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AIBU

Don't know where to turn

(40 Posts)
greatmama Wed 02-Sep-20 09:54:46

My 28 year old grandaughter has just had a baby. She's suffered from depression for some years and I was worried how she was going to cope but things have got really bad. The baby is now a week old and the birth was horrendous. Staff made lots of errors resulting in mum and baby having serious infections. Baby cannot leave hospital and consequently mum can't either. I think my grandaughter is having a breakdown. She's stuck in a cupboard of a room which is very hot and airless with a crying baby and we can't visit due to Covid. I've tried speaking to staff but it's hopeless - they say they'll get back but never do. My grandaughter doesn't want to tell them how bad she's feeling because she's worried they'll take the baby away from her. My son (her dad) lives away and her mum is not helpful. I feel so sick with worry. Advice please?

Iam64 Wed 02-Sep-20 10:07:41

The best advice I can think of is for you to try not to let worry take over your life. Sadly mothers and babies can develop infections which aren't always due to staff making "lots of errors". A young friend of ours recently experienced similar 'horrendous' birth, emergency section, and both she and baby were kept in hospital for a week to treat serious infections.

It sounds as though staff have given your daughter and baby a room of their own, it may be small but it gives some peace and privacy. Staff will be trained in picking up PND or other forms of depression and anxiety.

Newatthis Wed 02-Sep-20 10:08:19

Keep pushing. Staff have an obligation to keep mum and baby safe and well while in hospital. Ask if they have anyone you can talk to about these issues. DON'T take no for an answer. This could have very serious consequences for Mum and Baby.

Nonnie Wed 02-Sep-20 10:09:08

I have no experience of this but could you ask her GP to intervene? If not, could you find someone professional to give advice? There must be charities for women who have just given birth.

Callistemon Wed 02-Sep-20 10:42:35

Does your DGD have a partner who can support her and speak to the staff?

Will you be having them to stay with you for a while when she comes out? Sometimes you can feel abandoned in hospital after giving birth if you're put into a separate room. It happened to me, just awful, as a result of the baby acquiring an infection in the labour room (so I was told).
I feel sorry for her, she needs practical support on how to feed and probably needs a night's sleep too if the baby is with her all the time.

Her father needs to phone and speak to the sister or her doctor if she has no other next of kin to ascertain the situation. Don't be fobbed off.
Can you speak to your DGD and can she stay with you when she comes out if she has no-one else?

Illte Wed 02-Sep-20 10:52:29

I'm sure you know that the staff cannot discuss her medical issues with her grandmother. That would be a major breach of patient confidentiality for which they could be disciplined.
Neither can her GP.

That doesn't mean that they are not listening to what you are telling them. But it is a one way street. They cannot comment on or discuss anything you might have said.

The one person who is entitled to information is the father and that will be information about his child.

Is he involved at all?

Callistemon Wed 02-Sep-20 11:04:19

Neither can her GP.

I'm surprised at that as she will be discharged into the care of the GP.

Alexa Wed 02-Sep-20 11:26:49

Keep telling the staff the mother feels the room is hot and airless . Try to sound calm and professional and they might take more notice.

Ask what is done about patients who feel agitated. This is by no means unknown and the sister and doctor will have a remedy for it.

Alexa Wed 02-Sep-20 11:29:38

PS maybe say it like " How soon can you open her window for ventilation?"

My mother used this positive formula for tradesmen.

Illte Wed 02-Sep-20 11:49:17

No I meant that the granddaughters GP cannot discuss anything with the grandmother.

emmasnan Wed 02-Sep-20 11:51:57

If your Granddaughter does not feel comfortable talking to staff about how she feels and she has her phone, she can call PANDAS. They are an organisation for PND awareness and support. They have a helpline 0800 1961 776.
Just talking to someone who understands can make such a difference.

jenpax Wed 02-Sep-20 12:09:45

Contact the PALS service in the hospital their role is to advocate for patients who are struggling with dealing with medical staff. The reception should be able to put you through to them

jenpax Wed 02-Sep-20 12:11:15

What is PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)?

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. They provide a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers.

You can find officers from PALS in your local hospital.

How can PALS help?

PALS provides help in many ways. For example, it can:

help you with health-related questions
help resolve concerns or problems when you're using the NHS
tell you how to get more involved in your own healthcare
PALS can give you information about:

the NHS
the NHS complaints procedure, including how to get independent help if you want to make a complaint
support groups outside the NHS
PALS also helps to improve the NHS by listening to your concerns and suggestions.

How do I contact my nearest PALS?

You can find your nearest PALS office on the NHS website.

