Two things made my post natal experience so much harder than it had to be. I thought it would be helpful to blog about them and get them off my chest. The other one can be viewed here.
Firstly- Evil Midwife from Hell- henceforth EMWFH
I put in a formal complaint about this midwife and it was upheld and she was subjected to disciplinary and supervision as a result.
Below is an extract from my formal complaint letter:
When EMWFH introduced herself to me I got a little bit tearful as I was completely exhausted (unable to sleep when baby slept due to anxiety about baby’s condition and recovering from a very traumatic labour) also it was only the second night my baby had been roomed in with me- prior to that all her care had been done on NICU with me assisting but not really being in charge. Her response was to tell me that I was exhibiting signs of post natal depression and basically I needed to “pull myself together” otherwise she would have to put it in my notes- obviously this actually served to make me more distressed and upset, being given a label like that when she had only met me for 10 minutes was incredibly unfeeling and unhelpful. I don’t believe anyone should mention post natal depression to someone unless there are continued signs someone is suffering from it or that person seeks help for it. As far as I know I am definitely not suffering from PND, then or now!
Also despite telling me she was a “UNICEF trained breastfeeding counsellor” and going on about how great that made her, she actually misled me about my baby’s top ups and gave me very bad advice. Basically my daughter needed a top up through her NGT every 3 hours- and I was struggling to get her interested in breast feeding and getting latched on (and we had had NO breastfeeding support from a lactation consultant which is a separate complaint), I had finally got her latched on for a feed and it was also time for her NGT top up except I couldn’t reach the syringe to get it for her. I rang the buzzer to ask for someone to pass it to me. Only for EMWFH to tell me that it was obvious I was not coping and that on day 7 I should be in some sort of routine with my baby by now- I did tell her I had only properly met my baby two days ago when she was roomed in with me- (it was clear she had not read my notes). She told me I had to latch her off and then do her top up and then latch her on again. I knew from previous experience that I could do her top up and feed her at the same time and in fact if I did her NGT top up and then tried to latch her on again I would never get her back onto the breast. So I refused to latch her off and asked again for the syringe to be passed to me. She again tried to refuse to pass the syringe too me now saying there were contamination issues. At this point I was gobsmacked and had to state very firmly to her that the syringe I needed passing to me was sterile! She clearly had absolutely no clue about dealing with baby’s with NGT’s and I am not sure about her qualifications as a “unicef trained breastfeeding counsellor”. She did pass the syringe to me in the end and I was able to continue to feed my baby. But at this point I was very upset and had to phone my husband for support as I was feeling very isolated, sleep deprived and unsupported by the medical professionals I needed to advise me, and I was still very worried about this “Not coping/Post natal depression” label she kept giving me. My husband arranged to come in first thing the next morning to speak on my behalf as I no longer felt able to. The following morning at 6am another midwife came to do my baby’s antibiotics and I said that if possible I did not want to be treated or see EMWFH at all. I was then finally able to drift off to sleep- (bearing in mind this is first amount of sleep in a long time), the next thing I know EMWFH has barged into my room without knocking demanding to know why I was refusing her treatment. I refused to speak to her and I couldn’t believe she had woken me up (she knew I was having real issues with sleeping as we had spoken about that during the night). She kept going on at me wanting to know why I was refusing her care as she had done everything properly. I told her she would need to speak to my husband who was coming in, but she said she would be gone by then and kept demanding to speak to me. I kept asking her to leave my room but she kept trying to confront me about why I was refusing her treatment- in the end I had to shout at her to get out of my room and she finally left but again she left me so upset and angry that I was completely unable to get back to sleep. I am horrified that a midwife would think it acceptable to behave in such a manner- she was rude, and completely unprofessional.