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1960's Midwives

(21 Posts)
jennyvg Mon 24-Feb-20 12:47:05

After watching Call The Midwife last night I wonder if the midwives of that era were really so lovely and caring to their patients, my children were born in the 1980's my anti natal nurses were lovely but I had C sections so didn't really encounter anyone at the actual births, any Gransnetters who were nineteen sixties mums able to answer.

harrigran Mon 24-Feb-20 13:33:51

The ones I encountered were mostly bossy, some were downright nasty. I had DD in 1969 and the midwives in the hospital were not reassuring, they barked orders and blamed me for my slow labour because I was not trying. I actually had a posterior presentation which is well known for long labours. When DD was eventually born, after intervention, the midwife took the baby away and then asked me what drugs I had taken during the pregnancy. Not long after the Thalidomide scandal, I was extremely concerned.
I did complain to the Maternity hospital after discharge, 10 days, but never got any answers to their insensitive treatment.
I was a nurse and knew a lot of the staff but it did not make them any more caring. I had my second baby at home in 1971 and the midwives were lovely.

Anniebach Mon 24-Feb-20 13:53:47

1969 and 1970, two different maternity hospitals, staff at both
were lovely.

1990’s my elder daughter had her three babies in the same maternity wing of the local hospital, staff were lovely

Callistemon Mon 24-Feb-20 14:03:55

1970s - some were lovely, some were not.
1980s - total neglect

annsixty Mon 24-Feb-20 14:25:59

1965, I knew the midwife who delivered my first in hospital in Nottingham,she was the sister of an acquaintance,so I was well looked after and I also had a quick and easy birth.
Some of the other midwives were as hard as nails, one poor girl whose baby had died was in the large ward with the rest of us and was told off for crying, another was referred to as a “mardy bitch” in front of everyone.
My second, 1970, was a home birth, same midwife throughout and a lovely kind woman.
They are the same as everyone in all professions ,some good, some horrid.

AGAA4 Mon 24-Feb-20 15:25:41

Had my first son in 1968. The midwife I had was awful. Kept telling me I was not in labour. 20 minutes after she said this the doctor rushed me to the labour room where my son was born 10 minutes later. This midwife also gave me an injection for pain as I was giving birth. My son was in distress after birth due to the the way she had treated me and spent a few days in an incubator.

EllanVannin Mon 24-Feb-20 16:05:57

I got a slap on my behind because being in heavy labour in 1961 all I wanted to do was keep pushing as I was walked along the corridor to the labour ward and desperately wanted to sit down.
The bossy midwife just kept shouting at me, a real harridan, then D was born within 3/4 of an hour of me getting out of the bath and then she was taken away for a " whiff " of oxygen as being born so quick it took her breath away ( shock ) Then she was jaundiced ! A 10 day stay.

Framilode Mon 24-Feb-20 16:08:54

My midwives at a big London hospital were horrible. I was only 19 and they told me I wasn't in labour and left me alone all night. They refused me any painkillers and the head was born in the bed before they believed me. After the baby was born they left me alone in the delivery room for 4 hours without even so much as a cup of tea. The only human kindness I had was from a medical student who arrived to stitch me up 5 hours after delivery.

I was present at all 4 of my daughter's births and the standard of care and kindness she received was far, far better than mine.

Nandalot Mon 24-Feb-20 16:18:09

Generally, they were lovely, but I was really upset by one of the nurses at my son’s hospital. It was a small maternity home outside a large city where some babies had died from a gastroenteritis outbreak at the main hospital. She would regularly go to the toilet and then carry on her duties without washing her hands. ( The sink was in a separate cubicle going to the separate cubicle from the toilet). I also heard her complaining about my son. “ .......( son’s name) is a horrible child, he’s always crying.” When we got home I realised he had a very immature digestive system and needed to feed a small amount every three hours rather than the regulatory four. I was very young and did not dare say anything. Might be different now!

