To b/f in the early pregnancy unit at hospital?

(100 Posts)
happyfrogger Wed 30-Jan-13 19:31:34

I had an early scan today but finding childcare for my 9 month old was not possible (particularly at short notice), so I took her with me.

She needed a feed so I sat in the corner and fed her, as I would on any other occasion. One of the staff ladies came over to me and wafted a small sheet over my DD's head. I wasn't quite sure what she did and in my unsure shock I just said 'oh, thanks'.

As ever, bf is discrete and nobody can see anything, plus it keeps a hungry baby from making a lot of fuss and chaos in a place which ladies will do doubt prefer calm and quiet. On reflection I was quite annoyed at the implication that we weren't discrete or covered up, if I'd wanted to cover her head I would have done so myself. It was hardly 'being helpful/considerate' to me - nobody anywhere else has ever felt the need to 'help' me in this way.

I know the EPU is a sensitive place for ladies who perhaps don't want to be focusing on other people's babies, particularly if they are stressed about their personal situation, but AIBU taking her when I had no other options and AIBU feeding her in this environment?

pomdereplay Wed 30-Jan-13 22:27:39

Lost three babies (and nearly died on third miscarriage) before having my daughter. Just seeing signs for EPAU made me feel panicky and ill, far too many horrible memories. I won't lie, there were times during those dark days where seeing a pregnant woman or a new baby filled me with heartbreak and a horrible, irrational anger. Even in my lowest moments, though, I never would have expected another woman to have to hide away to tend to her child. If I had given it any thought at all, it would be just to assume she was in EPAU for a similarly sad/worrying reason.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Jan-13 22:34:41

I remember my times at the EPU before having ds. To be honest, the sight of other people's babies didn't bother me, it wasn't about them, it was about me, I was pretty oblivious to everyone else.

Bobyan Wed 30-Jan-13 23:05:45

The last time I was in EPU the clinic overran and I ended up in the waiting room with people waiting for the next clinic, which was for terminations.
Maybe they should have offered you a more private place to feed.

Op it's not your issues, you are not responsible fr other people's feelings.

Jesus, that's a licence to do whatever the hell you like in life, isn't it? hmm (and I don't mean bf your baby in an EPU)

ReallyTired Wed 30-Jan-13 23:29:23

I think that both the staff and OP were caught between a rock and a hard place at the early pregnancy unit. It is not appriopate to cover a mother and baby with a blanket.

The EPU need to re-think about their policy and breastfeeding. I feel that a notice asking breastfeeding mothers to use a cubicle because of the sensitivites of other patients would not be unreasonable.

queenofthepirates Wed 30-Jan-13 23:31:30

She gave you a bit of cloth, presumably to be kind and preserve your modesty. I think you are misreading her intentions. Perhaps you should have just asked her why she did it rather than asking people to read their own agendas into it!

fluffypillow Wed 30-Jan-13 23:36:29

OP, this member of staff was rude. YANBU. You have every right to feed your baby whenever and wherever she needs it.

You did nothing wrong.

Yfronts Wed 30-Jan-13 23:37:01

I've sat in the EPU many a time and wouldn't have been offended in the least seeing a BF woman.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 23:37:38

She didn't need a bit of cloth to preserve her modesty, there is nothing immodest about bfeeding!

But I agree with really they need to have a think about this type of situation and provide somewhere for mothers who have to bring small babies or provide somewhere private for mothers who are upset etc.

WelshMaenad Wed 30-Jan-13 23:40:16

I've had my fair share of bad news in epu and have been offended by things I've seen there. Like the girl sobbing her heart out because her healthy, live 20wk foetus was a boy and she wanted a girl. Like a heavily pregnant woman show up for a growth scan pissed as a rat and high in something I don't want to know about. Midwives who told me that the death of my unborn child should have been expected, really, seeing as I'm diabetic.

Can't say a woman meeting her child's need to be fee would bother me at all, though. People had babies even whilst mine had died. Those babies need fed. It's not for me to assume, either, that the mother feeding her child isn't facing her own bad news or hadn't travelled her own long hard road to get her baby. I am lucky to have my beautiful kids, I have friends battling infertility and know I have much for them to envy but my journey has been far from smooth.

If at all necessary, a quiet offer if a private room might have been acceptable. Throwing a sheet over a feeding child is not. Yanbu.

