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If I’m breastfeeding, can my baby be admitted with me to hospital

(62 Posts)
LloydColeandtheCoconuts Sun 03-Dec-17 08:46:16

Advice really.

I’m awaiting SELDOC to call back. I have a severe sore throat and suspect quinsy - I’ve had it before and remember all the pain and symptoms. Last time I had it I was admitted to hospital for a couple of days. But I was child free then.
My AIBU is would WIBU to ask if DD (4months) could be admitted with me. I’ve never seen or heard of this before but I wonder if it’s allowed. I have been ebf. Would it be ridiculous? I am in a current fog of painkillers so may not be thinking logically.
Thanks

Ecureuil Sun 03-Dec-17 08:50:23

I got sepsis when DD2 was 9 days old and they went completely out of their way to put me somewhere that I could have her with me as she was BF. The last couple of nights I was in they put me in a private maternity room so that the midwives could help me with feeding etc as I couldn’t lift her with all the IV’s.
In my experience they will try their best to accommodate a BF baby

FlakeBook Sun 03-Dec-17 08:52:29

They do have to keep a breastfeeding baby under 6 months and the mother together. They may not know this. Ask to contact the infant feeding coordinator if you run into problems.

PerfectlyDone Sun 03-Dec-17 08:53:05

Yes, they will try to accommodate you both.
They will also consider very carefully whether you must be in hospital or whether you could be treated as an outpatient (even iv antibiotics can be given as an outpatient in some units).

Hope you feel better soon thanks

Kr1st1na Sun 03-Dec-17 08:54:16

Of course your baby’s needs to be admitted with you, otherwise how will she eat ? Just tell the hospital so they know which ward to put you on.

Did your GP prescribe the painkillers ? I assume you told her you were BF? It’s not a problem they just need to know so they give you the right meds.

I’m sorry you are so unwell and in pain .

LloydColeandtheCoconuts Sun 03-Dec-17 08:54:51

Thanks so much for your reassuring comments. Fingers crossed I’ll be treated as an outpatient too.
smile

LloydColeandtheCoconuts Sun 03-Dec-17 08:56:49

I’ve been on paracetamol and ibuprofen. I only take them if I want to eat now - swallowing is painful.

wheresthel1ght Sun 03-Dec-17 08:58:57

I know others here have said it will be fine, but from the experience of a friend if mine it will very much depend on which wards have available beds.

If you are put in a ward with a lot of infections or they cannot provide a side room then they may not allow you to take your baby with you. It would be wise to prepare for the possibility that the won't let you.

PerfectlyDone Sun 03-Dec-17 08:59:33

Get Difflam spray and Tyrocets too.

Also sucking ice chips/ice lollies can help.

Bunchofdaffodils Sun 03-Dec-17 08:59:52

You should definitely ask, breastfeeding is a valid reason to want baby to stay. Where I work(general surgical ward), yes we do our best to help. Baby may be able to stay but only if we’ve got a side room available. Also you’d need someone else who can stay with you and look after her as presumably you can’t if so unwell?

GoodLuckTime Sun 03-Dec-17 09:10:46

OP don't want to worry you, but my experience was: no

I develop a cute appendicitis when DC1 was 4 months old and ebf. Was sent to a&e at the large trenching hospital I'd given birth in and told I would be admitted that day. Explained, was told I could bring my baby. Admitted.

Then told, no, we're a general ward, not maternity, so no baby. And no, you can't go on maternity wards as you'll be an infectious patient. But don't worry, you'll only be here for two nights. Raised how I was supposed to feed my baby. Nurse told me '4 months is fine, stop'. Breasts full to bursting. Can't remember how we got my breast pump to me. Express nearly a pint of milk that night. Asked for access to a fridge to store it in. Again, told: no. Nurses to busy to take to post natal fridge I knew they had. Can't use nearby fridge due to health and safety.

I was in for 5 nights. For the first few I stashed the milk in a unlocked kitchen opposite my ward. I called the local authority breast feeding team as they'd visited me in that same hospital post partum and asked them to help me. They brought a hospital grade pump and loads of bottles.

