by casting a net I might hear more positive stories because (again because of my job) I’m more likely to hear the bad not the good. Also I hear mainly about treatment of illness and injury, nothing related to birth which is what is concerning me whilst ttc. Any positive (or even adequate lol) recent stories of your care whilst giving birth would be amazing.
Thanks in advance.
LightEveningsAreBack · 11/05/2022 08:47
I gave birth March 2021 when restrictions were still tight, it was my 3rd child and my other 2 aren't that old. In terms of my experience, it wasn't really much different apart from not being allowed to have my husband at scans etc, this didn't actually bother me (not my first though) I actually thought it improved things as there wasn't 5000 people in the waiting room hogging the seats when you are clearly v pregnant. With my other children people often brought their extended family to scans it was ridiculous. A nice quiet empty waiting room was great. In terms of birth I had my most difficult birth and couldn't fault the care I received in hospital, again I actually thought it was better that the wards weren't like a train station. When I had my second child I had random people loitering at the end of my bed as it was the only place for phone signal, I mean literally by my bed!! My husband was with me for the entire birth and 3 hours after just like my other children (men can't stay after 8pm at our hospital even non covid time). The only thing I was a bit sad about was that I was stuck in hodpital and visiting was husband only and only 1.5 hours time slot. The midwife was a student though and very kind and told my husband to just stay until a more senior midwife asked him to leave so he was there 11-4 instead of turfed out at 12.30. My sister recently had a baby at the same hospital and lots of the restrictions are now lifted, husband's can stay all day now. My care in hospital was great though, I was very well looked after, the staff were amazing, a very positive experience despite a difficult birth.
My aftercare has been quite rubbish though I had quite bad injuries and I'm still waiting for the appointment for physio/to be fixed, I have no idea what aftercare was like pre covid as I was completely fine after my other births so I can't compare.
Rooandtwo · 12/05/2022 19:17
Thank you lightevenings, that’s so lovely to hear. I’m so glad to hear you had an ok experience even during the worst of such a difficult time. I am wondering if the follow up care is more where the problems lie - a sort of something has got to give situation. But certainly it’s the big day itself that worries me most. Thank you again for sharing and congratulations on your little one ☺️
tothemoonandbackbuses · 12/05/2022 19:25
I gave birth to my second in August 2020 and the staff were amazing so much better than when I had my first.
I did miss having my partner visit but I didn’t miss other peoples visitors
Peelspeelspeels · 13/05/2022 08:37
I had my 2nd baby 3 weeks ago. In my experience the individuals are all caring, kind and want to help but it’s the system that’s not as good as it could be. My trust (like most) is very short on midwives so I had no continuity of care in pregnancy and never saw the same midwife twice (luckily I was consultant led too so at least saw the same doctor). However I had excellent care during my induction and labour, and afterwards - they were obviously busy but everyone was so friendly, caring and were amazing when my labour escalated very quickly and unexpectedly. I’d say make sure you know you can ask questions about medical decisions, ask about alternatives etc so you avoid being put on a conveyor belt of care that might not suit you - your body, your choice. But yes high quality care still exists in the NHS.
Upsideandundergarments · 15/05/2022 08:15
Gave birth March 2022 in Northern Ireland. I had was so lucky to be part of a project that meant I had continuity of care and an incredible named midwife that I trusted totally and adored. She was brilliantly professional/ kind and knowledgable and made me excited about birth without sugar-coating it.
The birth itself was great, really straightforward and all preferences were respected as much as they could be. When the plan needed tweaking, I was informed and still felt in control.
I did lose quite a bit of blood and felt very dizzy but was given lots of tea and toast (mana from heaven) and midwives helped hold the baby when I felt too shaky. They were clearly understaffed and by the next day I was feeling a lot better so they were rightly prioritising other women. This was the only point I missed having my husband as he could have done the wee jobs that didn't take a professional to do (filling up water/ helping me stand/ passing over the baby etc) but we muddled through. They were always there for anything big though and spent time with me helping with breastfeeding and showing me how to change a nappy etc.
All in all they were incredible but for the love of all that is holy can we properly fund these departments!
pedropony76 · 15/05/2022 08:24
My first experience with my first baby last year May was HELL but I know that’s not what you want to hear!
I just had my second baby nearly 4 weeks ago at a different hospital and my experience was so positive. The consultant anaesthetist was aware of my previous experience and went over and beyond to make sure I had a good experience this time round. Same goes for the midwives on the labour ward and postnatal ward. As I had a physiological birth plan, everyone knew what I’d been through and the care I received was 11/10!
My son has been in NICU since birth and the matron allowed me to stay on the ward for 13 days just because they didn’t need the bed. The midwives would randomly come round to ask how the baby was doing and just sit down and offer support if I wanted to cry about what was going on. I honestly cannot fault them at all and I’m actually going to buy them a couple of boxes of chocolates as well as a card and drop it to reception today. Even the health care professionals were really helpful, more helpful than last time. That’s for sure!
Many MANY women have extremely bad and traumatic experiences but at the same time, so many other women have great experiences. I honestly think it just depends on what hospital you’re at and who’s working what shift! For the majority, it seems to just be pure luck
Heresafe · 16/05/2022 21:13
I was incredibly impressed with the care I had and the speed at which the nhs reacted when I had a major issue in labour. Their good care kept us safe and they were absolutely wonderful ( this was last month and I’d been worrying about staff shortages which I do think has been an issue at our hospital ).
I suspect some geographical areas are more stretched than others and I know the day they asked me to come in for an induction they were worried it was ‘heaving’ (the midwife’s description of it which at the time wasn’t encouraging) but they did a phenomenal job both during labour and after . I think any specific issues will tend to get priority . After my experience I’m forever grateful to our nhs.
calliopea · 18/05/2022 22:09
In general, it's fine, but you need to take charge of your pregnancy and be well informed about birth and aware of your options. You just want to make sure that you are making the decisions, not just getting taken along for the ride.
Bare in mind that even the most reliable medical studies take on average 15 years to make it in to standard practice in NHS.
A small example, they are still recommending folic acid, when really they should be recommending methylfolate. So simple, yet still not been picked up as standard practice.
As nice as the midwives are, there is no continuity of care, no personalised care, and postpartum care is absolutely crap. Highly recommend paying for a 'Mummy MOT'.
The NHS is actually kind of better for complicated pregnancies and births.
If you have a healthy pregnancy and want a good old physiological birth then it's hard to get the kind of care you want sometimes.
fluffyrainbowllama · 18/05/2022 22:21
I gave birth at the end of 2019 to my first DC, pre pandemic and it was hell. The wards were jam packed and the poor midwife's on the ward were rushed off their feet, it felt like we were on a conveyer belt and they couldn't wait to get you out.
But, every friend or family member that's since had a baby have had the best care experiences. my best friend gave birth a couple of weeks ago and it couldn't have been any better, the care was second to none, they were given a private room for the 3 nights they were in, nothing felt rushed and they even let her husband stay with them the whole time they were there. They had issues with breastfeeding and were given so much help with that and the aftercare has also been great.
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