Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Monday, 18 July 2005 10:35 UK

'I spent over two days in labour'

Vicki Bevan
Vicki Bevan was "frightened" into giving birth in hospital

New mothers and babies are at risk from poor conditions in some maternity wards, a report says.

The Healthcare Commission blamed bad management for the problems.

One mother speaks about her experience giving birth.

It is supposed to rank among the greatest moments of your life.

However, for Vicki Bevan the birth of her third child was anything but.

She spent two-and-a-half days in labour before undergoing an emergency caesarean.

Ms Bevan had initially wanted to have a home birth but said she was "frightened" into going into hospital by a midwife.

I think a lot of women suffer unnecessarily
Vicki Bevan

"When I got there I stopped labouring and it dragged on for two days. I never saw the same member of staff.

"They decided it would be a good idea to accelerate the birth, but that did not work and eventually we were persuaded to have an emergency caesarean."

Ms Bevan said she was annoyed by the experience and believes it could have been much better.

"It could have been improved by having constant midwifery care. It could have been improved by being in an environment I felt I had some control over.

"It could have been improved by not having a room stuffed full if medical equipment."

She said it had not been like that for her first two children, and the experience convinced her to have her fourth child at home.

She said the latest birth was much more enjoyable, but added the problem was many women were unable to have births out of hospital.

"I think a lot of women suffer unnecessarily. A lot of women don't know it can be any better.

"We are conditioned to think hospital is the best place to have a child, but I think now it isn't."

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