A few days later I was caught using the fridge and was told off. I went ballistic, yelling 'all you lot will do is say no and tell me what's can't do and I'm just tying to feed my baby'. The crazy screaming crying. Fit did the trick as someone senior appeared and told me I could use the post natal fridge. But I took the milk there myself, three floors down in the lift at 2am, antibiotic drip trailing behind me, infectious patient indeed. The post natal fridge was always empty.

The ward was relentlessly noisy. Lights on for crash calls in my room every night. I thought, the first night, on well, at least I'll get a good nights sleep. Haha. It was worse than night feeding my four month old.

Plus, we were deeply bonded and I couldnt sleep properly without her - at home we were co-sleeping. Every fibre of my being screaming 'where's my baby?' Even though, rationally I knew she was home with DH. It just felt WRONG.

In short, it awful. Traumatic for both of us. I was in for five nights. When I came home dc1 slept with their face smoothed into my armpit for the next six months.

The episode triggered anxiety and insomnia in me and my family and friends would say I am the least likely person to have either. Emotionally I took me about 18 months to recover from the trauma of it.

I should have written to complain but was too emotional. Now I write this out, I think I will now.

Practical questions for those glibly saying: yes, of course - whose responsibility is this? Who should the OP ask to speak to if they say no? My hospitals view was I was a general patient, general wards are not safe for young babies, all private rooms full with more serious cases, I was their responsibility but my baby wasn't.

Practical thoughts for you op: be prepared to fight. Have a advocate that will do this for you (DH/ DP?) your mum? As its hard to find the energy when you are ill.

And have a back up plan in case you need it. Breast pump, cool bag, access to fridge.

Hope your experience is better than mine.

Ecureuil Sun 03-Dec-17 09:12:33

Practical questions for those glibly saying: yes, of course - whose responsibility is this?

I’ve no idea whose responsibility it was, I just know my hospital went completely out of their way to accommodate my BF baby. Couldn’t have asked for more. I guess it depends on the hospital.

GoodLuckTime Sun 03-Dec-17 09:19:18

Lots of typos from me.

Trenched = teaching, smoothed = smooshed, etc.

To see my hospitals point of view, it is / was a highly overstretched London hospital. Think had they had a side room available I could have had it. But they were all full of critical / acute near death patients.

But the refusal to even provide access to a fridge to store my milk until DH could take it home was appalling.

DD came in every day, although on my final day a nurse pulled a face and said she would bring her baby her.

The person admitted (and crashed twice) in the bed opposite had some sort of intestinal hemorragh and was passing bloody stools into a bed pan in the bed opposite.

You'll be on an infectious ward op. Is that the best place for your baby?

AntiHop Sun 03-Dec-17 09:23:39

Make sure you're aware of the breastfeeding network advice on which medicines you can be prescribed when breastfeeding. Doctors often don't realise what you can take and are over cautious.

Breastfeeding network have both information sheets and an email helpline.

www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/detailed-information/drugs-in-breastmilk/

thecatsarecrazy Sun 03-Dec-17 09:26:54

I was ill once and had baby with me. I was worried what i would do about feeding if i had to stay in but nurse said is he breast fed and they found a cot so he could stay. He was only a few days old though

NerNerNerNerBATMAN Sun 03-Dec-17 09:28:52

There are other options if they can't facilitate it. Many of us donate milk to milk banks, and they would be happy to provide DH with pasteurised breast milk so that DC has a good supply until you're home. If there's no milk bank in your area then the closets one will likely courier it over. This scenario is exactly what they're there for.

That way, you could pump and bin your milk if you're unable to sterilise and store milk safely on the ward.

EthelOnTheTown Sun 03-Dec-17 09:30:07

If there aren't any siderooms available it just isn't always possible. Of course if there are, then hcps will always try to accommodate a baby but sadly if you are very unlucky and need to be an inpatient whilst breast feeding it won't always logistically be possible.
All you can do is ask the ward staff where you are admitted to if they have a side room, if they don't ask to speak to whoever is in charge and calmly request provision is made. However I suspect as siderooms are used for infectious patients or those who are terminally ill you won't be a priority.

Sapiosexual Sun 03-Dec-17 09:36:14

My appendix burst and I had to be medivaced to a central hospital (not UK). Dd was 3 months old and was not allowed on the ward with me. I refused medicine for the first few hours as I was frantic worrying about how she would eat and told them I would leave if I couldn't take her. In the end she was practically ripped from my arms and I spent the first 24 hours in hospital wailing like a banshee for her. Dp took her to mil who eventually got her to take a bottle after almost 20 hours withoit food. Still bitter about the whole experience. From pps I gather that they are far more acommodating here though.

