Reader's Respond: Giving birth at a government hospital


Our reader's respond to our articles: Giving birth at a government hospital: what to expect and SA's government hospitals: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Gave birth in Mamelodi day hospital on the 2nd of January 2014. The nurses where busy chatting about New Year's Day. My water broke and I took myself to labour room since I was feeling the baby's head. They told me to push if I think the baby is coming... a minute after sitting on the bed the baby landed. They didn't care.

- Chillilo Sello

My experience at the government hospital is that nurses are so rude and I almost went for C-section unnecessary, when they said I should go for C-section I asked for one old nurse whom I wasn't even her patient but kept coming to check on me and helped the nurses, along the way I realised that nurse knew what she was doing when she came she said, she can see the baby coming, the hospital was so dirty especially at ladies, few months later I found out I had an infection which was suspected I contracted it when I gave birth my fallopian tube had to be removed. That was my experience.

- Brighty

I read your article about government hospitals.

I was pregnant last year with my first child, I was due 24th December 2015.

On the 18th December I was admitted to Stellenbosch Government Hospital maternity ward and the nurses were so rude, my husband was not allowed near me, next thing I know they poking needles in me and when I asked what's going on they wouldn't answer me, they gave me a drip that made me pass out, when I woke up I was in an ambulance going to Paarl Government Hospital.

They refused me to give birth at Stellenbosch Hospital as I was high risk pregnancy so they sent me to Paarl Government Hospital.

I was in pain and bleeding it was ridiculous.

When I got to Paarl Government Hospital the staff was worse, my husband was still not allowed near me and had to wait in the waiting area.

The doctors and nurses was so rude in the delivery room, they used scissors to cut me! They made unnecessary cuts on me as well, I was being shouted at in the delivery room and the nurses screaming "children 15years and younger are able to do this better than you" I was so freaked out my blood pressure was way up I was losing a lot of blood. My daughter finally was born and the doctors wouldn't tell us if she's fine they just took her away, a few minutes later I passed out, I lost so much blood that I had to be moved 3 times to different beds. 

My parents was at the hospital because they thought I wouldn't make it, the nurses were so rude to my family they didn't allow anyone to see me, the nurses even swore at my parents, they weren't even allowed to see their granddaughter.

My husband just wanted to get me out of that hospital because of how they treated us,our baby and our parents

I will rather be in debt than ever go back to either of these hospitals.

- Anonymous

Good day,

I fell pregnant during the period when I was still on contract. Unfortunately for me, medical aid was not an option due to the high cost involved. 4 months into my pregnancy I found out that I was pregnant with twins. What an absolute blessing that came with the fear of what would happen if I were to attend my antenatal classes, this is because the hygienic state of the premises is horrific – then I asked myself if giving birth would be worse. But I had no option and to tolerate the nurses attitudes just got to me.

I was open minded and did not want to judge my personal experience based on the stories a heard; so I decided to make the best of it. None the less, I gave birth on 20/08/2015 and it was not so bad after all. I had an anesthetist that talked me through the whole process, as if I had a birth partner. Not only that there were a number of students around who observed this encounter and they all shared the beautiful moment I experienced. Even though I had issues with the nurses they qere quit helpful and when I had returned to the hospital to have my UIF form completed I realized what amount of work they had to do, to provide us with a service and because we do not understand the extent of their work we sometimes take it for granted.

- Michelle

In 2006 I lost my son in Malamulele hospital due to negligence. My condition needed an op but I was in labour pains from Friday until Sunday when I started discharging green liquids and when the finally did the terrible c section on my belly instead of bikini area my a on was still born.

- Tinyiko Mathonsi

I gave birth in 2013 at Malizo Mpehle public hospital in the Eastern Cape Tsolo.

After giving birth my breasts were dry nothing coming out for the baby to feed, a nurse gave my baby formula at about 6am and they knocked off. Those that came in at 8am said there is no baby formula to give when I asked, saying they didn't know where the night nurses got the formula. We were discharged at 14:00. For 8 hours my baby did not feed because of some stupid rule against formulas. MY BABY NEARLY DIED because of that.

It still hurts me to this day.

I thank God for that miracle.

- Tulisa lesley Gantile

Good Day

I gave birth at Pretoria West Hospital, I had the best experience those nurses were good they were patient and they were so understanding, given the chance I will go back and have another child there. Before they do anything they start their day with prayer both day and night shift they ask guidance from God.

I wish all the government hospitals were like them. A very big up to them.

