HAVING just returned home from giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, Poppy Eleanor, on October 25 at 9.12pm at Eastbourne District General Hospital, I felt compelled to write as a reminder of the simple fact - we need 24-hour, full maternity care in this town.
At 12 days overdue, I was scheduled for an induced birth. If full maternity provision had no longer been available in Eastbourne, I would have needed to go to the Conquest Hospital – a 40-minute journey, four times a day for my husband and family to visit.
The induction process does not always lead to a straightforward birth and could have meant up to six days of visiting for my husband if a Caesarean section had been required (which is more common in induced births).
My experiences of the Conquest have been nothing but good, however, it is not the hospital in my home town which should have the facilities to provide for the needs of the community it serves.
I simply cannot understand why anyone can suggest maternity services in Eastbourne are not vital and I urge those responsible for decision-making to be sympathetic to this.
The care I received from every single staff member on Litlington Ward and Delivery Suite was absolutely outstanding.
Every person had time for my questions and concerns, despite the fact they were busy and, on occasions, short-staffed.
From being the only person on the delivery suite for most of the day my daughter was born, the situation quickly changed to the unit being closed to admissions the following day as it was at capacity.
Where would those mums have gone if maternity provision was not available in Eastbourne?
I am extremely grateful for the care Poppy and I received and hope the staff are able to continue in their work, in Eastbourne, for many years to come.