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?

happyfrogger Wed 30-Jan-13 19:32:28

FWIW I have on the few times I've been there with previous pregnancies seen other ladies' toddlers about half of the time.

TarkaTheOtter Wed 30-Jan-13 19:33:33

Of course YANBU.

Lexiesinclair Wed 30-Jan-13 19:35:07

Of course YANBU and the lady was rude and behaved strangely.

tametortie Wed 30-Jan-13 19:35:20

Yanbu. Was the scan ok? Xxx

CMOTDibbler Wed 30-Jan-13 19:35:54

Normally, I would fight for your right to bf however you like, anywhere you like, but having sat crying my heart out in EPAU far too many times, I would say this is one place I'd try see if they had a room to use, or cover up. Just because its so visceral seeing a baby feeding at a time when you are wondering if your baby will survive/you will ever have a live baby etc

No, you weren't being U to bf your baby, but... EPUs are very sensitive places. I spent 2 hours sitting in one waiting for my ERPC and it was mental torture. Toddlers don't have the same effect as a babe in arms.

But if there was no alternative then there was no alternative.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 19:39:23

Yanbu the lady was very odd!

Fwiw i have bfed through a few pregnancies and coukdnt always get childcare and often bfed in the ante-natal units and epau etc and i had the odd comment about how i shoukdnt bfeed when preg and i politely corrected them but nobody told me to cover up and one lovely dr praised me and said how wonderful it was and she encouraged me to tandem feed smile

None of mine would have tolerated a sheet in their head whilst feeding.

Hope all was well with your scan xx

Floggingmolly Wed 30-Jan-13 19:39:42

The EPU is usually full of people for whom pregnancy is not going well; many will have just been given the worst news possible and to be then confronted by someone feeding their young baby is really the last thing they need.
Older children don't have quite the same impact, actually.

Floggingmolly Wed 30-Jan-13 19:40:57

x posted with Gwendoline

Cortana Wed 30-Jan-13 19:41:17

You had no other option, you needed to be there and I doubt a sheet would have hidden the fact you were feeding a baby unless she draped it over you both like a budgie. YANBU.

queenebay Wed 30-Jan-13 19:42:18

The EPAS was the place I found out my baby was dead but to be fair if your baby needed fed then you have any right to feed it. The person was wrong to waft the sheet near you.

blackeyedsusan Wed 30-Jan-13 19:43:19

the op was there presumably for difficult reasons too. we have been sent to the epu and took dd with us... it was an emergency.... can't rustle up child care at short notice, after all you don't plan to have miscarriage do you.

how are you hp?

nefertarii Wed 30-Jan-13 19:44:05

I can only assume it was for the benfit of any ladies that have perhaps recieved bad news while you were there.

Having lost a baby myself, i think I would have found it hard sat there while you bf whilst waiting for someone to confirm my baby had died.

TidyDancer Wed 30-Jan-13 19:44:06

I'm with CMOT on this one I think. I would defend anyone's right to breast feed wherever they wanted, but this is one of those places where absolute discretion is a must. It's difficult to tell from your OP how much could be seen but I think the ladies working in the EPU would have enough experience to know what upsets people in there.

I think actually saying something to you might've been better though.

thehappycat Wed 30-Jan-13 19:44:39

Of course YANBU. Would she have put a sheet over a bottle-feeding baby? I doubt it. and I say this as a person who has had the worst news from a scan before. Hope all went well for you today.

SirBoobAlot Wed 30-Jan-13 19:45:16

No, YWNBU. Like you say, you would have drawn more attention if she had been crying.

I'd contact them about it.

Hope your scan went okay.

McNewPants2013 Wed 30-Jan-13 19:45:45

If he needed feeding then he needed to be fed.

Sitting in the epau is an awful experience and me personally it didn't bother me seeing other people babies, it was a welcome distraction.

happyfrogger Wed 30-Jan-13 19:51:02

Fair points about toddlers not really being quite the same. And thank you for asking - delighted to get happy news on this occasion, a heartbeat after being here twice before for bad news. I appreciate that me feeding is exactly what some people there don't need to see. I guess 'next time' I would maybe be wiser to find somewhere else in the hospital to feed - but yes, unfortunately, short notice visits when you've had your own panic need to rush in don't leave many alternatives.

