About: King Edward Memorial Hospital / Maternity King Edward Memorial Hospital Maternity Subiaco 6008
Posted by bargainsn63 (as ),
I would like to provide feedback following my recent admission a few months ago to KEMH for the birth of my first child. I was admitted for an induction of labour, which culminated in me having a non-elective caesarean section for foetal distress. While I was generally happy with the antenatal care provided to me, as well as the labour/caesarean midwifery and medical care, my postpartum experience when I was admitted to the delivery ward was very negative.
Firstly I have general feedback around the visitor restrictions. I believe the strict visiting rules due to COVID 19, of which the key support person/ partner/birth father is included as a visitor had a very adverse effect on my post-natal experience, mental health and recovery. I think many other mothers would feel the same in my opinion. After the delivery, as I had a c-section, I was unable to get out of bed for 24 hours. Although I felt the midwives do their best to help, they are understandably busy with other patients I believe. Therefore the first 24 hours on my own, with a new baby and no support person present were extremely stressful. At times my baby would be crying and as I couldn’t get out of bed, there was no one there to help settle, pick up or bring me my baby. I could not reach them to breastfeed – and again, although the midwives do their best, a delay of 15 – 20 minutes with a new baby crying is in my opinion, very adverse to maternal mental health and attachment. Additionally, while I was grateful to be visited by a number of health professionals in the two days following birth, they all visited in the morning, when I was alone and in my severely sleep-deprived state and still with strong painkillers on board, I did not absorb much of the information they gave me. I think one key support person with the mother is essential to help new mothers take on the information provided in the immediate postpartum period.
Secondly, I have specific feedback around one midwife coordinator on my delivery ward. On the day of discharge, I was anticipated to leave around midday. I therefore called my husband in the morning, to help me pack up my belongings and baby and wait with me, while I received the final medications, discharge paperwork etc. When he arrived on the ward, the coordinator came into my room and criticised me for calling my husband in, stating I was not sticking to the visitor rules. This was despite the fact he would be taking me home a couple of hours later. I was shocked when they made my husband go home, only allowing him to return when I was ready. I proceeded to pack all my bags and belongings myself (despite not meant to lift anything heavy post-caesarean) all while still trying to learn to breastfeed and comfort my baby. I could not believe my husband was not allowed to stay on that final morning, to help me get ready for discharge and take me out. I believe this is really taking the visitor restrictions too far.
I believe that one consistent support person is required at least during day time hours. I strongly believe KEMH need to think about the potential short and long-term adverse effects such strict visitor restrictions in the first few days after discharge, can have on maternal health and wellbeing and the flow-on effect this may have on the health and wellbeing of the infant.