Plea for retention of post-natal care

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 February 2010 | UPDATED: 00:58 16 June 2010

I really hope changes to maternity services at Honiton Community Hospital are a positive step in post-natal care, not a budget reduction which appears more likely. I spoke to my midwife today - I am six months pregnant and hoping to deliver at Honiton.

I really hope changes to maternity services at Honiton Community Hospital are a positive step in post-natal care, not a budget reduction which appears more likely.

I spoke to my midwife today - I am six months pregnant and hoping to deliver at Honiton.

My midwife is very concerned that the changes will actually cut the level of care provided at Honiton, making it a birthing centre rather than a maternity unit - ie no after care will be provided.

Yes, I hopefully can deliver my baby there, but I will be sent home six hours after? This is unbelievable.

This will be my second child. I gave birth at Exeter two years ago, which was a pretty traumatic expedience. I then chose to be transferred to Honiton for a few days, to try to learn to breastfeed and get to know how to look after my new baby.

Walking into the ward at Honiton was like walking into another world after the noisy, frantic atmosphere of Exeter.

Peace and calm immediately pacified my fraught nerves. The first night there my new baby was actually taken away for a couple of hours so I could sleep. The midwives and the care assistants spent invaluable time trying to make me feel comfortable with breast feeding and to ensure Josie had the best chance to feed.

I know that without the patient, non-relenting support of the team at Honiton I would not have had the strength either physically or emotionally to persevere with the feeding. I left Honiton after three nights, when I felt confident that I could continue the difficult task of breastfeeding and topping up.

In this time I was also guided on how to bath, change and comfort my new baby. Again, totally invaluable support.

I went on to breastfeed Josie for a full year and she was and still is a very healthy contented baby.

The worry for Honiton is that after care will be stopped, meaning many women will really struggle to cope in the first few days - a crucial time for most.

Please, please let Honiton keep its after care service.

LUCY?BENNETT

Seaton Down Road

Seaton

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