I am writing in relation to your article about St Mary’s Birth Centre in Melton planning to be closed.
Although I’m not one of those ladies who gave birth there, I’m one of those ladies who requested to be transferred there after giving birth at the hospital.
If given the choice I would have preferred to have given birth at St Mary’s, however, due to my high BMI was told that I had to have a hospital birth. Originally I was down to go to Leicester General, however, due to living on my own in Croxton Kerrial opted to be put down for the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham as my parents live 10-15 minutes away, and would stay with them on the run up to my due date.
If the maternity facilities are moved to either Leicester General or Leicester Royal this has the potential to cause problems, as we are told not to come in usually until contractions are two to three minutes apart, although based on location may be asked to come in sooner, however, no two pregnancies are the same, nor are labours. If there are similar circumstances to myself, there may be the possibility that more babies are born en route to the hospital, putting mother, baby and drivers at risk, as the General is at least a half hour drive away from my location.
When I finally was discharged to St Mary’s care they offered me emotional and physical support, as they have a dedicated team that are on site 24 hours a day. Whereas the QMC, which I have very few problems with, have many midwives and it is almost impossible to remember who you have spoken to as you may not see the same midwife in the same week, midwives at St Mary’s build up a rapport with mother and newborn as you tend to see the same midwife, if not every day, every couple, and therefore are much easier to discuss problems with, in particular breastfeeding.
I don’t understand personally why this centre would be on the chopping block when the hospitals are overcrowded as it is and can’t afford to spend time with patients to discuss these problems and offer advice and support. My cousin in Sutton-in-Ashfield wasn’t afforded the same support that I was at St Mary’s and as a result struggled with her breastfeeding for a number of weeks. Why close a perfectly viable centre that does so much good? Perhaps the NHS could redirect some funds into St Mary’s and invest in a worthwhile cause. We’re so remote out here that it gives us peace of mind to have a facility like this nearby, even though I have been discharged by the midwives into the Health Visitors care, I have been assured that I’m more than welcome to contact the midwives at St Mary’s if I ever need help.
Rachael Taylor, via email