"After delivery care"

About: Lyell McEwin Hospital

(as the patient),

I want to share the recent experience I had at Lyell McEwin when I was there for the birth of my 1st child. It’s been a some time now and I still haven’t been able to forget how I was treated as I felt discriminated, and poorly treated by one of the staff members at the hospital after the birth of my child when I needed care most.

I am from Port Pirie and was referred to Lyell McEwin for induction process from Port Pirie Hospital. So I travelled all the way from Port Pirie to Adelaide for the birth of my child.

The birthing and assessment unit staff were wonderful. I was admitted and was induced which didn’t work out and ended up in an emergency C- section very early in the morning two days later, after which I was transferred to another ward.

Unfortunately the ward did not let any attendant (in my case I only had my husband since I had no other family or anyone in Adelaide- so my husband wasn’t allowed to stay with me which was another issue ) stay with me.

I felt one of the nurses there, the one posted on at night, gave me a very tough time. So much so that there were times I was crying because I felt so bad that I had no help.

When I called the nurse for help because my c section wound was very sore, as it had been not even 48 hrs, I requested them to help me sit back on the bed (as the bed was high for me and I was already suffering from a pre-existing condition which made me unable to use both my legs efficiently to get back on the bed)the nurse said they couldn’t help simply because they aren’t allowed.

Another time when I pressed the nurse assistant button the same nurse pops in and I requested again to please help me put my legs up because it’s hurting me too much. The nurse said just do it as you would do at home. Well, at home I would have my husband to help me with everything and if I had to do what I had to do at home then I was wondering why I am kept in a hospital at all.

There was also a time when in the middle of the night while I was changing the nappy of my two day old child, bubbles started coming out of their mouth and they began to choke. I got so scared and didn’t know what to do that I completely forgot about the diapers and I picked up my baby and ran outside for help. The nurse comes in and I told them what happened, they said it’s ok you should have left the baby lying there, and picking them up like this means there will be poo everywhere.

So I’m seeing my child choke and I become scared to death and I felt all the nurse cares about is having poo on the floor.

Being a healthcare professional myself I know that during such choking incidences you don’t even leave an adult flat let alone a 2 day old (unfortunately you forget all the protocols when you’re a mum, and a 2 day old mum)

The same night I was very dizzy when I was getting up from bed, so much so that I feared I would probably fall when I was going to the toilet, so I pressed the nurse assistant button, the nurse came in. I told the nurse that if they can keep standing there for 2 - 3 minutes because I was dizzy and need to use the toilet and have some one look at my child while I was in the toilet after the choking incident. They made a face as if I have asked them to God knows do what, the nurse said: oh if you feel that way u can press the assistant button in the toilet.

Well someone explain that what if I never made it to the toilet! Because I told the nurse I am feeling very dizzy that I can’t even stand with holding on to something.

After all these things I actually started avoiding pressing that button thinking that the nurse will be on duty and instead of facing their careless rude remarks I’ll somehow manage on my own, even though I couldn’t even think clearly as I was taking very strong medication every few hours that made me extremely drowsy.

Also I badly wanted to go home because I couldn’t take it anymore.

I was discharged a few days after my child was born, barely even 3 days after a major surgery, and I was desperate to be discharged because I couldn’t take another night with this nurse again.

I felt upset, not cared for enough, discriminated and helpless.

I would not want anyone else to go through the same experience because of this particular nurse at a vulnerable time like this.

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