A GRIEVING Minchinbury woman is still coming to terms with her traumatic experience at Blacktown Hospital when her son was stillborn.
Gemma Matthews gave birth to Rocky at 22 weeks in December after he had died in her womb.
While the midwife and social worker were "amazing", Mrs Matthews is angry about the way she was treated by maternity ward nurses, including the refusal of pain relief and initially being denied the support of her parents during the birth.
"The nurses wouldn't let us enjoy the last moments with our little boy, as they came into the room interrupting us. There's a stigma that stillborns aren't real babies."
Hospital general manager Andrew Newton has written an apology to Mrs Matthews and plans to meet her face-to-face when he returns from leave in April.
He said the staff were remorseful and had been placed on a performance management program.
The visiting protocol has since been changed in the maternity ward, where patients can have around-the-clock access to a support person.
"I agree more explanation should have been given to Gemma and her husband," Mr Newton told the Star.
"Our primary concern is for her welfare.
"One form of feedback is by complaints, so we can learn and make appropriate changes."
He said the patient had been given the appropriate pain medication.
Mrs Matthews accepted the policy changes until she saw a recent Channel Nine story about a woman who gave birth alone at the hospital and took Panadol from her handbag for pain relief.
She encouraged patients with poor hospital experiences to speak up.
"What happened to me can never happen again," Mrs Matthews said. "Nothing will change unless you stand up for yourself."
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