Dubbo mothers dispute health district advice on postnatal 'pressure'

SPOTLIGHT: The length of postnatal stays at Dubbo Hospital is in the community spotlight after the announcement by Dubbo Private Hospital that it is shutting down its postnatal services. Photo: File
SPOTLIGHT: The length of postnatal stays at Dubbo Hospital is in the community spotlight after the announcement by Dubbo Private Hospital that it is shutting down its postnatal services. Photo: File

Mothers have taken exception to Western NSW Local Health District advice that “we do not pressure women to leave” Dubbo Hospital after they give birth.

The advice followed the health district’s reporting on how long postnatal patients stay in the hospital.

On average a woman spends two days after a natural birth and three days after a caesarean. 

“However if there are complications the length of stay is longer and dependent on each individual situation,” a health district spokeswoman said this week.

“We do not pressure women to leave if they want to stay longer and after new mothers leave hospital our community midwives provide them with follow-up care and support.”

Women used the Daily Liberal’s Facebook page to respond to the health district’s advice.

Gabby Murray wrote: “This is beyond ridiculous. They kept hounding me asking when I was transferring to the private.”

Serena Rice wrote: “ I was repeatedly asked when I would be transferring to private. I wasn’t made to feel welcome or not rushed and this was the day after I had an emergency caesarean. If you surveyed all the mothers I’m pretty confident that majority would say they were pressured into leaving sooner than they needed or wanted.”

Laura Smede wrote: “I had an emergency c, and was in a room for 2.5 days then moved to the boarding rooms because there was no beds. I kind of did t (sic) feel ready but at the same time felt pressured to move.”

Other mothers told of being happy to head home as soon as possible, including Angie Shannon.

“A lot of people prefer to be at home. I know I was begging to go home the day after I had my son. I stayed two nights though,” she said.

The length of postnatal stays at Dubbo Hospital has been in the spotlight since Dubbo Private Hospital announced the closure of its postnatal services from December 22.

The health district reports that the national average length of stay for uncomplicated natural births is 1.8 days and for uncomplicated caesareans 3.2 days.