As an aside, I also arrived early and asked if appointments on time so I didn't need to linger in the waiting room with DD being fractious if things were running late. She said 'we're running early, stay put please' only to wait for an hour (30 mins past my appointment time)

Glad it was all ok. Congratulations smile

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 19:53:41

Glad things were ok for you and i hope all goes well for the rest of your pregnancy.

I doubt they would have covered up someone bottlefeeding. Its not ideal but a quiet feeding baby is better than a screaming one.

TidyDancer Wed 30-Jan-13 19:55:40

Lovely news that things are all okay. smile

NatashaBee Wed 30-Jan-13 19:56:03

Do you think she was covering up your modesty, or trying to shoo you away to breastfeed somewhere else? I can understand why it might not be the best place to feed, but you can't ignore your baby if she's hungry.

Those EPAUs are hideous places actually. I remember sitting in the waiting room too many times and the visceral feelings you experience in there. They're usually situated away from the ante/post natal areas IIRC? That's for a good reason and I wouldn't have felt comfortable bringing my young baby in there - I probably would have waited outside and asked the nurse to call me. I don't think you're being unreasonable but you were insensitive.

Theicingontop Wed 30-Jan-13 20:09:42

Forgive me, but is there something special about seeing a baby breastfeed as apposed to sat on your lap, that would make it more upsetting for the women there?

I remember when I was waiting for an appointment there, there was a lady with a six month old or thereabouts. She was entertaining her with a toy. No nurse came to cover the baby with a sheet. I'm not sure what would be more upsetting about you feeding your child confused

Yes, there is. The baby would have been upsetting of course, but there is something special about seeing a baby breastfeed, even if the mother is flicking through Hello magazine at the same time. It appeals to your basic instincts.

Ah it's a tricky one - like cmot I'd usually defend the right to breastfeed anywhere but I can understand why in the place you were there is a higher chance than normal that it may be hard for another woman to see. Our dd2 died shortly after she was born and SIL came to visit us in the hospital and proceeded to start to bf her fractious 9 month old ds. I did have to ask her to leave it was just not something I could cope with seeing at that point. Don't think ywbu as such though - a tricky situation for you to be in.

Glad everything went well and hope you have a smooth pregnancy

ENormaSnob Wed 30-Jan-13 20:28:07

It's not something I would've done tbh.

I find it quite insensitive really.

cocoachannel Wed 30-Jan-13 20:31:20

Many congratulations!

In my rational mind YWNBU, but thinking back to visits to the EPU it would have been very, very difficult to see someone breast feeding when miscarrying or when bleeding from what turned out to be an ectopic.

I also think that there is something about the act if bfing that is very special and provokes a particularly emotional response - I remember bawling at the breast feeding video at the antenatal class before I had DD!

giraffesCantEatNHSPotatoes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:36:16


stella1w Wed 30-Jan-13 20:36:42

A similar thing happened to me in a gp waiting room and a bay of a pediatric unit.
Don,t see how covering the baby,s head would have hidden the fact you were bfeeding.
The staff should have offered you somewhere else to sit and bfeed while you waited if they thought it could be hurtful. Waving a sheet is ridiculous.
It,s a lot less obvious if you just adjust your top.

MrsOakenshield Wed 30-Jan-13 20:39:16

well, having sat in the EPU 7 times with bad news on the cards, I would have found this upsetting, and generally I believe you should be able to bf anywhere. YANBU to feed your baby of course, but I don't think the staff were being unreasonable either.

Congratulations on your good news. I know you were in a tricky situation and it couldn't be helped but tbh I think taking a young baby to an EPAU is potentially pretty hard for the other people there to see and it's something that you should try not to ever do again.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 30-Jan-13 20:41:10

The woman was fully out of order and you should complain.

I think the staff should have offered you somewhere else to BF rather than the waiting room. I expect a screaming baby would have been just as upsetting to the other ladies and sometimes you're stuck between dealing with a crying baby and BFing. I'm not sure what a bit of paper would have done. I'm sure they would have had an unused examination room or somewhere a bit more out of the way where you could have sat.

jumpingjackhash Wed 30-Jan-13 20:48:48

When I was in epu, having just been told I'd miscarried again it would have been like another knife through the heart to see someone feeding their baby, so I think it was insensitive. We're ybu? I think more likely in a difficult situation and you didn't think it would impact on others the way it likely would (ime). We're the staff bu? No, but again a little insensitive in their reaction. I think they should ave offered you a comfortable alternative (discrete, given the circumstances) place to go.

