With Birth Trauma Awareness Week having taken place a few weeks ago and a bit of a hoo-ha about the pushing or not pushing (excuse the pun) of ‘normal’ births in the news recently (there is a great piece about it here), it seems apt that after another difficult birth experience for me second time around, it was time to make some grumbling noises and see if I could get my concerns taken seriously.
I was promised a consultant debrief but what I actually received was a debrief with the Clinical Supervisor of Maternity and her colleague, both midwives. Not a problem on the surface but it quickly became clear that this is a new process, blatantly introduced to frustrate your ability to get proper answers, to the point that you give up trying.
Whilst it was very encouraging to be able to discuss my concerns and receive apologies and looks of dismay face to face, when the result of that meeting is merely a letter detailing your experience back to you second hand and a couple of mentions that staff will be spoken to, but with no idea what that will actually lead to, it then leaves you shaking your fist and angrily pacing the floor again at the futility of it all.
At this point, I expect the powers that be in the Department of Pointless Admin at the hospital are hoping you say, ‘fuck this, I’ve a new born baby to deal with, I can’t be arsed to carry on banging on about this.’
Well I am still banging on about it and responded in the politest way possible that I thought the response was less than satisfactory and now what did I do?
A further phone call was arranged and I was told that in order to get a proper response I would need to make a formal complaint to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), which I could have just done in the first place. I mean, with all the stretched resources that lead to a lot of the current problems, the fact they deem the best use of senior midwives’ time is to create a bureaucratic barrier to resolution is insane.
I’d bettwr get typing; I wrote to complain about the way miscarriage was dealt with by the hospital in 2012. I’m still waiting for a reply from the Head of Women’s Health…
There are many women who have experienced much more trauma in birth than I have and the Birth Trauma Association exists to support these women; more information can be found here.
Additionally, the Birth Trauma Trust is an online resource to help women’s voices to be heard. There is a Birth Trauma Awareness Day in March and the #HearMyVoice campaign aims to spread the word.
Image from Pixabay