Dreadful birthing experience

Chantell Davids, 24 Beacon Valley

Due to my dreadful experience of becoming a mother for the first time, I am now fearful of ever wanting to have children again.

I arrived at Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre MOU in Eastridge on Monday October 14, at 10.45am. I was checked for dilation and was told I’m only 4cm and I need to sit in the corridor and bear the contractions until I’m fully dilated to 10cm to be able to start pushing.

I reached out to the nurses for help. I helped myself and was told I was putting my baby in distress by doing so.

My aunt and boyfriend came during visiting hours. Lying down on the floor in tears, everyone walked by me and no one assisted.

My aunt demanded I be transferred to another hospital. Only then the nurses attended to me telling me I was fully dilated.

At 3.20pm on Monday October 14, my son was born prematurely at 35 weeks. I was told we would be transferred to the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital in Lentegeur.

I stayed at the MOU until an ambulance finally arrived to pick us up at 1.55am on Tuesday October 15.

There was no wheelchair, and I was made to walk, carrying my premature baby while heavily bleeding, to the ambulance, and we arrived at the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital at 2.30am where again I was made to walk a long distance in and take a lift to the second floor, where I continued walking myself and my son to the nursery while already clothed in blood.

I spent six days at the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital as my son had an infection and jaundice.

He was put on antibiotics and was lying under a phototherapy light for his jaundice.

When it came to getting his results, I was told the laboratory was offline and they’re doing everything manually.

Then next I was told the results were misplaced and we just had no luck.

My son was healthy and clear of everything, despite the fact that I was treated so horribly. The only thing that kept me fighting was my newborn baby.

I’m not asking for speacial treatment but I would like to have been treated fairly and shown a little humility.

Monique Johnstone, Department of Health spokeswoman, responds:

The department acknowledges the complaint and an investigation is under way.

We do not condone negative attitudes towards patients.

The matter will be raised with staff, and in-service training will be conducted to establish clear communication with patients at all times regarding their care.

Medically, the baby was managed appropriately by both facilities and discharged with the mother on Sunday October 20 from Mitchell’s Plain Hospital.

All infants receiving phototherapy are nursed completely naked to receive the maximum effects of the phototherapylights. The baby’s eyes are covered at all times to protect or reduce the risk of retinopathy.

These infants are always nursed on a linen saver to absorb urine and are monitored closely and the linen is changed regularly.

Certain babies who are diagnosed with having a higher level of jaundice, have to endure a longer phototherapy treatment and monitored regularly.

Both Mitchell’s Plain CHC and Mitchells Plain District Hospital have tried to make contact with Chantell Davids to discuss her concerns.