"Child birth"

About: King Edward Memorial Hospital / Maternity

(as a parent/guardian),

After a very calm period of contractions, we were transferred from the Family Birth Centre (FBC) to the hospital's Birthing Ward. In my opinion the differences in services offered could not be more black and white. 

Our birth plan was completely ignored, the calm setting that we established upon arrival was shattered when both doctors and other nurses and midwives entered the room. 

There seemed to be a lot of stress and intensity for no reason, from my understanding our baby was not in any danger and just needed some gentle assistance to come out. 

The doctors felt otherwise. They gave mother a second catheter after the first one was given only 5 minutes before. After vacuuming our baby out they ignored our requests for delayed cord clamping. As the doctor was going to clamp the umbilical cord, they had mistakenly picked up the wrong instrument and cut the cord instead of clamping it. This led to a lot of blood across my partner and our baby.

Once the clamp was in place our requests for skin to skin contact were again ignored with our healthy and content baby being removed to be examined for no particular reason. 

The lack of communication, the amount of staff and just directness that the staff seem to operate at is bordering on rudeness. 

There seems to be a culture amongst the staff that they will do what's required and ignore your requests, questions or desires about how you will birth your baby.

At the end of the day, we have a healthy baby and a mother that is a little bruised but mostly okay. 

We just want to see a bit more care around how the staff conduct themselves and how they communicate with patients at KEMH.

Responses

Response from Graeme Boardley, Director, Midwifery, Nursing and Patient Support Services, Women and Newborn Health Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital

picture of Graeme Boardley

Dear sambakk85,

Thank you for raising these issues. I am sorry that you felt your birth plan was ignored and that the calmness of a planned birth centre birth was shattered when you were transferred to our main labour and birth suite. I further apologise that your requests for delayed cord clamping were not supported and skin to skin was not facilitated.

The communication certainly appears sub-optimal and your description of staff being rude is totally unacceptable and I am sorry this was your experience.

I have discussed your story with our Medical and Midwife Co-Directors, both of whom also apologise. They will share your story with our Labour and Birth Suite team focusing on the importance of appropriate communication, the importance of supporting birth plans providing there is no clinical indication to vary this plan, and if there is to clearly communicate with the woman and support people the need to vary the plan. While we can't change your experience, we will use this opportunity to educate our staff so that we can minimise the likelihood of this happening to anyone else.

We will also follow up on the cord being cut inadvertently.

Once again, thank you for bringing these matters to my attention and I apologise that your experience did not meet your expectations, nor the standard we expect. I trust that both mother and baby continue to do well.

Kind Regards,

Graeme Boardley

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