You can also ask your GP surgery, hospital or phone NHS 111 for details of your nearest PALS

Namsnanny Wed 02-Sep-20 12:24:56

Small practical thing: get her a fan. Phone ward and let them know it will be dropped off, if you still cant visit.
Phone her every day at least. You can act as her safety valve.
Perhaps ring PALS yourself?

Callistemon Wed 02-Sep-20 12:28:47

No I meant that the granddaughters GP cannot discuss anything with the grandmother
Got it now, Illte 👍

greatmama Wed 02-Sep-20 14:48:07

Oh gosh, I'm overwhelmed by all the support and excellent advice. Thanks so much it's all been most helpful. I feel I have a bit of a way forward now. Phew! It's my first time on this forum and has helped more than I imagined. Thanks again everyone! xx

greatmama Wed 02-Sep-20 14:49:35

Oh gosh, I'm overwhelmed by all the support and excellent advice. Thanks so much it's all been most helpful. I feel I have a bit of a way forward now. Phew! It's my first time on this forum and has helped more than I imagined. Thanks again everyone! xx

welbeck Wed 02-Sep-20 14:55:38

what about the father of the baby.
is he on the scene.

Jaxjacky Wed 02-Sep-20 15:34:57

Your son, her Dad May be working away, but I’m sure he has a phone and as visiting is not allowed anyway, he could call them. Have you raised your concerns with him?

BlueBelle Wed 02-Sep-20 15:44:59

If you are really sure there are or have been errors talk to PALS they are very helpful but do be sure because you are not there to see for yourself and it could be that your granddaughter is seeing everything through depressed eyes and I m not meaning making it up but she could be giving the down beat account if everything
Is there a dad or is she on her own Stay as upbeat as you can when talking to her and reassure her she’s ll soon be out and home and it ll be like a bad dream but do be aware of post natal depression

Nonnie Wed 02-Sep-20 16:36:43

Of course GPs etc cannot comment to the Grandmother but she can talk to them, surely that is the point? If the OP is concerned she needs to take every opportunity to get help, they can listen and make up their own minds but if no one tells them they won't know will they?

Keeper1 Thu 03-Sep-20 09:29:57

What about contacting the hospital social work team? I have found them to be excellent for getting things sorted out

Cp43 Thu 03-Sep-20 09:31:19

Hasn’t she got a mobile you can FaceTime her.
If not the nurses would find an iPad or something. Most hospitals are very helpful this way.

BettyBoop49 Thu 03-Sep-20 09:31:33

Contact her GP’s surgery and find out who her Health Visitor is. The Health Visitor can provide support and this will continue through her early years.

greengreengrass Thu 03-Sep-20 09:32:03

Was going to suggest helplines. I don't know if your daughter is breastfeeding or not but the La Leche league have telephone support see website which used to be 24 hours available. I found the moral support very important.

Anyway you look at it hormonal changes in the first week can be very tricky. If daughter has had epidurals then chemicals will be lingering in her system anyway and it sounds very simple but really putting the focus on drinking enough water helps massively as it flushes the stuff out of your system.

Likewise hospital food I'm sure is great in some places but not in others. So taking her favourite snacks in to have on hand would probably help.

Personally I was over forty hours in labour, not in good shape when DD was born (she was fine...

I was basically so tired I couldn't sleep in hospital there was a constant stream of professionals coming and going in my room (I was lucky enough to have my own).

When I got home both me and DD slept for fifteen hours solid, after having our favourite takeaway.

That's another, practical thing to focus on. Helping get things ready when she comes out so that the transition is as easy as possible.

Not sure if she has an other half.

I have also felt PALS to be helpful in the past.

Also maybe have a look at the AIMS website
Association for imporovements in maternity services...

www.aims.org.uk/

AIMS Helpline
The Helpline is intended for anyone using the maternity services or their supporters to seek information and support.

Email: [email protected]
This email will go to a group of AIMS volunteers and someone will respond as soon as possible.

AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all. The AIMS Helpline volunteers are all experienced in providing information and support on pregnancy and birth issues. We do not give medical advice, but instead we focus on helping those who contact the Helpline to find the information that they need to make informed decisions which are right for them, and support them to have their decision respected by their health care providers. They are also able to provide a listening ear and practical support for women who are unhappy with their experiences.

Telephone: +44 (0) 300 365 0663
This phone number will connect you to an AIMS volunteer when possible, otherwise please leave us a message, or email us, and someone will get back to you.

(Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and will be covered by phone contract inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. See www.ofcom.org.uk for further details)
vvv

La leche league

www.laleche.org.uk/

If breastfeeding the first week can be especially challenging as it takes a while for the milk to come down and to get the hang of it...as it were...

but then it is an adjustment whichever way you look at it a big life transition isn't it

You must love her very much, well done for posting here to get support