Melissa's Story - St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

February 15, 2016 - My first pregnancy/childbirth experience was so traumatic because I was not given enough information during childbirth. The doctor did not explain next steps or give me options during. I was told to start pushing when I still did not feel the urge to push. They used the vacuum without fully explaining why or what the effects for my baby's head would be.

Aftercare was horrible, I had a bowel movement right after and the nurse told me she wouldn’t help when I still couldn’t feel my legs from the epidural. Breastfeeding was unsuccessful and my son was tongue-tied but the nurses just kept telling me to try. My milk didn’t come in for four days, my nipples we ripped apart and bloody.

Physically, my recovery was painful - I have been diagnosed with endometriosis so I know pain - and it was horrible. My vagina was bruised, swollen, and stitched up from beginning to end. I fell into severe postpartum depression and went on medication three weeks after delivery of my son.

I was 28 years old, having my first baby so I did not know what to expect. I thought the care I received was the standard of care for everyone. It wasn’t until I had my daughter 11 months later with a different doctor & nurse that I realized how much of an impact they had on my first childbirth experience. I can’t help but think that if I was treated with respect & care I wouldn’t have had such bad postpartum depression.

I did not report anything.

Submitted by Melissa