I was genuinely excited to have my second baby at Frances Perry House. I really appreciated the fact that it was housed in the Royal Women's Hospital, the facilities and amenities there are lovely. However, I was deeply disappointed with the care I received.
The obstetrician I paid an incredible amount of money for only appeared for half of my appointments as it seemed he was busy talking at conferences. As a result the continuity of care I had hoped for was non-existent. Every appointment I had felt rushed and it really seemed like I was burdening them for even attending. I think this was probably because my pregnancy was low risk and it seemed they were more excited and interested in complicated pregnancies, but I would have liked a bit more interaction. I don't think, if I saw my obstetrician on the street, he'd recognise me at all, even weeks after delivery.
I had a repeat caesarean (c/s) as a result of failure to progress and an emergency c/s in my first birth. I was hoping to have skin to skin with my baby following the c/s but was told quite sternly by the midwife that this was not possible in a c/s situation (even though I did with my first). I was then told my baby needed to be on an O2 sats machine in the room in order to monitor the oxygen due to some mild grunting. I was fine with this, except that they insisted on leaving it on for hours when the sats were at 99-100% the whole time. As a result I wasn't able to cuddle or feed my baby for a long time. When I asked in tears to hold my baby the midwife came in and berated me for suggesting we could take our baby off the sats machine, saying 'this is why babies get sick! '. She insisted our baby didn't need to be fed, even though I was conscious that I wanted to get the best start to breastfeeding. She actually said babies could go without a feed for 24 hours if necessary just to improve the oxygenation (which was clearly a problematic statement all round, given that the 02 sats were fine).
On the rare occasions I used the call button I had to wait at least 15-20 minutes for someone to come which was really frustrating. Ironically the night staff tended to be much nicer, which hasn't been my experience in the past. There were some lovely midwives who made a genuine effort to interact, and I really appreciated that.
However, my most horrible experience was when the drip became dislodged in my arm the evening after my caesarean section. My arm started swelling with fluid quite rapidly. I pressed the call button but no-one came. I was concerned that the swelling would cause damage so after 25 minutes waiting, when my forearm was so swollen it was stinging, I used my mobile phone which I thankfully had on hand to call the postnatal ward desk and asked someone to come and check my drip. The midwife looking after me came in 5 minutes later and apologised for the delay. She said she was helping a first-time father change a baby's nappy and that she needed to continue helping him. She turned off my drip and left it in saying she'd remove it once she was done in the other room. She eventually came back 15 minutes later and removed the drip. My arm took 12 hours to come down.
I understand that private hospitals have a higher woman to midwife ratio which perhaps explains the bitterness of the staff and the delay in response times but I really felt ripped off paying for the service. I had my first baby as a private patient at RPA which was infinitely better. I would strongly recommend anyone thinking of going to Frances Perry to reconsider.
"Disappointing all round"
About: Frances Perry House Frances Perry House Parkville 3052
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