What is the After Birth Listening Service?
George Eliot Hospital has an After Birth Listening Service (ABLS) which offers you the chance to talk about and reflect upon your birth experience.
This can help you to make sense of what happened and answer any questions you may have. The service may also help you to prepare and plan for future pregnancies by talking through your previous birth experiences.
Why would the ABLS be useful to you?
Sometimes giving birth can result in unexpected events, for example emergency procedures, premature birth or anything else that you may have felt unprepared for.
Whatever your experience of childbirth, it is not uncommon to be unable to recall every detail of the event. Sometimes childbirth can be traumatic and cause emotional distress, and this can impact upon your ability to recall events.
When should I access the ABLS? There is no time limit on when you should access the ABLS if you want to. If your labour was recent, then it may be useful to speak with your community midwife at your post natal visit as she may be able to answer your questions.
How to access the ABLS
Please speak to your community midwife or health visitor for more information on the After Birth Listening Service.
The best way to access the service is to speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) by telephoning 024 7686 5550, or in person at their office in main reception.
Once you have made contact with PALS, they will take some details and a midwife will contact you within a couple of weeks, to make an appointment. If you have any problems arranging your appointment, please contact PALS who will help follow up your request.
What happens at the ABLS?
The midwife will arrange an ABLS meeting at a time to suit everyone involved. It will take place in the maternity, or an alternative room at the George Eliot Hospital can be used if you prefer. The meeting is usually with a midwife, although it can be attended by anyone else who is thought to be appropriate. You can invite your partner, a relative or friend. This session can last up to an hour and a half. During the meeting you will be able to make your own notes and you can also request a copy of any notes taken during the meeting.
The following are examples of the subjects raised at an ABLS meeting:
How was your experience of the birth?
Did it meet your expectations?
Was there anything about the birth that you didn't anticipate or expect?
What would you like to know more about in order for you to make sense of what happened?