An Eastbourne mum who planned to give birth at the Crowborough Birthing Centre has been left ‘traumatised’ after eventually having her baby in Hastings on Tuesday.
Chantell Jenkins was due to give birth at the weekend but knew there may have to be a change of plan as her chosen facility was forced to close for four days to cover staff shortages at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.
However, although the Crowborough Birthing Centre had re-opened before Chantell went into labour, things still didn’t go the way she wanted.
She said, “Exactly what I didn’t want to happen, happened! When my contractions started Monday night, they were coming so quickly straight away that I didn’t think I would be able to travel the 45 minutes to Crowborough in the car.
“We decided to go to Eastbourne, feeling confident that as I had such a good pregnancy with no complications, the chance of being transferred to Hastings would be minimal.”
The initial reason Chantell chose to go to Crowborough was because the transfer to Pembury Hospital in case of an emergency was only 15 minutes as opposed to 25 between Eastbourne and Hastings.
However, Chantell’s worst case scenario came to life as she was forced to transfer to Hastings after her baby daughter had a bowel movement inside of her during labour.
She added, “I want to make the point that all those staff at EMU, paramedics and Conquest were amazing, this isn’t about that. This is about me being in fully-established labour and having to go in an ambulance to Hastings, blue-lighted, which took about 25 minutes. I was in so much pain and it was so uncomfortable, not to mention stressful.
“As you can imagine, I feel traumatised by the whole experience.
“This is all, yet again, demonstrating the ridiculousness of downgrading the DGH.”
The DGH is a midwifery-led maternity unit only. All consultant-led care is at the Conquest.