Glad your scan went well, hope you have a good pregnancy.

stella1w Wed 30-Jan-13 21:11:25

How about you contact the epu to explain your experience. Let them decide how to implement a policy that does not discourage bfeeding women with no childcare from attending, does not discourage bfeeding (being treated like that wouldn't have bothered me but might upset others who are less confident about bfeeding), respects the right of babies to be fed and respects the feelings of other patients.
They might introduce separate waiting areas, for instance.

pigletmania Wed 30-Jan-13 21:11:40

I have had a few miscarriages and have Been in EPAU, a baby needs to be fed ut needs to be fed end of. You can't feed it anywhere different as you have to near your appointment and you can't leave baby alone at home, noway should you feed baby in te toilet. Feeding besides, surely it's not the feeding but having baby in te EPAU tat would upset women. But what alternative f you have no one to look after him/her

selsigfach Wed 30-Jan-13 21:19:29

I'm as pro breastfeeding as you can possibly be, but seeing another baby feeding in this situation could have been agony to some of the mums waiting.

While I sat in A&E with my world tumbling around me as I miscarried, there was a toddler crying. I would have smothered her if I could. Will never forget that sound, and knowing that I would never hear my baby cry.

Nurse was BU for wafting a paper at you, but you could have asked if there was somewhere quiet you could have fed.

Am very happy for you that your bump is doing well.

13Iggis Wed 30-Jan-13 21:20:11

Yes a baby would be upsetting for some others to see. The EPU could have dealt with this very differently, however. They could have taken you through to a another room to wait in, or even another corridor.
I've had to bring a toddler to several scans, I've been horribly aware that it might upset others but had no choice (and was upset enough myself).
Glad scan was good happyfrogger.
Many EPUs seem to be located right next to other maternity services, so hard to avoid seeing lots of happy mums taking their babies home.
(Can I continue one-woman crusade for people to use discreet instead of discrete which is wrong? No? Ok then.)

LovesGSD Wed 30-Jan-13 21:28:43

I was in the same situation, I had no choice but to take my 6 month with me for a early scan. Thankfully I was the only one waiting at that area but when it got confirmed that I was miscarrying at the scan department seeing the ladies walking out with bumps, holding the scan pictures of their babies was the worsthmm

Bue Wed 30-Jan-13 21:39:51

I'm another one who is confused about what feeding has to do with anything. Not sure how that makes it more upsetting than just seeing a very young baby. Yes, it'sunfortunate that OP had to bring her baby in the first place, but what choice did she have?

RainbowSpiral Wed 30-Jan-13 21:50:09

Ideally you should not bring your firstborn into early pregnancy unit as it is upsetting for those losing their forth, fifth, sixth pregnancy and likely never to conceive. Im not sure its the feeding that matters though.

I suffer from bipolar and once went to a psych pre-natal clinic where I was told if I wanted a third baby (never had one in the end, just miscarriages), I should stay on meds and not breastfeed. This was after 45 mins in the waiting room surrounded by "BREAST IS BEST" posters. I'm not saying breast is not best for most, but in this situation those posters were highly inappropriate

I'm not saying you shouldn't have taken your baby in an emergency, I just think you need to understand why people were sensitive about it / covered you when feeding.

MikeOxardInTheSnow Wed 30-Jan-13 21:52:44

Yanbu, what on earth would you have done otherwise, leave baby in the car? Not feed and leave her hungry? You had to take her with you, and you had to feed her. It is never insensitive to feed your hungry baby, sorry but that is just nonsense.

MariusEarlobe Wed 30-Jan-13 21:57:44

I think they should have offered you a cubicle for all the reasons above.

Cortana Wed 30-Jan-13 21:58:12

"it'sunfortunate that OP had to bring her baby in the first place, but what choice did she have?"

Exactly, although I am so glad the OP had a happy outcome she was in the same situation as every other woman in there prior to the scan, worried, scared and coping as best she could in the situation.

