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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?

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 30-Jan-13 20:12:55

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.

Whatevertheweather Wed 30-Jan-13 20:23:11

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.

NorthernLurker Wed 30-Jan-13 20:40:06

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.

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 30-Jan-13 20:44:02

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?

GreenPetal94 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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

Moominsarescary Wed 30-Jan-13 21:59:23

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

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