- Getrude

Good Day

I had a horrible experience  2 months ago , my son passed away because of negligent of selfish nurses , I went to the clinic at 3am , 31st January 2016 and when I get there they said I came too early cause I was on 1cm so they will admit me cause I didn't have transport to go back home , at around 6am they check me and I was on 2cm then they said am progressing slowly but they will check me again at 10 ; still no progress , they kept me all day and then at 5 they call the ambulance to take me to the hospital of which is was too late,  my child was tired and distressing inside then when I get to the hospital they just send me to the theatre , fortunately the child was still alive but then it was too late and he pass away , I will never go there again because I was hurt to loose my child even now am still trying to cope with the whole situation , I don't wanna sue them but I won't have my child back but they saw hat am not progressing and they keep me for so long

- Sivu

My daughter was born last year at Johannesburg Gen. It was a C-section. The theatre staff were friendly and fantastic. Although my husband was not allowed in theatre with me to witness the birth of his daughter. Once I got to the ward I had to pull my body onto the bed by myself. I’ve just had a c-section? So pulling a body with dead weight was not easy. I was told I may not lie down on a pillow as I will get a headache? I was not helped in and out of bed. I had to do this myself. My daughter was born on a Friday at 12:15 pm.  At 18:00 pm that same evening I was up and walking. 

I had no choice as I had to empty my catheter bag myself.  I did this all the time until my catheter was removed the following morning. When I was discharged the Sunday morning I had to pick up my bags and put it on the baby trolley with my baby and push it all by myself to the entrance where my husband was waiting for me. He was not allowed into the ward to help me. The last time I had eaten was the night before on Thursday evening just after 7 pm. Got to eat my first meal after my daughter was born only on Saturday after 11 am.

- Angela

I gave birth my two boys in 2004 and 2005 respectively (Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga and Lebowakgomo Hospital in Limpopo).

I received warm and kindest services at both hospitals. In Tintswalo it was only the matron who was very very rude, otherwise I am happy with the services received.

- Lebogang Mashile

Giving birth to my first son at Dilokong Hospital Burgersfort was great, but for my second son in 2013 it was an experience that I don't want to experience again. The sisters on duty were so rude, to the extend that I gave birth without their help. The baby experienced serious life threatening experiences due to the staff negligence.


Gave birth at Humansdorp public hospital in 2005, experience was very, very bad don't even wanna think about it. The two nurses that were helping me very, very rude,I almost lost my life,I don't know how is that hospital now in 2016, that is why I choose to have my 2nd born at a private hospital maybe they will be better.

- Buli Sabelo

I had the best experience at Rahima Moosa in 2008..the staff both nurses and doctors were very professional. I am going back to Rahima Hospital hope the standard had not dropped down.

- Sheldin

I had a very bad experience at Bertha Gxowa, got there at around 6am with my water broken I mean I was literally drowning in my own water. When I got there I was told to queue and I will be attended to. I asked don't you treat other cases as emergency as they saw my water was broken a clear sign that I was in labour but all they offered was a chair for me to wait for the morning staff.

Okay, I waited but because they had way to much ego they started attending to us there by 10am, and they found my baby's heart was not beating well. Again was asked to go back to line. I waited Lord knows for what, at around 12 all of us were offered food of course I was hungry been there for 6 hours and since  they said the baby's heart is not right I decided to eat their rice and veggies.

I ate and after eating I was called and they said you must be off to an emergency C-section. Okay, fine I agreed they shaved me but they discovered I ate they said I shouldn't have eaten. Oh okay, I didn't know I shouldn't have eaten then was taken to the theatre and the staff told me they won't make me give birth because I could die of the food I consumed. They explained the risks, I understood and they sent me back to wait for the food to go down but now the other ward didn't want me telling them I was their case and they shouldn't bring me back till  I gave birth. Oh, so no one wants me I was left in a passage for the food to go down and at about 2 I was fetched to go give birth. They cut me and I gave birth to a baby boy. They showed me my baby and I was happy but during the cleaning process I was told my baby was not right they will take to the baby's ward (they baby's who are suckling).

Okay, all was well I went to  check on him he was in an incubator. Late I went to sleep but early in the morning I was called to witness my child struggling, they were trying to  save him. The Nurse that worked night shift told me I didn't even know your baby was not well I could have given him special attention. They air pumped him trying to save him, he fought and fought well it was a little too late my baby died in my presence. I can say I hate that hospital with every fibre in my body, and the morning nurses came I overheard them saying they blame the theatre staff for delaying me and now look what happened. Little did they know I was behind and the other nurse told the nurse who was talking "shshsh" little to late I heard it all, I hate what I went through at that hospital.

- Matshidiso Grootboom

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