For all of the women who have been:
- Lied to
- Let down
- Falsely reassured
- Emotionally damaged
- Left alone
- Laughed at
By Maternity services in the UK…
For all of the woman who have:
- Been told ‘your babies fine, you’re overreacting’
- Given birth to an baby no longer in this world on a busy labour ward surrounded by live babies because ‘the suites taken and there’s nowhere else to go’
- Been told a midwife conveniently ‘couldn’t recall’ a conversation or statement
- Been sent home with reduced movement when every part of your body is screaming something is wrong with my baby help us
- Been left with no pain relief
- Been left with permanent, unnecessary scarring and trauma
- Been told ‘I’m sorry there is no heartbeat’ alone in a room with your partner or family member outside, when the government were enjoying cheese and wine
- Been told ‘there is no consultant available but your baby is in distress, sorry’
- Been mistakenly told ‘I can see a heartbeat’ when there was none
- Been silenced by medical professionals
- Been made to wait for an hour with internal bleeding in a room full of pregnant women when you knew your baby had died
- Been told the Exec team are ‘too busy’ to meet with you to discuss the death of your child
- Been blamed for the death of their baby
- Been told by a trust there was ‘nothing more that could have been done’ and ‘our word against yours’
- Been told ‘pop a pad in and take a paracetamol’
- Been made to lay on blood and urine soaked sheets because there were no midwives to change them or in fact any clean sheets at all
- Been told you could have died because staffing was 20% down on the day your baby passed away
- Been told there’s no grounds for investigation into your babies death
- Been told your complaint investigation has been delayed 7 months because of ‘covid’.
For every woman who’s child:
- Name was redacted in an incident report.
- Name was mispelt, misused or ignored.
- Name is used as an example of what not to do.
- Was laid to rest due to catastrophic failings in our maternity systems and nothing has been done.
- Who’s death could have been prevented….
This post is for you, I see you, I stand with you and I hear you and your child’s name. No family should ever have to suffer the loss of a child and experience such pain. Whilst some deaths could not have been prevented, a lot of deaths could have. Something needs to change and something needs to be done, I am so tired of being silenced by people who feel uncomfortable, by medical professionals, by trusts, by midwives, by people who are too ignorant to even want to understand, what is it going to take to make change happen? The community of women I have met since Ollie’s death are some of the most humble, dignified, strong people I have ever met, and are all desperate for change.
The above are just small examples of some stories I have been told about the state of maternity services in the UK, this isn’t a new thing and is something the government have been aware of for a long time. What is it going to take for serious changes to happen? Not every midwife is bad, not every trust is bad, not every medical professional is bad and sometimes things are out of their control such as staffing, funding, resources – but then who is in control?
- In 2020, 1 in every 225 pregnancies ended in stillbirth
- 2,638 babies were stillborn in 2020 in the UK
- The stillbirth rate in England and Wales is 3.8 stillbirths per 1,000 total births
- Approximately 7 babies were stillborn every day
- Croatia, Poland and Czech Republic all have better stillbirth rates than UK (source – Tommys)
- In 2020, 1,719 babies who were born after 24 weeks’ gestation died in their first 28 days of life in England and Wales
- For every 1,000 babies born 2.8 died within 28 days
When is enough just going to be enough? I am literally desperate to do something to make this stop, but who will listen? This is something I’m really trying to work on and research, I fully admit I need to be more educated on our maternity systems and funding, even though I am employed by the NHS currently. I just want to make this stop, even just one families experience, this cannot continue to happen. I plan to meet face to face with Calderdale FT who failed in their duty of care to my family next week, to discuss the ‘incident report’ or lack thereof and actually say to them ‘what is happening and why?’ ‘How can I as a bereaved parent help you make this stop?’ ‘Why did I almost die because I was left alone in a room with internal bleeding for 2 hours? Because you were 20% down on staffing and didn’t escalate appropriately as per procedure?’ because this has to, just stop. Poor practice has to just stop. Babies and mothers losing their lives has to just stop. Problems such as poor communication, inadequate training, staffing shortages, lack of teamworking and inadequate protocols, blame culture, lack of accountability and cover ups continue to happen because no one has the answer to this problem?
I really want to contribute to change and if that just means one small change in my local hospital then so be it, but I want to fight and I want to speak up. I will update on this page the outcome of my meeting and further info when I get my head around what I can actually do to change things.
I have a voice and I have to speak for my son because he is unable to do it himself, and I won’t be silenced. Anymore.