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"Mixed experience when giving birth at the Lyell McEwin"

About: Lyell McEwin Hospital

(as the patient),

I recently gave birth at the Lyell McEwin hospital, and had a very mixed experience.

The good:

-the first midwife I came into contact with once arriving was great. I had gotten out of the car and immediately felt the need to push, and couldn't cope with walking. She had a wheelchair out to me very quickly, and while waiting coached me to puff through contractions.

-most of the midwives I had during the birth and while in Women's Health afterwards had great bedside manner.

-the doctor and pediatrician at the Women's Health ward were lovely.

The not so good:

-when I first rang the Women's Assessment Unit, I was having contractions 5 minutes apart lasting 1 minute each, and was told to stay home, take painkillers and ring back in an hour. I believe I should have been advised to come in, and that could have saved me a lot of trouble, as by the time I got in the car an hour later to go to hospital, I was in transition.

-one of the midwives in the birthing unit strapped the CTG on without telling me and without waiting until I was between contractions. She kept pushing the heartbeat monitor into my lower abdomen, which hurt a heap, and then gave me what I thought was a nasty look when I eventually told her to stop pushing on it.

-I had one doctor assess my tear and start stitching me up, and another doctor finish the stitches. The first doctor seemed like she was taking a long time to assess me.

The in-between:

-when my tear was being assessed, the doctor noticed I was jumpy and asked if I was in pain. I said no, told her I'm a survivor of abuse and this procedure was difficult for me, but said I could push through and cope with it anyway. My husband and I both had to ask both the doctors who did the stitching to keep going when I kept having panic attacks. I'm not sure if they kept stopping because I kept moving or if it was for any other reason, but it dragged out the procedure, which left me in that panicked state a lot longer.

-it would have been helpful to have a lactation consultant come visit at some point. I'm having problems latching my baby on properly, and said so to a couple of the midwives on the ward, but none could see anything wrong with the latch so said it was just the letdown causing the pain.

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