GrannyLaine Mon 24-Feb-20 17:12:41

I think its really difficult to generalise. In any given era, there will be shining examples of kindness but also those who couldn't be kind if they tried. NHS culture has a lot to answer for and doesn't always support its midwives when they are practically on their knees. 'Call the Midwife' epitomises a wonderful core value of kindness which makes us all feel better, but I'm not sure that its necessarily an accurate representation of any era.

Callistemon Mon 24-Feb-20 17:19:15

Framilode I was an older mum and also knew what to expect but they didn't believe me when I said it was imminent and left me alone too, so there was no midwife there; she was enjoying her lunch.

tanith Mon 24-Feb-20 17:23:03

1969 the midwives in the hospital weren’t the best we were left alone for hours 19yrs old and terrified. They did an episiotomy and I waited hours for a very young male Dr to stitch me up I was mortified. Much better midwives with my other two though.

GrandmaMoira Mon 24-Feb-20 17:42:55

It seems to be a common theme that you are not believed about being in labour. I also had that with all three of mine.

Welshwife Mon 24-Feb-20 17:58:59

I had one in hospital - 1963- lovely staff and one at home 1967 - again lovely midwives - saw the same two at the clinic and they did alternate shifts to come to the house to deliver the babies. Great service.

callgirl1 Mon 24-Feb-20 18:06:17

My first 4 were born in the 60s, 3 in hospital, midwives great, but not always the case with ward staff. My 4th was born at home, a much nicer experience with a wonderful midwife, likewise the 5th, also at home, in 1971.

JuliaM Mon 24-Feb-20 18:29:12

Most of the midwives l met when l had my first baby in 1977 where really kind and caring true proffesionals. Two years later and my second baby the experiance was no where near as nice. I was delivered on a wooden table in a sideward, told off for crying out when the contractions got strong and l was in considerable pain, and pushed flat on my back by a very nasty Midwife when l tried to pull myself further up the bed to Push. It didnt stop there either, l got sworn at for dressing my baby ready for home before she told me to do so, and confidential information regarding my choice of future method of Contraception was openly dicussed loudly whist my visitors were present, again by the same midwife who delivered me. My third daughter born in 1980 was delivered by my community midwife in a local birthing unit, and it was a lovely experiance, and l was home a few hours after giving birth.

Dottydots Mon 24-Feb-20 18:33:59

My two sons were born in hospital in the 60s. I can remember the midwives treating me with kindness and also a lot of humour to take my mind off the pain.

Jane10 Mon 24-Feb-20 18:40:47

The doctor in Call the Midwives is very wet! Doctors were much tougher then (and probably still are). I spend most of the scenes he's in wanting to slap him.
Projecting current approaches retrospectively results in an inauthentic feel to the programme at times. Eg finding the track marks on the young doctor's arm would not then elicit sympathy. He'd be called a bloody idiot and shouted at!

paddyanne Mon 24-Feb-20 19:24:25

I had mine in the mid 70's and late 80's in a local hospital staffed with midwives I knew and still do.The consultant for my firts pregancy was as Jane 10 says a tough guy.Told me to go home and cry until my baby died and then try again.Charmer,however though he was strict he was a good doctor and I had a lot of respect for him .

Same hospital same midwives with my last in 1988 different Consultant ,it went as well as it could ,we got a live baby who was doted on in an almost empty special care unit by women who he still sees around the town and who never fail to embarass him with a cuddle.With the baby who died the only midwife I had a problem was ,was the one from the hospital 20 miles away where they took my daughter to SBCU ,she phoned me and told me baby had died ...over the phone when I was alone .Thats something I cant forget or forgive.

Callistemon Mon 24-Feb-20 19:29:29

Oh dear, paddyanne, that brought tears to my eyes.
Having suffered myself , but not like that, I feel for you.
That was unforgivable

Jane10 Mon 24-Feb-20 19:40:22

Awful paddyann. I don't know you can get past such sad times but needs must I suppose. 💐