Diagnosis of Early-Onset Pre-eclampsia

I was let down by my local hospital’s antenatal and fetal assessment unit by the way they failed to recognise or take seriously enough my symptoms, or take the urgent action required when I presented with pre-eclampsia at 20 weeks gestation, quickly worsening with mine and my baby’s life becoming in danger over a period of around 2 weeks.

It was my first pregnancy, achieved through IVF after trying to conceive for 3 years. My baby already had growth restriction at this point.

Prior to this stage I’d had 3 severe bleeds, threatened miscarriages during my first trimester, and despite this was still labelled ‘low’ risk.

Ultimately my baby boy was stillborn at 25+1 weeks – an event that is sadly associated with pre-eclampsia.

Whilst I was in hospital, having been in for a month; I spent 2 weeks in this hospital and then I was transferred for specialist fetal-renal obstetric care – which was excellent – at a Women’s hospital who are more used to looking after mothers-to be in similar situations to how I was.

I feel that the staff at the first hospital (my local) did not have the awareness that pre-eclampsia can develop even at this early stage. It seemed to me that they refused to take it seriously, and so correct diagnosis and proper treatment/care was delayed until I finally saw an out-of-hours GP at my local hospital, who immediately understood the severity of my condition; my blood pressure had peaked at 170-180/ 100 by then, and proceeded to get me admitted that night.


Some experiences of Barratt Maternity Home

I concur with the story already listed…..staffing appears to be the biggest issue at this maternity home. I have had three children at the home over a 12 year period and I’m due to have my fourth later on this year.

I chose to go there rather than to Kettering, as it is familiar and I have struggled to hear a good report from Kettering.

I have had two c-sections and one normal delivery. My last pregnancy was complicated by an onset of pre-eclampsia so I had to stay 3 weeks before my sons birth and another week after that.

The midwives do care and have a good sense of humour. I felt better treated in my later pregnancies as I was older and had more experience, whereas I was seen as young and incompetent as a mother at 20 years old. The ward I stayed on had been refurbished since my first in 2000, and was secure and clean.

This time however I will prepare myself with shed loads of food, they just don’t provide portions sizeable enough for pregnant women who are obviously feeding for two. A friend of mind would bring in bags of food, just so I wouldn’t feel starved.

But saying that, I would definitely choose there than anywhere else. On a couple of occasions the nurses were sympathetic to the fact I had my blood pressure taken constantly through the night that they would cradle my son after feeding during the night to allow me some rest which was a Godsend when you don’t have your partner there for 12 hours at a time. I have stayed in both the private rooms and the bayed ward and can say that you can’t beat having your own privacy in a room, as most of the women on the ward spoke very little English so it can be lonely.

Knowledge is power, so go prepared, with snacks to last and Internet access to find out how to look after your newborn on line, cause quite frankly no one there has the time to help you…..sad but true! These women work tirelessly, due to staff numbers their expertise cannot be fully appreciated.

The experience was positive enough for me to consider a career in midwifery myself, so that’s saying something.


Parking eye

I am currently pregnant for the 5th time with my last 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage. I have been classed as high risk and have been visiting the hospital nearly every week for the last 12 weeks. I was rushed to the hospital on the 14th August with suspected pre eclampsia as my blood pressure was extremely high. I purchased what I thought was 3 hours of time. I have just received a parking charge notice saying that I had been in the car park for less than 3 hours. I do not have the receipt but I always purchase more time than I believe I will be there. I attended on the 21st August knowing that I would be in around an hour but still purchased 2 hours I was only there 50 minutes. I have tried speaking to parking eye who basically won’t give me the time of day. I am going through a very stressful time and do not need the extra tension of this. I think that a ticket barrier system that you pay for the exact time would be a lot better as without having to display the ticket in the windscreen you have no visibility when you get back in the car as to when the time expired. As I said this was an extremely stressful time and I’m am 99% sure that I purchased 3 hours as I only have £1 coins in my purse and am sure I paid £4 although I have no way of proving this.


Unhappy postnatal experience at Queens Hospital, Burton

My first baby was due in July 2008. Everything was progressing normally until checks at about 32 weeks into my pregnancy. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and spent the next 4 weeks in and out of the hospital for monitoring.

The majority of care given was acceptable, but I became very stressed when midwives failed to carryout checks on me at regular intervals and administer medication at the correct times. Sometimes I would have to wait 2 plus hours to be given blood pressure medication.

In late June it was decided by the doctor that my baby should be induced as my condition was becoming dangerous. This process was fine, unpleasant but fine. My baby son was eventually delivered by c-section at 1.02pm.

