Health, Parenting

Post Natal Hospital Stay

Huffington Post have posted an article today about post natal hospital stays, stating that UK Mums get one of the shortest after birth stays in the world; shorter than Ghana and Bangladesh.

post natal hospital stay

My own experience of Post Natal care was pretty awful – so I genuinely couldn’t wait to get home at the time. The midwives had so many people to see that I was expected to do a lot by myself – which was impossible considering I’d been told to stay in bed, or else, because of significant blood loss.

I had no idea there was a nursery, or a day room. I never saw the canteen – Hubby went to fetch meals for me.

baby x and me

And when it became apparent that X was having issues with feeding, instead of having midwives around who could help me, they were so rushed off their feet they seemed quite keen to give me a bottle of formula for him and send me home – especially when I ended up being the last woman in my ward room; they couldn’t get rid of me quick enough.

At the time, I gladly consented; having not slept in days, and surrounded by people who didn’t have enough time for me, I wanted to get home to familiar surroundings and see my community midwife who was a gem.

Is a longer post natal stay better?

In hindsight, maybe I should have stayed – made a fuss of making sure we got breastfeeding going before being discharged. I’d had a traumatic birth, after all – the risk of post natal infection was quite high. And it transpires, very likely. If I’d have stayed on the ward, perhaps they would have picked up my infection earlier, what with obs and the like. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to go on non-breastfeeding friendly antibiotics to get rid of it. Or maybe going home even earlier than I did would have been best – perhaps I wouldn’t have picked up the infection, could have spent more time resting without the noise of the ward, and had more skin to skin time without feeling embarrassed as I was surrounded by strangers. It’s impossible to say. What I do know is I left that ward feeling like a failure as a Mum, which is not the way I’d hoped my parenting adventure would start.

I’m far from being anti-NHS. I flipping love the NHS. They’ve saved my life a fair few times (nothing dramatic, mostly removing broken organs). Midwifery in this country is at breaking point – I don’t blame the midwives, I blame the management who decide that the midwives have to do more than they feasibly have time to.

Post-natal hospital stays should be as long as required. There are plenty of new mums and newborns who are quite content to go home after a few hours, but equally there are plenty who need extra support, or need to be looked after a while longer. It’s determining who those in need of more support are, and how best to help them, that is key here.

What was your experience like in hospital? Or did you avoid it altogether and have a home birth?



4 thoughts on “Post Natal Hospital Stay

  1. I completely agree with you – “Post-natal hospital stays should be as long as required.” With Ethan I also has a traumatic labour. I’ve lost a lot of blood and had to have 2.5 L of blood transfusion. I was in the hospital for one whole week. The food were served at the bed so we did have to go and fetch it ourselves. The food was pretty good actually. They were great with looking after us during the day – but the nights were painful. It was cold and the only heat I had was Ethan’s body heat. He was my saviour during night time.

    Ethan developed durance on the second day and we were advice to bottle feed him 30ml every feeds. Then my home visit midwife advice us that the more he feeds on boob the less bottle feeds he can received, But because I was so worried – I just kept on doing combo. I stopped bottle before I even stop bf. I bf Ethan until he was 2 yrs & 3 mths.

    Because I had such a traumatic experience with Evelyn. I decided to go home birth with Evelyn. Everything, was going so well – until 6 mths later… my boobs started to crack and all and so I had to stop during the day, replaced with bottle and only bf during the nights. I am still doing combo with Evelyn, but I think she likes bottle more than my boobs! lol! This is because after I bf her at night, she still ask for bottle after. But I don’t mind – she is growing and if that’s what she wants then that’s let that be.

    Sorry – it’s a bit of a long one. 😉

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost xxx

    1. Thank you for commenting – I’m sorry you had such a tough time; this giving birth thing can be rather overwhelming! And there’s so much conflicting information which just confuses you more in an already confusing time! I do always wish we’d managed to get breastfeeding going, but I’m working hard on not regretting him being formula fed – there’s nothing wrong with formula! I can’t believe it has such a bad rep now! Happy, healthy, children, and equally happy and healthy parents are what’s important.

      Maybe we need the NHS to stop seeing giving birth as a “medical” event, and more of a “health” event; it can’t be standardised as everyone’s experience is different.

      Thank you for hosting #FabFridayPost – there’s always so many interesting new posts to read!

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