"No support during child birth"

About: Liverpool Hospital

(as the patient),

Recently my beautiful child was born, after approximately 6 hours of labouring at the birthing unit. This was my first child so I did not know what to expect, but I know what pain feels like so when I arrived at the Birthing Unit at 5pm with regular, painful contractions and having my water broken, I was pretty sure I was well on my way. That is until the midwife assessing me proceeded to strap me up to a machine without asking me whether I had been timing contractions. They left the room and came back an hour later, in which time I was already in a lot of pain and with only my husband there. They then checked my dilation - a very disheartening zero - but I was still in a world of pain. They told me at this point at about 6:30pm or so that I'd need to go home. They noticed my shaking legs and asked me if I was nervous... I tried explaining to them that it wasn't nerves, it was simply involuntary from the excruciating pain I was feeling in my back. Again, I felt their response was dismissive at best. They declared I'd need to go home and that the labour could take up to 48 hours yet... I felt like I was basically being treated like a hypochondriac. I was given some Endone and taken back to the room but was told if nothing happens by 9pm that I will have to go home. So I took the Endone, however the pain was so bad it caused me to vomit. I was basically left in the birthing room with my husband from 6:30pm with the pain only intensifying. No one came to see me, to check on me, to offer me any pain relief. I basically laboured alone until 10pm - to which still no one had seen me. Being my first baby I did not know if this was normal or not, all I knew was I was in agony and the midwife had more or less told me I was still an eternity away from giving birth. Finally, at approximately 10:30pm I was getting the urge to push. My husband ran out and it was only then that I received some actual care. They rushed in and I was convinced I may still only be slightly dilated... lo and behold I was 9cm. Ready to go, ready to deliver. To that midwife on duty - you may think you've seen it all, but when someone is telling you they are in extreme pain please don't make them feel belittled and feel frightened for their life. For me, the prospect of a long arduous labour and the fact you booked me in for an induction for the following morning at 7am was the scariest thing I could have been told, as the pain even at 5pm was so bad I had no idea how I was going to make it through. I not only laboured completely alone with my husband, who was also traumatised watching his wife go through that without support and guidance, I also laboured without any offers or options for pain relief. Besides the amazing team who actually delivered my baby and the absolute joy of becoming a mother, let me say it was singularly the most traumatic night of my life not only physically, but mentally.

Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

The following response has been published by Patient Opinion Australia on behalf of Liverpool Hospital:

Dear MumtoNewBaby

First and foremost I would like to congratulate you on the birth of your first baby. I hope you and your husband are settling into your new routine at home.

Thank you for sharing your experience on Patient Opinion. I’m sorry to know your first birthing experience was so painful and very distressing for both you and your husband. This is not what Liverpool Hospital hopes for our mum’s to experience. This should have been an exciting and happy time for you and your husband, so I sincerely apologise that this has not been your experience.

We would very much like an opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail so that we can investigate and address the issues you have raised. I encourage you to contact Karen McMenamin, General Manager, Liverpool Hospital, Tel 02 8738 6301 | Fax 02 8738 6318 karen.mcmenamin@health.nsw.gov.au at your convenience to discuss your concerns further.

Thank you again for sharing your story. I hope you are now feeling well enough to enjoy your beautiful baby and the whole motherhood experience.

With kind regards

Ken Hampson

Director Clinical Governance

South Western Sydney Local Health District

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