Glad to hear everything was okay OP.

Yanbu, I've seen women bf in epau in the past, if the baby needs feeding it needs feeding.

pigletmania Wed 30-Jan-13 21:59:31

I agree Mike, it's not te babies fault, what is the op supposed to do with her baby if treks nobody to look after it

McNewPants2013 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:01:05

I think it should be opposite, Womem who has had the worse news should be offered a cubicle or a place to grieve in private.

pigletmania Wed 30-Jan-13 22:02:00

Op it's not your issues, you are not responsible fr other people's feelings. Your main concern is your baby and keeping her happy, warm safe and fed

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

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.

FadBook Thu 31-Jan-13 06:15:50

Some EPU's also deal with post birth problems. Mine did anyway

I had retained placenta and the EPU managed this from 7 weeks through to my D&C on week 12.

I dreaded every appointment because I took dd (then 7 weeks) with me. I had MIL with me too to take her for a walk but one appointment she needed feeding so I asked for somewhere to go.

I'm one to defend bf'ing in public to anyone (as a peer supporter) but I was furious that my appointments were in the same place as families receiving devastating news. I wanted to tell people why I was there and that I'd had dd via IVF so knew what they were feeling.

The time I did need to feed, they were lovely and I was just off reception on a bed and they got me some magazines and a class of water.

I complained to the hospital that it wasn't appropriate to have women having a potential miscarriage and women post birth in the same place.

Op - the lady was wrong to do what she did. The sensitive situation could have been handled much better.

JenaiMorris Thu 31-Jan-13 07:15:40

If you really, really couldn't find anyone to mind your baby OP then YANBU.

Entire families seemed to rock up at ours when I was in there. I found that quite difficult for some reason (possibly because I was on my own, I dunno). It was like a day out hmm

As a rule though I would say that EPAUs and antenatal scans generally are not appropriate places for children to be.

bbface Thu 31-Jan-13 07:21:43


AThingInYourLife Thu 31-Jan-13 07:24:27

"Forgive me, but is there something special about seeing a baby breastfeed as apposed to sat on your lap, that would make it more upsetting for the women there?"


The nurse was way out of order.

Either the baby should have been covered in paper the whole time you were there or not at all.

13Iggis Thu 31-Jan-13 08:11:31

One thing that can make childcare especially hard is that you have to 'out' yourself as pregnant to whoever you ask to babysit. And then go and collect your child from them after you get the bad news. And all in a rush after you discover you're spotting or whatever.

ReallyTired Thu 31-Jan-13 08:24:19

"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?"

Ideally people with young babies should not be in the same area as those with a miscarriage. I would expect equal treatment for those who are bottle feeding.

I am normally pro breastfeeding a baby anyway. However having a baby infront of a miscarrying woman is less than ideal. OP and her baby had to be there and yes, I think breastfeeding is a bit of re herring.

LedaOfSparta Thu 31-Jan-13 08:27:59

I've been in the EPU on 2 ocassions, once where the news was a mmc and once where the news was positive and both times there were ladies with babies, toddlers etc.

TBH it's upsetting if the news is bad and I can't imagine even noticing what other people were up to. If you had the baby with you and she needed a feed then what else could you have done, much more upsetting for everyone to hear a distressed baby. As for the cloth thing you did well to accept it with good grace but its not as if it made your boob and your baby disappear a la Harry Potter's invisibility cloak so it was ultimately a pointless gesture on the part of the HCP.

I hope your visit was ok though.

JenaiMorris Thu 31-Jan-13 08:41:16

I remember seeing one woman alone with a toddler and whilst it was painful, I felt sorry for her having to cope with such a stressful situation whilst looking after a small child.

There were others there though with children and one or more adult with them. I thought that was a bit shit tbh.

LovesGSD Thu 31-Jan-13 09:02:53

when I miscarried I had no choice but to take my 6 month old with me for the follow up tests hmm

maddening Thu 31-Jan-13 09:05:34

If it was due to discretion issues yanbu.

If it was due to the fact that other ladies were in there waiting for scans to confirm mc then she should have had a quiet word and offered a side room for you.

I think a bf baby is different to a toddler in terms of upsetting when in epu.

When in epu waiting rooms you are more than aware of things like babies and heavily pg women as it is a highly sensitive time.

