Postnatal care: New mums' views

Many new mothers are being let down by the care they receive after having a baby, a survey suggests.

In a survey of 1,260 first-time mothers by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), under half said they got the advice and support needed after giving birth.

New mums share their views on postnatal care.

New mums happy with the care they received

I have had two children and I'm about to have my third now. I think the service hospitals and midwives provide is excellent. After I gave birth, the midwives were really helpful, and gave me any advice I needed. Stacey Taylor, Runcorn

My son was born in April. I received excellent care throughout the whole process. It says everything to me that the people who participated in this survey were "self-selecting" and that 95% were members of the National Childbirth Trust. I think people somehow think they are paying for someone to do it for them. Yes, it's a traumatic time (I had to go to surgery after the birth and leave my son with his father) but the midwives can't be there 24/7 until your baby is ten days old. Kate Robinson, Bradford

My baby is 15 days old. The care and support I've received both in the hospital and from the community midwives at home has been outstanding. I've had several visits, support with feeding in the hospital and at home, and loads of information on how to get help now I have been discharged from the midwives. I'm really sorry to read this report. It's a shame that my experience is not the normal one. Louise Campbell, Marlborough

I gave birth in November 2009. I had the same midwife throughout my labour and she even stayed for over two hours after her shift ended until I was transferred to the ward. During my time in hospital, I had excellent support from midwives while I began breast feeding. When I got home, I did have visits from a couple of different midwives but I had met all of them previously during my antenatal appointments. Emma Fenn, Rayleigh

New mums not happy with postnatal care

I had a second C-section six weeks ago. Absolutely great care and attention during the operation but a shortage of midwives on the ward led me to feel alone and unable - at times - to ask for help. The midwives were very professional and caring but not enough of them to physically get round all patients. Gillian Bonner, Kilbride

I had an emergency C-section in January and was discharged within 48 hours - it was my first baby. I had only two visits in 10 days from two different midwives. On the 10th day, my wound was seriously infected and I had to be taken back to hospital. No further visits occurred and I had to travel to the local surgery daily for two weeks for dressings with a tiny baby in the snow. It was awful and my scar is still not fully healed. Anne, England

Unfortunately, I've had to have two emergency caesareans. On both occasions, I was left alone during the night following the operation - the time when you're most exhausted, drained and fearful. The first time was due to staff shortages, the second time was a result of hostility from the senior midwife, who told me that despite the surgery I should be capable of taking care of myself and the baby. Once I'd left hospital, the care I was given did improve dramatically, but I dread the prospect of another birth. Mandy, Wales

I had a 45-hour induced labour followed by an emergency C-section (community midwives had failed to diagnose a fairly obvious case of pre-eclampsia). For 13 hours of my labour, the midwives "forgot" I was even on the ward and didn't remember until they saw my husband coming back in the next morning. My epidural did not work completely, but they carried on with the C-section anyway. I "came to" three days later after passing out with the pain during the first cut of the operation, shocked and in a huge amount of pain. Don't even get me started on the health visitors! Rebecca, north-east England

More on this story