Jas's Story - Victoria Hospital, London

2013 - I was 18 when I gave birth to my son. The nurses who helped with my son's delivery were impatient and rude towards me because of my age. When I finally decided to get an epidural because I was induced, the nurse would get very frustrated and forceful with me when they were trying to put the needle in. It took many tries and I ended up with a lot of bruising. Before the epidural the nurses took no sympathy while I was in pain, the looks on their faces were as if to say, “serves her right, becoming a teenage mother”.

After I gave birth another nurse tried to help me learn to breastfeed but, again, acted frustrated and forceful towards me and my son, she did not help but instead gave up and gave me no choice but to try formula. The whole experience was horrible and I could not wait to leave. We spent 3 days there and I felt like I was being judged and that because of my age they just assumed I was going to be a horrible mother. They gave me little-to-no information, when it was time for my son to get a checkup and tests, they just came in and said they needed to take him. They did not try and offer any information on what they were doing and when I pressed for answers they scoffed at me because I should just know that these tests were going to happen and what exactly they were.

Out of all the nurses that saw me and my son over those 4 days, only one nurse was kind to me. She showed me different ways to bathe him and talked to me, and was just overall nice.

When looking back, I feel as if I did not get to truly enjoy the birth of my son. I felt pressured and judged.

When I gave birth to my son in 2013, teenage pregnancy had a huge spotlight on it, in a bad way. So I believe the nurses felt I was too young and treated me horribly because of it

I did not complain. The first month after my son's birth was hard. I end up getting a bad infection and was adjusting to becoming a first time mom and it did not occur to me at the time to file a complaint. Looking back I do wish I did.

Submitted by Jas