Bottleoffish Thu 31-Jan-13 09:13:53

YWNBU. You were worried about your pregnancy, you didn't have childcare, your baby needed a breastfeed. Perhaps you were supposed to wait at home and not know whether your pregnancy was OK to save the feelings of others who are going to see babies, breastfed and otherwise, everywhere they go.

I have had two early miscarriages and also been sat in the EPU another time waiting to find out if I had lost my baby. When I had the early miscarriages, they were devasting, the second especially as I had just lost my twins after they were premature a few months before. I was also on my own as I had to leave my children with the only friend who could have accompanied me and my DH was abroad. I was inconsoleable and nothing could have made me feel worse, even if it had been a Mother with her child, even feeding her child.

Having a miscarriage is very hard, but suddenly it seems that there are pregnant women and babies everywhere you go and that is just something you have to learn to deal with. Other people's babies do not change your own situation.

FeckOffCup Thu 31-Jan-13 09:14:48

YANBU to have fed your baby where you did if you were kept waiting for your appointment. You had to take her if you had no childcare and she needed to be fed, yes it will be upsetting to some women in the EPU to see a young baby but in this situation it really can't be helped, if you needed the medical attention then you and your child had to be there and have done nothing wrong.

AlphaBeta2012 Thu 31-Jan-13 09:16:26

I think the nurse was trying to help discretion. As someone who has sat in an EPU 3 times to be told my baby is dead I would find it incredibly hard to be processing this news in front of a young baby. I don't think the BF is the factor. On the first time we had to take my son, and realised how distressing this was for other mothers so my DH took him out whilst I recieved the news. I know sometime it cannot be helped if you have to have your baby with you, but I do think you are BU in not recognising that this may cause distress to others.

13Iggis Thu 31-Jan-13 09:26:47

Unless my local EPU is unique, the woman who would have seen the OP were all in the waiting room. Once you've had a bad scan, you would sit in a separate room while they explain options to you.
I found the cheery people who obviously weren't expecting the worst hard to deal with in the waiting room - not that I wish them the knowledge that bad news brings!
Oh and the heavily pg women smoking outside the door to the EPU area, but that's a whole other thread.

elliejjtiny Thu 31-Jan-13 09:27:51

I've had 2 miscarriages and one of them I also had DS3 aged 11 months and also 2 older children. My scan was in the antenatal clinic so there were lots of other children, heavily pregnant women and the tv tuned in to the baby channel. I thought there were far more upsetting things there than my baby tbh.

My baby was buried with other babies and I was allowed to go to the service. I didn't have anyone to look after my preschool children (aged 3 and 1) and I asked the chaplain if it would be ok to bring them. She said there was normally just her and the man from the crematorium there and it would be fine. On the day, 2 other couples turned up and I really wished we had stayed at home and visited the grave later.

It's so hard when you have a baby and mc/threatened mc. The OP weas stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Madmum24 Thu 31-Jan-13 09:38:12


I'm assuming this is a maternity hospital, therefore lots of babies around? I have been in EPU myself and all I was concerned about was my OWN baby. I wouldn't have noticed who was feeding what. Regardless, even if someone has a sad time existing babies still need to be fed....................

thistlelicker Thu 31-Jan-13 09:53:25

Why couldn't the op have asked for a room for discretion instead if having to wait to be offered? I think we have or judgey pants on here! I've just had my 2nd mmc at the end of the year after 4 years since the first I work in a hospital with babies! Which is my choice. It's respected, like its op choice to bf her baby! It's her choice!!! I think Epu needs discretion from all parties not just one I accommodate the sensitivity of other patients! Look at it as a whole not individuals!!

PenelopePipPop Thu 31-Jan-13 09:56:22

Obviously YANBU to bf your baby in the circumstances. You had an urgent appt, no childcare cover and they told you you had to wait because they were running early (although they were not). I don't think given that set of facts you did anything wrong.

Equally, I think an EPAU is the only place on earth where it is appropriate to ask someone to be discreet about bf-ing. But only if handled constructively. They could have found you a private room when you needed to feed, offered to come and find you when your appointment began and generally been supportive, rather than making you feel like you were doing something wrong. At an EPAU your feelings matter and so do the feelings of everyone else waiting.