DancingLedge Sun 03-Dec-17 09:40:11

What will happen will inevitably depend on the individual hospital. It may work out fine- baby in a side room with you- it did for me.

But cross that bridge when/if you come to it.

Concentrate on maximising your chances of staying out of hospital. I echo what's been said.
Difflam spray or gargle, eases the pain, so you can then swallow painkillers, and drink and eat.
Tyrozets also help.If these 2 make swallowing easier, you can keep up the fluid intake, and keep up the paracetamol regularly to keep your temperature down.
But check , as posterabove suggested, about each med whilst bf.

Best of luck.

PerfectlyDone Sun 03-Dec-17 09:43:07

Also, if you do end up admitted and without your baby, consider expressing, just to keep your supply going (and he could have your milk of course).

Breasts are amazing - they will up supply really quickly again even if you and him were separated for a few days.

Don't fret just now, get better thanks

LloydColeandtheCoconuts Sun 03-Dec-17 09:43:49

Thanks. Ice lollies have been my best friends throughout this.
We’re just off to the hospital now. We do have a potential back up if needs be.

mando12345 Sun 03-Dec-17 09:52:27

Good luck, if you really insist you don't want to stay in hospital, for me they put me on a drip in the a & e department after having loads of tests, kept me on that all day then sent me home with tablets. And instructions to the gp for a blood test in a week.
Obviously I would have stayed in if absolutely necessary.

Reallycantbebothered Sun 03-Dec-17 09:52:47

Another option may be for IV antibiotics to be administered as an out patient....can be done to avoid being admitted.....ask if this might be a possibility if required...you may have to have first couple of doses in hospital but IV abx are available in community

GiraffesCantDoMentalArithmetic Sun 03-Dec-17 09:53:01

I was admitted with kidney stones for 5 days when my dd was 10 weeks old and EBF. This was over 10 years ago, so hospital policies will no doubt have changed, but she wasn't allowed to stay with me. I just wanted to say we managed by taking in my own breast pump (I had to dump the milk because of the painkillers I was on) and use formula for my dd. She transitioned straight back to the breast when I got home. It wasn't great to say the least, but no long term damage was done.

I was initially in a side room on a urology ward so I had privacy to pump and have my dd visit. However, after 2 days they needed the bed to switched me to a gynae ward full of women who had just had miscarriages/hysterectomies etc. A nurse shouted at my DH for trying to bring my DD to visit - fortunately he's quite good with conflict and sorted it all out for me to sit in a day room with her. The whole thing was pretty awful and badly handled for a hospital which was supposed to have "baby friendly" status. We complained afterwards and received an apology.

Good luck, and please post on what your experiences are - my 3rd is due very soon and I am really interested to see how hospitals manage this now.

LannieDuck Sun 03-Dec-17 09:59:07

My advice would be to speak to your community midwife team about it - they'll almost certainly be supportive.

When I had to go into A&E, the community midwives asked me to get my baby checked for jaundice at the same time, but that resulted in her (plus DH) being separated from me in a different part of A&E for hours. I was very upset when the midwife called to see how it was all going, and she really went to bat for me with the A&E team. It was too late to get us both transferred to post-natal, but just having someone on my side was really helpful.

I was admitted to A&E on that occasion (DD was fine), and their view was that a tiny baby really shouldn't stay. There were too many unpredictable infections on the ward and it would be better for her to be at home. I agreed, but that was only possible because I was already mix-feeding her at the time.

I was later told that because I was still under the care of the maternity service, I could have gone into hospital under their care directly. So a few weeks later when I had to go back in for a minor op, i went through them. DD was able to stay om the post-natal ward with me, but even then it wasn't easy - they didn't have any facility to look after her when I was taken down for surgery. I had to tag-team with my OH, but could only call him as i was taken down (didn't get any advance warning), so DD was left in a room by herself for 30 mins or so. The midwives gave lip-service to keeping an eye on her, but I have no idea if they actually did. Luckily she was fine when DH arrived.

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