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We fight to save our birthing unit

Jenna Anderson from Herne Bay with 5 day old Ruby
Jenna Anderson from Herne Bay with 5 day old Ruby

by Katie Alstonkalston@thekmgroup.co.uk

A first-time mother has spoken out over the poor after-care she said she received as a result of suspended services at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital birthing centre.

Jenna Anderson, who lives in Matador Drive, Herne Bay, had been hoping to give birth at the K&C unit at the end of May.

She said was told several weeks before her due date that the service would not be reopening and she would need to go elsewhere to have her little girl.

The 23-year-old’s waters broke on the afternoon of Sunday, May 29,and she went in to the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital in Margate the next morning.

save our baby unit

health bosses are reviewing maternity services in the district putting the canterbury birthing unit at the kent and canterbury hospital at serious risk.

this week we are launching a campaign to save our baby unit. see this week's gazette for full story and how to get involved.

She said: “Everything was fine, me and my husband John were over the moon as you would be.

“Ruby was having trouble feeding from me, but the nurses knew that and had helped.

“We woke up on the Tuesday morning and Ruby didn’t seem to want any milk she wasn’t crying and I thought she was fine.

“She was checked over and we were discharged.

“They said they were short of beds as they had a rush of C-sections.

“We headed home and thought all would be OK.”

Jenna continued to have problems breastfeeding, but Ruby appeared happy and content.

The midwife visited the family on Wednesday and told the new mum that if she did not get some food into her daughter soon she could have problems.

“We took Ruby straight to the K&C, where staff were fantastic. They showed me different ways of feeding her and getting her to latch on,” said Jenna

“The K&C nurses couldn’t have done enough for us and were so supportive and helpful.

“This service is vital and superb, it is a crying shame women don’t have the choice to give birth there, and I hope to god it does reopen, as it would be a real loss if the service was shut.

“If nurses had had enough time to show me different ways of feeding Ruby at the hospital then a lot of stress could have been avoided.

“It isn’t their fault, it just appeared to me they were overstretched.”

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust spokesman Mandy Carliell said: “We are very sorry Jenna did not feel supported immediately after the birth of her baby.

“We try to support mums and babies for the short time they are in hospital although the majority of support is provided at home.

“Our community midwives visit mums within 24 hours of leaving hospital specifically to support them in establishing breastfeeding and to help with any other issues.

“We are pleased to hear that mum and baby are doing well."

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