Once a couple decides to have a baby, they’ll start researching a lot of related stuff. From the ovulation time, pregnancy symptoms, to the gynecologist that they should go for. However, your research should not be limited only to these things. For instance, what is the first thing you might look for in a hospital before zeroing in on it? The doctor, you might say! Right. But that’s not the ‘be all and end all’ of it. The nursing staff, the facilities at the hospital, and the previous track record should not be ignored as well. When I put this question to some of my friends who are moms, there was an unexpected outpouring of hospital horror stories! No, I’m not talking about those fabricated ghost stories you watch online. These were real experiences of women who went through a terrible time at the hands of the hospital staff, just days after giving birth!
One of them narrated what had happened after she had delivered her daughter. Since she had to undergo a C-Section, she was required to stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 days for healing. During this time, her husband and her mom took turns to stay with her. However, both had to endure a lot of uncooperative behavior from the hospital staff. Whenever her husband or mom approached them for any guidance or help, they would simply refuse to assist. Even when my friend felt pain in her stitches or struggled to feed the baby, the nursing staff never came forward to help despite repeated requests. Often, the nursing staff would ask my friend’s family to take her to the washroom, clean her bed, and at times even change the dressing by themselves! All this was shocking for my friend. Adding to her woes, her ‘friendly’ doctor failed to visit her soon after the delivery. There was no system to highlight or complain about these issues. What shocked my friend more was what happened on the day she was to be discharged. After making her husband run from one counter to another, when they were finally leaving, most of the staff lined up to ask for a monetary tip!! However, despite her protests, her mom handed over tips to each of the staff members, including those who refused to help them.
After hearing her experience, the rest of my friends also agreed that they too had faced similar situations if not worse. However, not all hospitals are bad. In my case, the experience was totally different. When I was pregnant and seeing a doctor, one of my siblings suggested going for a hospital that has a good reputation for its nursing staff. I did a lot of research and finally found one where not only was the hospital staff of a good reputation but my obstetrician was on their consultant list. This made things a tad easy for me. I was looked after well and the nursing staff was regular in their checks. They even called a lactation consultant for a small fee when I was struggling with breastfeeding. Now, you must be thinking that the hospital might have been a really expensive one. But this wasn’t the case. The hospital fee was quite reasonable. It was a very old hospital belonging to a reputed organization that had been around for quite many years, thus the reputation. The nursing staff was an alumnus of the hospital’s very own nursing college and training center. I’m not sure if all this was what made me decide on the hospital, but yes the advice to look for the hospital’s and the nursing staff’s reputation did seem to come handy.
Having said this, don’t you think it is completely unfair on part of the nursing staff to treat a new mom this way? It is high time that we moms, as a community, support each other by highlighting such issues at public platforms. And, it is very important for couples planning a baby to check, research, and then choose the right hospital to ensure that the mom and baby get the right treatment.