Could you write to them and point out what they could have done rather to help rather than just pointing out the bad practice?

PenelopePipPop Thu 31-Jan-13 09:59:58

Oh an 13iggis I don't know about unique but my EPAU had just the one waiting area last time I used it. Very large and bloody awful, frightened people at one end, tearful people at the other end, and a few relieved people sitting in the middle waiting to be discharged just feeling guilty they were neither frightened or tearful. Terrible.

CMOTDibbler Thu 31-Jan-13 10:18:51

The EPAUs I went to also had only one waiting room - you 'd wait for a scan there, be put back there while you waited for the Dr, wait again to do bloods, and on one memorable occasion, wait for 4 hours to find a bed.

AlphaBeta2012 Thu 31-Jan-13 10:27:21

CMOT this is exactly what ours is like. worst visit was one when there were 7 to 8 ladies, 2 of which were sitting there grinning like cheshire cats as they had positive scans looking at there lovely scan photos, 1 lady obviously quite a lot further along 18-20 weeks ish and had been told pregnancy non-viable awaiting an operation and me and another who knew babies had died, with the rest anxiously waiting. For women in this state it was absolutely awful, just to top it all off that bloody Ed Sheran song 'small bundle' all about losing a child at 4 mths came on the radio. It was pure misery. This was no one womens particular fault, those who were happy had every right to be so, but it made it so much worse for the others and no attempt was made to manage this.
I do think that there are particular sensitivities which need to be managed in these situations and the hospitals do need to think about the emotional wellbeing of patients and not just the physical.

sheeplikessleep Thu 31-Jan-13 10:54:45

The lady shouldn't have wafted a bit of paper, they could have offered a quiet room for you to feed.

Whether it's right or wrong, I'm sure for the women in there who were losing their babies, seeing another baby being breastfed is such a primitive, nurturing thing to do must have hurt them, it's such a visual and emotive symbol of mother and baby.

I think you were a bit unthoughtful to do it, though I can understand why you had to.

I would probably have let the reception know, given my mobile number and gone and sat in the car to feed.

elliejjtiny Thu 31-Jan-13 11:17:21

I must have been quite lucky with my EPU. The EPU is just one room so you wait in a general waiting room with everyone waiting to see whichever consultants happen to be doing their clinics and people waiting for blood tests. Once you've had your scan/appointment you are either sent home with your picture, sent back to the waiting room to join the blood testing queue or sent to the gynae ward to discuss your options. If you get bad news in the antenatal clinic you are taken from the scan room into one of the consulting rooms and offered tea and sympathy until someone is free to take you to the gynae ward.

Kaida Thu 31-Jan-13 11:23:00

AmandaCooper has it right, the average EPU is terribly designed, and that is what is at fault, not the OP. I have been to EPU too many times, many of them after having heard bad news waiting for another scan to monitor the progress of the miscarriage as we'd opted for conservative management. Sitting in EPU knowing my baby I was carrying was dead, and seeing toddlers and babies around was horrible. It isn't rocket science to put mothers with children in one waiting room and those without in another.

Ours is a big new maternity building and the EPU is at least accessed by seperate corridors - we got our bad news at our 12 week scan, and the route we took through to EPU from the shared sonography rooms for a discussion of our options was away from the main maternity waiting room, and there is a corridor directly from EPU out to the entrance. But they definitely should've incorporated a second waiting room to put women who have had to bring children in.

The one I've been to is the same as ellies if you receive bad news you are taken to your own room. However when I had my first mc 12 years ago I was sat in the antinatel waiting room for 3 hours 2 days after receiving bad news.

The worst experiance I had was last year at my post natal appointment after loosing ds4 at 20 weeks. I should have been sent to the consultants office but reception sent me to AN clinic. As soon as i told the nurse at that desk who I was their to see they rushed me out. I think the consultant must do clinics upstairs for those who have had late mc or stillbirths.

I did however take ds3 who was by that point 11 months with me, they booked me in on the day I would have been due my csection. Probably sounds mad but I felt better having the baby there. Tbh it didn't even cross my mind how him being their might have affected others waiting. If I'd have thought it would upset them I probably would have left him at home. (I'm not saying that's what op should have done though!)

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