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Father of one (born 2010s), from Midlands

My hospital experience reminded me of a conveyor belt system with only those centimetres from dropping important which seemed I accentuated by the fact this was our first child with any concerns deemed exaggerated by my lack of experience. My wife was 8 days over her due date yet there was no sense of urgency. It wasn’t until we were on the labour ward at 12am we felt involved due to finally having a consultant explain things. 9am and extremely exhausted a consultant who had just come on shift made the decision my wife cannot give birth naturally as her pelvis is not wide enough and due to the time spent in labour our baby had become distressed! Having my wife go into theatre I became an emotional wreck not knowing what was going to happen. The consultant and her team were amazing and we had a healthy baby boy. That was the only good point of my experience. No sooner did we get on the ward I was told visiting times were over! My poor wife was shattered from her ordeal so I stood my ground. My wife struggled to have the energy to feed, so did our son, yet the nurses drummed into her she must breast feed. Being on a ward with screaming babies was not helpful. My wife was sent home within 2 days, seemed too soon. Within 3 days a visiting midwife discovered that our baby wasn’t feeding properly and lost considerable weight, we rushed to the baby care unit. My wife, distressed at this point was admitted and I was informed I could come back during visiting hours the next day. This summed up my whole experience. Times haven’t changed from my male prospective, men are still treated as completely distanced from labour, birth and care for the child, as if we are back 50+ years ago when men went to work and women stayed at home. I did refuse to leave as my wife needed my support something they denied saying they would provide all the care she needs!! My wife spent 24 hours feeding every 2 hours until he got his weight up during which they realised due to the stress of labour my wife wasn’t producing enough milk to support our baby and he needed support by way of formula. During this time my wife ruptured her stitches from the caesarean. There was never enough staff on hand as much as my wife needed as seen as she could not move. I was on my feet all the time supporting both of them both. I was consistently ignored and reminded that it is not normal practice to allow me to stay. This was the tone throughout my experience, ‘this is no place for a man, what use are you and what do you know, go back and hide in the pub’!