"My daughter's recent birthing experience"

About: Bunbury Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

This was my daughter’s third child and both previous births were positive experiences. Previous births had extremely supportive staff.

➢ My daughter was booked in for an induction and was bumped to the next day. Arrived at the hospital at 6.00 am. Roughly 7.45 am Obstetrician came and said we are a go. Later came back with equipment and told we had to go home. There was an emergency induction. Doctor gave my daughter a stretch and sweep and told, hopefully this gets things moving. I didn’t have any concern about being turned away for an emergency induction.

➢ My daughter started to have cramps and thought she might be going into labour. She rang the hospital in the afternoon several times to advise the maternity ward that she was experiencing labour pains and to expect her later on.

➢ She rang again around 5.40 pm and explained that she was having contractions ranging from 4-7 minutes and was told to stay home for as long as she could. My daughter told the midwife she was travelling a 30 minute drive. Staff knew she was coming and should have been prepared.

➢ My daughter, myself, my daughter’s partner and her sister all arrived at the hospital at 6.15 pm. Obstetrician greeted my daughter when we got there and said they would find a midwife.

➢ My daughter, her partner, myself and her sister, who is 30 weeks pregnant herself, stood out in the reception area for over 40 mins. Several staff asked if we had been attended to. We said no. Visitors were walking past. No privacy. Midwives were heating up dinners in the microwave. I felt like we were invisible.

➢ Eventually a nurse from the nursery unlocked a consult room. The nurse told us they weren't really supposed to leave the nursery.

➢ There were 3 of us trying to get someone’s attention. I believe there were 4 staff members in a meeting/handover. I waved to get someone’s attention. The coordinator said, Yes I know you are here and you’ll have to wait. We are in a meeting. I said, We have been waiting for over 30 mins and my daughter needs some help. The coordinator said, We will be with you when we are finished. 

➢ My daughter was attended to by a midwife at 7.10 pm. She was in a great deal of pain. This pain was different to her previous labours. She was clearly distressed. She had said she wanted an epidural as the pain seemed very different to her 2 previous births. She was told, We will have to see how you go. She needed to go to the toilet when we arrived but knew she would have to give a urine sample. She was finding it difficult to hang on.

➢ After being on the machine for 10 minutes my daughter was told she could go to the toilet but she would have to use the public toilet out near the lift. Here is a sample pot. My daughter was wearing a long t-shirt and knickers. I said Are you serious, she has no privacy. Surely she could use one of the toilets in a birthing suite? The midwife replied, No, I’m sorry. 

➢ When my daughter returned from the toilet we were taken to birth suite number 2. This room was not made up. There were no sheets on the bed and nothing set up for the baby. No towels. My daughter had said all she wanted to do was get in the shower. She spent roughly 10 mins in the shower and wanted to lay down. No towels. The midwife was making notes on a paper towel.

➢ My daughter was contracting for about an hour before the baby was born. I believe there was very little support was given from the clinical midwife. I feel there was no encouragement. Very different experience from her previous labours (both of which I attended).

➢ When it was time to take the baby back to a room on the maternity ward there was no crib for the baby. The father was asked to carry the baby to the room.

➢ My daughter was told to walk from the labour suite to her room. She was not offered a wheel chair. She was still shaking- her body seemed to be still in shock from the birth. The father carried baby to the room.

➢ Overall, a very disappointing and scary experience. I felt my daughter seemed invisible and a bit of a nuisance. We were told repeatedly that they had been very busy during the day. In my opinion this is no excuse.

➢ My other daughter who attended the birth who is 30 weeks pregnant commented on how she would never want to have her baby in Bunbury Hospital. She now has a very negative opinion of the level of support mothers are given during childbirth. She is now scared and quite concerned

➢ My concern is that this may happen again to someone else.

Responses

Response from Katrina Jones, Clinical Midwifery Manager, Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West

Dear Donnybrook Mum,

Thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns about the care received by your daughter at Bunbury Maternity. I wish to apologise that your daughter’s experience wasn’t at an acceptable level. Even though the staff may have been busy, this is no excuse for a lack of courtesy. It is important to ensure that your daughter has some privacy and receives reassurance that she and her baby are important to us.

Please feel free to contact myself on 9722 1337 to discuss your concerns raised. Even to provide me with the name of your daughter so I can speak directly to the staff involved in her care and ask them to reflect on their interactions with you and your family. If I can also help to relieve your other daughter’s concerns by meeting and having a chat I would love to do so.

I hope your daughter and her new baby are settling in at home.

Thank you, with kind regards

Katrina Jones

Clinical Midwifery Manager, Bunbury Hospital

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