"Birth of first child"

About: Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

I recently had my first baby at the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital. We attended parenting classes prior to prepare us for the birth and did a tour of a birth suite.

I was told we would have a birth suite for privacy and support during labour. We were advised to bring reading materials, massage oil, our own music - all to make the birthing experience as personal and comfortable as possible.

Reality was totally different. We presented to hospital after my waters broke to be assessed. There was no bed in the review clinic so we waited. The midwives were changing shifts so we waited. They had to answer an on call phone service for pregnant women as well as attend the patients in an overfull department. So we waited. I was seen once at 6. 30am and then despite having contractions lasting a minute and being only a minute apart nobody would come to review me. I was told standard procedure was to review me in 4 hours.

My husband was there but we didn't know what to expect as it was our first baby. We were left alone to labour for hours without any reassurance or support from nursing staff and while we were waiting for someone to assess me I cried.

I cried because I was scared, because I didn't know what was happening, because I felt alone and ignored by nursing staff. I felt like an inconvenience. I had no privacy, was told to walk the general hospital corridor to help with labour & had a curtain for a door as I suffered through contractions.

I cried because I wanted to go home and couldn't understand why reality was so different to my expectations. My baby is a number of weeks old and I still feel traumatised by the lack of support and empathy shown to me.

In my opinion I got told off for making a mess as I was in the process of bringing a new life into this world. I was lucky to make it to a birthing suite, as there are only 10 in a hospital that caters to a significant catchment area.

On the positive side Birth Suite itself was amazing.

Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

The response below was posted on behalf of Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital by Patient Opinion Australia.

Dear New Mama,

Thank you so much for taking time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. Firstly, we would like to sincerely apologize for the experience of both yourself and your husband during your stay at RBWH. We are saddened to hear that you have experienced our service in this way. At Women’s and Newborn Services RBWH we strive to provide high quality care and your experience does not reflect the standard of service that we strive for.

We would welcome an opportunity to discuss your experience with you in detail. This is to better understand what occurred and most importantly to ensure that we prevent a recurrence. We would be grateful if you could please contact us so that your concerns could be discussed. We will otherwise respect your decision should you choose not to make contact and if this is the case we will have general discussions with staff about your experience. If you are willing to contact us please direct your email to The Nursing and Midwifery Director Women’s and Newborn Services via WNS-Feedback@health.qld.gov.au.

On a positive note, we are pleased to read about the care you received in the Birth Suite. We will take this as a compliment and will pass this on to the team.

We hope to hear from you soon and thank you again for taking the time to share your story so that we may continually improve the care that we provide.

Regards

Women’s and Newborn Services

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