SamSmalaidh Wed 30-Jan-13 23:47:33

Should bottle feeding mothers cover their babies' heads/go into a cubicle to feed too?

If it is acceptable for a baby to be somewhere, it is acceptable to feed that baby from a breast or a bottle.

HopAndSkip Wed 30-Jan-13 23:47:52

Did she say anything to you as she did it, like "oh here you go, give you a bit of privacy" etc or literally just put it over in silence with no explanation?
YANBU though, I would not be impressed if someone threw a cover over my babies head, no matter where I was hmm
I see the point about it being upsetting seeing a baby, and that it won't be nice if they have just received bad news, but realistically you will see babies everywhere, you can't throw a cover over them all!

HopAndSkip Wed 30-Jan-13 23:52:01

Really tired If they are going to ask breastfeeding mothers to use cubicals, then surely they have to ask all mothers to wait in a cubicle for their appointment if they're with a baby?
Personally I'd find a baby giggling and babbling away more upsetting after bad news, than a quiet one feeding in the corner who I could easily not look at or hear.

OrangeChicken Wed 30-Jan-13 23:52:38

Yanbu. I found out my first baby had died in an EPU and for various reasons I had to attend the EPU for scans following the loss also. It was a very difficult place to be. But I would never, ever have considered that a young baby, wholly reliant on its mum, should be made to go hungry, to somehow shield me from the reality of what I had gone through (as if it could, anyway). Of course yanbu.

When I was mc in hospital I only fed DC1 in my cubicle with the curtains drawn, or in the empty day room.

But nobody should have covered you up.

Our EPU is opposite the post-natal ward. You pass the new mothers taking babies home in car seats on your way to and from your bad news. It is very hard.

Startail Thu 31-Jan-13 00:08:47

YANBU
We had a lovely MW who made it her business to try and find routes through the antenatal clinic for people who had bad news, but the place was appallingly designed.
You were pretty much sure to see a heavily PG lady or a small DC.

Catchingmockingbirds Thu 31-Jan-13 00:41:31

If you'd already been seen to and had no other reason to wait then I think you should have been a bit more sensitive and found somewhere else in the hospital to feed. Yes babies need to feed, but they can feed anywhere, so preferably not in the EPU if possible.

pigletmania Thu 31-Jan-13 01:03:18

Gwendoline this is with regard to the op. what the hell is op supposed to do with her baby! She can't leave it at home alone or in the car! She needs to bring her to te EPAU. The baby weds to be fed so she has to feed it. These are other eoples issues, and nothing that op can do anything about!

pigletmania Thu 31-Jan-13 01:08:29

Op was waiting for her appointment so needed to be nearby incase she missed it

Unless you had stripped to the waist to feed the baby I don't think you were being unreasonable, my babies would have whipped off a cloth over them when feeding at that age and though she wanted to play some sort of peek a boo game with them. She was rude to ask you .to cover up the baby

PenelopeChipShop Thu 31-Jan-13 05:33:56

I'm surprised to see any responses saying the OP was bu. yes the episode is an awful place to be and yes I've been there myself. But the OP didn't have child care for a young bf baby, I don't see what choice she had. And she wasn't just passing by, she was there for the same reason everyone else was, she had reason to be worried about her pregnancy.

PenelopeChipShop Thu 31-Jan-13 05:34:24

The EPU not episode - flipping iphone

Chloe55 Thu 31-Jan-13 05:44:11

What an odd thing to do?! I have also say in epu numerous times to await bad news, I would have been saddened for my own loss by seeing said baby, however, no more so because it was feeding or more than the 5 pregnant people I would have passed in the street already (why do pregnant people appear from nowhere when you mc?) or more than the babies in my family etc. To receive terrible news that your long awaited child didn't make it beyond x amount of weeks does not mean that life everywhere else doesn't go on and your eyes can not be shielded by babies/pregnancies unless you stay indoors til you are ready to take on the world again. Which for one of my mc is exactly what I did sad

AmandaCooper Thu 31-Jan-13 06:07:22

I think it's entirely the responsibility of the experts who design and manage and run these services to consider these issues and identify ways to deal sensitively with situations like this. It's unreasonable to put that responsibility onto scared pregnant women with no childcare options who have no way of knowing what to do for the best. It sounds like this was poorly managed by the Trust and the OP was not at all at fault.

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