After that felt like a nightmare. I was unable to get out of bed for the first 24 hours and had to wait long periods for midwives to come and help me get my baby out of his cot for feeding throughout the night – if my husband knew this he would have never left us.

I struggled to breast feed due to being in pain and baby not latching on – the midwifes response was ‘keep trying’. After 3 days of trying my son was given a bottle by the midwife – this seemed to me like this was the easy option for them and to shut me up, I desperately wanted to breast feed but did not get the support I needed. Furthermore once I had settled on the bottle feeling I got the constant feeling that the midwives judged me in a negative manner because I had given up breast feeding so soon.

Once i had my son i was taken off all medication i’d been taking to regulate blood pressure – i had been on very high doses. My blood pressure was not taken until a few days after the birth where it was found to be very high – one midwife commented on how i should not have been taken off the meds straight away.

So i was put back on the BP drugs which were administered in tablet form every 4 hours. Many times i had to wait up to 2 hours after the alotted time for my medication. I even had to set an alarm in the night so i could remind the midwives that it was time for my bp meds. As a result many bp readings that were taken were very high as the drugs were not administered at the correct intervals.

As you can imagine i was in a very fragile state and felt very vulnerable. This experience caused me and my family great stress. I was kept in hospital 8 days after the birth and when released the bp had still not come down.

A midwife came to my house the day after i was released to check on baby and me. She checked my bp and it was back to normal – just goes to show the stress i was under in the care of the hospital.

Some midwives were absolutley brilliant, i could not fault some – but others really shouldn’t have been in the job. Childbirth is a very natural process and people should feel relaxed and supported – not vulnerable and stressed.


Labour ward staff were fantastic

I went into hopsital in early June, I was 35 and a half weeks pregnant. I only went to the labour ward to get checked as I didn’t feel like the baby was kicking enough. It turned out I had pre-eclampsia so I was admitted. I ended up having my little girl by emergency section two days later.

All the staff on the labour ward were fantastic. I found it all to be quite traumatic, my daughter is my first baby and everything happened so quickly. The doctors and nurses were all fantastic . I then spent a week on the maternity ward whilst my daughter was in NICU, she only weighed 3lb 11oz so needed some help to get stronger. That was hard, seeing all the other mums have their baby with mum, but again all the midwives & nurses were great. It was my birthday the day after my daughter’s birth and they even brought me a cake, such a nice gesture.

The nurses that looked after my daughter were absolutely amazing, they answered all my questions, gave me advice and made us feel at ease about leaving her there whilst I went home. My daughter spent 3 weeks on NICU, I want to thank the staff on there from the bottom of our hearts. Each and every one of them on there deserves recognition.

Thanks so much.


Brilliant ante/post natal care at LGI…

Everybody has a tale to tell about their birth experiences but when it comes to reviews, the bad ones always stick. Even I was guilty of checking out reviews for the LGI and to be honest, it didn’t look good and at one stage, I considered changing to Pontefract. But I need not have worried.

I was under community led care up until I developed the initial symptoms of pre-eclampsia. By 35 weeks I was totally at the mercy of the Ante Natal Day Care Unit, with thrice weekly checks for blood pressure fetal heart monitoring., 24 hour urine tests and blood tests. By 37 weeks, it was obvious that pre-eclampsia was setting in with a vengeance so they decided to keep me in on that day and induce. When I look back now, I can’t thank them enough for this decision.

I was initially taken to ward 57 where the friendly midwives welcomed me and gave me a quick tour of the facilities. Even the student midwives were knowledgeable and helpful. After I was induced, the staff monitored me closely, and again after the birth the delivery suite staff were aware of PE and blood pressure checks and blood tests were undertaken whilst they were caring for my son who was only 5lb (due to the pre-eclampsia). The whole time, I was informed of what they were doing, why and was told what would happen from then on. The care was excellent.

I’ve read some negative reviews of Ward 56. I don’t agree. Having stayed on the post natal ward for 5 days, I have to say that they were fantastic and I look back on my time there fondly. My stay was necessitated through my son being so small, feeding not being established enough and my own pre eclampsia symptoms.

The feeding problem was taken seriously by all the midwives and I couldn’t have received better support. Each midwife helped me with their words of encouragement, tips and practical support. I especially have to give thanks to Shirley, Agnes, Claire, Hugh and Georgina. Their perseverance gave me the strength to carry on feeding through some very teary times!!

I saw many women come and go on the ward, some within hours of giving birth. But my lengthy stay on the ward gave me the chance to tap into specialist knowledge and support that I wouldn’t have recieved had I gone home within 24 hours (which was my initial plan). And as a result, by the time I got home, I was very relaxed about having a baby at home and knew what I was doing, which is a considerably different story to some of my friends who got home and didn’t know what the hell to do!!

