Being pregnant can be a pretty worrying time for some parents, especially if you’ve been the victim of medical negligence in the past. Pregnancy is usually an exciting experience, but selecting health care professionals can cause a bit of anxiety if you have tainted memories from previous medical care.
Although I haven’t been a direct victim of medical negligence, I have been treated poorly by hospitals before. When I was pregnant with Luke, the general attitude towards me was appalling. The medical care wasn’t that much better. It left me with a bitter taste in my mouth and a vow to myself that if I were to have another baby, I’d make sure I was a patient at a different hospital, even if it meant I had further to drive.
Was It Because I Was A Young Mum?
Maybe it was because I was a young mum, or maybe I just didn’t look like ‘mum material’. Whatever the reason, I felt extremely judged throughout my first pregnancy. I was under consultant lead care, which meant many of my appointments took place in hospital instead of just visiting the GP. My consultant was a witch of a woman!
With Luke, I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum for the first 4 months. I found it very hard to get the medication I needed and ended up going without for far too long. I remember having an appointment with my consultant at the hospital and she took my measurements. She then told me, very matter of factly, that I was ‘fat’ and that maybe I should try “going out for a walk occasionally, rather than sitting on the sofa eating chocolate biscuits”.
For anyone who has ever suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or from morning sickness, you can see why that would evoke a massive emotional reaction from me. After the appointment, I cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t believe she’d said that to me when my body had clearly been in starvation mode for the past 4 months. I’d actually lost weight since my initial booking in appointment! As a result of my supposed eating habits, she also told me that it was extremely likely I would make myself and the baby unhealthy, develop pre-eclampsia (not that she explained what that actually was) and have to have a c-section.
I Vowed Not To Have Another Baby There Ever Again
Out of all the poor treatment I received at that hospital, that one memory sticks out the most. I don’t think the level of medical care I received was awful, apart my struggle to get the medication I desperately needed for my Hyperemesis Gravidarum. But, it certainly wasn’t the best! The care provided by them was has put me off ever returning there, especially if I was to have another baby!
There were a lot of snide remarks about my age, weight and, bizarrely, being accused of being a smoker throughout my pregnancy. It was clear to me then that these professionals either didn’t understand or didn’t really care about both the mental and physical effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. How this woman expected me to be smoking 20 a day when I couldn’t even roll over in bed without vomiting is beyond me!
Hindsight is a magical thing. If I were to be treated like that again, I would definitely be making a formal complaint to the hospital and taking all the necessary steps to ensure that they knew I was unhappy with the treatment and care I received.
Feeling Too Intimidated To Complain
I was 20 when I fell pregnant and 21 when I gave birth to Luke. After being talked down to and treated this way for 9 months, I thought maybe they all had a point. Maybe that’s just the way hospitals work. Maybe I was just making a big fuss over nothing. What would be the point of me complaining to any governing body when, like they’ve frequently told me, I’m just so young?
Thing Are Much Better This Time Around
Thankfully, this time around, I am being treated and cared for by a much nicer team! My midwives are all lovely – nothing compared to the matron style midwives of my previous hospital. I’m under the midwife’s care – no consultants in sight! Medication for Hyperemesis Gravidarum was sorted out relatively smoothly and quickly.
The team have listened to my experiences and we’ve discussed my previous medical care anxieties at length. They have taken everything into consideration and are happy to do everything my way. I must say, the care I am receiving with this pregnancy is a million times better than the care I received last time! It has definitely put everything into perspective for me and I know I will certainly not be returning to the first hospital ever again!
What Counts As Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence covers a huge host of transgressions. The most common medical errors are:
Delay in diagnosis
Errors during surgery
Failing to refer the patient to a specialist
Failing to provide advice of treatment options or warn of potential risks
If you feel that you’ve been treated poorly and are a victim of medical negligence, I urge you to take action. Don’t do what I did and feel intimidated by the system. There are great companies like Axiclaim who can help you to get the ball rolling and take legal action. If you’re unsure whether the treatment you received falls under medical negligence, I suggest taking a look around their website or giving them a call for further advice.
*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Axiclaim. My experiences are my own and I’ve not fabricated this story in any way.