Ladies, the LGI is a very supportive place to give birth. Enter the experience positively, utilise the midwives experience wisely and if you talk to the midwives and ask them questions, I guarantee that they will help you to the ends of the earth. It’s what they love to do!

Enjoy the experience.


My husband had to monitor me before my caesarean

I was admitted to hospital with pre-eclampsia on a Wednesday in November 2007. I was due to have a c-section on that Friday, due to my baby being too big for me to give birth naturally.

The standard of care from Wednesday through to Thursday evening was mediocre. I didn’t see many nurses and I was waiting until the Thursday evening to be moved to my ward, where I was due to have care until it was time for the c-section.

My story of failure really starts around 6am on that Friday morning. This was the staff change over time. I had already been put on a sliding insulin drip due to my diabetes. I was supposed to be checked every 15 minutes to make sure that my insulin drip was not making my blood sugar levels drop to below 4.2. At 9am, my husband arrived and as there was a clear lack of nursing staff, he started checking my sugar levels by my own tester every 15 minutes. At around 10:30, he noticed my sugar had got to 4.2 and notified the midwife in the staff room. He was told someone would come to turn the drip off for a while as soon as they could.

By 11, my husband was beginning to get concerned as my blood was now down to 3.8. I was starting to suffer from effects of a hypo. He went to the staff room again and said it was now quite urgent. Again they said, someone would be in to check in five minutes. My mother arrived at 11:30. By that time my blood sugar was now down to 2.4. I was delirious and had no idea what was going on. I was close to a diabetic coma.

My mother marched down to the staff room and physically dragged a nurse to see me. My mother said that I was at risk of a coma and the nurse was shocked that I had been allowed to be so neglected. She immediately called the theatre, who were due to perform my c-section, who then rushed me to theatre where I could be looked after by more competent staff. My c-section was performed just ten minutes later. I was still at this time shaking due to the hypo I had suffered.

What should have been a joyous occasion has left me with no faith in midwifery services at the unit in Southmead Hospital in Bristol. If I get pregnant again, I will have money saved to go private.


Mixed caesarean experience at Tameside Hospital

I went into Tameside Hospital in early November for a planned caesarean section due to a partially low lying placenta. During antenatal checks I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. The response of staff on the antenatal ward was very good and my caesarean was undertaken immediately. The staff in theatre were fantastic – very efficient and caring.

My experience soon changed on being placed on Ward 27 on my second night. I am a first time mum who had had pre-eclampsia and a c-section, yet I was barely helped with feeding or caring for my baby. Hence the reason why he lost 11% of his birth weight. On my third night, I rang the buzzer for assistance but I was asked to get up in future and go to the nurses’ station.

This was all very upsetting. I was kept in hospital for 4 nights as I had high blood pressure. This wasn’t monitored regularly though. I also had to keep getting out of bed to ask for my medication and to ask for my BP to be checked. There are lots more incidents I could write about.


Thank all the staff

During my pregnancy I developed pre-pre-eclampsia, this was quickly noticed by the bransholme midwives who acted very quickly on having me treated even though I didnt fall into any of the “boxes”.

the whole experience was scary as this was my first child but on delivering my child 3 weeks early due to this condition I was very pleased with the way I was looked after by staff at the bransholme health centre, castle hill hospital and hull royal infirmary, Sheena (mw) gave me great information on the condition and what should be done next she also gave me great home advice when visiting my home after childbirth.

All staff at castle hill where very helpful and when having to attend extra scans and having to have loads of blood tests saw me straight away for appointments not having to wait. Now hull royal infirmary mother and baby unit I would like to thank all on maple ward and rowan as well as the delivery staff, I was induced and all staff made me at ease talked me through the process and saved my life after giving birth to my soon I lost 1 litre and a half of blood without the care of the midwives doctors and aftercare staff on wards I wouldnt be here to say a big thanks to all nhs staff in hull, i’m no longer on medication and back to 100% health and my 8 weeks son is now coming on fantastically gaining plenty of weight, gurgling, smiling and even lifting his own head off the floor to witness this I again thank all the staff that made this possible.


They delivered my little girl safely.

Midwives who looked after me were caring, professional and approachable.

The midwife who took over my care during the day kept a close eye on me due to pre-eclampsia and picked up early on, that my baby was becoming distressed. She and the team organised an emergency c-section and prepared me in minutes. Talking to me and my partner all the way through about what would happen.

The theatre team were also excellent, every single member of them talked to me and tried to make me and my partner feel at ease. The anaesthetist talked us through all the sounds I heard and all the feelings I felt.

They delivered my little girl safely.

Evie B