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Told to stop BF - do I complain?

(58 Posts)
cheezcurl Tue 04-Aug-09 23:06:09

Went to the emergency room tonight as I have mislayed my asthma inhaler and needed a prescription (seasonal so only use it a handful of times over July/Aug time). Nurse practitioner asked if I take antihistamines as they may help. I said I try not to take anything if I can avoid it as I am still BF. She told me "well she's 14 months dont you think its time to stop that now". I was a bit shock and told her that its recommended to continue until 2 yrs old. She told me that if she is eating "real" food there is no need and I should to stop. Know I am not unreasonable for feeling a bit taken aback, but should I lodge a complaint?

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 04-Aug-09 23:10:54

Yes and shove the WHO Guidelines in with your letter of complaint asking for an explanation.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Aug-09 23:11:42

I think you should say something. Maybe not a formal complaint - I don't think this is the sackable offence sort of thing but I think she was out of order saying what you 'should' do.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 04-Aug-09 23:13:19

Yes complain. How dare she tell you what to do!!!

TheCrackFox Tue 04-Aug-09 23:13:30

Please write and let them know. Things are never going to change otherwise.

paisleyleaf Tue 04-Aug-09 23:17:42

It seems like she was looking out for your own health.
Although she shouldn't have said it like that.

Wonderstuff Tue 04-Aug-09 23:20:39

Definitly complain, people in positions of responsibility need to only give out advice on stuff they know about, not assume stuff.

ForExample Tue 04-Aug-09 23:20:49

Oh god, I wouldn't waste their time with a complaint. Just smile and nod, and do what you want.

MrsKitty Tue 04-Aug-09 23:21:21

Think you should complain.

kitkatqueen Tue 04-Aug-09 23:49:57

Waste their time?????

A letter of complaint would not "waste their time" It would not even be handled by that particular member of staff. It would be handled by the person who deals with hospital policies and most definatley should be sent. If an employee anywhere is giving out bad advice or making comments on your lifestyle choice then they need to be reminded that their personal opinions are not part of the job.

Sorry but it is not ok for her to make judgements about your lifestyle while she's on duty when her statement is oppositional to her employers statement on the subject. She should be quoting NHS / who guidelines and needs a refresher course if she doesn't realise that.

Sorry if I seem overly cross about this but a HP once told one of my friends to quit bfing because it wasn't "necessary" her daughter was very sick and awaiting diagnosis. My friend point blank told them it was her right as a mother to feed her child as she saw fit and that until they could prove that breast was not best she would continue. Several months later she got her diagnosis. Her daughter was incapable of producing a certain hormone relating to weight gain and growth. It wasn't availiable in formula but was in breastmilk. Without the amounts she was getting from her mum she might not have made it. They admitted that to her at the diagnosis meeting with the consultant.

Please complain - for the sake of the next person if not yourself...

oldraver Tue 04-Aug-09 23:51:35

I was told by my GP I should give up b/f (DS is 3.6 and only feeds first and last thing). I did say I was happy to continue for the time being until DS wanted too

GP just kept telling me "but there your breasts,"to do with what you want. It was totally lost on him that HE was telling me what to do with them

giraffesCantCatchSwineFlu Tue 04-Aug-09 23:56:20

Yes I think you should

hambler Wed 05-Aug-09 00:30:22


lowrib Wed 05-Aug-09 00:56:55

I would.

BitOfFun Wed 05-Aug-09 02:06:15

I would go the Smile and Nod route and do what you like. Complaining is just going to wind you up. If you would benefit from medication which you don't want to pass on through breastmilk, I would take your own health seriously, given that breastmilk is beneficial but no longer essential for your child, which is what they've said.

cheezcurl Wed 05-Aug-09 07:37:20

I would always consider my own health as well, but considering I have managed fine for 30 years without taking daily antihistamines I do not feel inclined to start taking them now (whether BF or not). The consensus seems to be that I should at least let them know, which I think I will do. The next person she deals with may not be as opinionated informed and may take her 'medical advice' that BF is no longer beneficial at 14 months seriously (although anyone who has BF for that long is probably pretty well informed and determined anyway as from reading these forums it doesn't seem to be the norm).
Thank you all for your comments.

moondog Wed 05-Aug-09 07:39:37

Pointing out that Health staff are passing on rudeand inaccurate 'advice' is not complaining. It ishighlighting somethnig that neddsaddressing and will hopefully avoid another woman being treated like you.

Is that 'a waste of time'? Not in my book. hmm

LoveBeingAMummy Wed 05-Aug-09 07:41:13

I would complain, its none of her business let alone the right thing to say, therefore she should keep her personal opinons to herself.

belgo Wed 05-Aug-09 07:42:53

Yes complain. She was allowing her personal opinions and prejudices to influence her advice.

belgo Wed 05-Aug-09 07:45:59

cheezcurl - you're right, because she is in a position of power, someone might actually listen to her and take her seriously. And it leads to even more pressure on women to stop bfing by the time the baby is 3/4/5 months crawl/walk/talk whatever.

IsItMeOr Wed 05-Aug-09 09:02:18

Another vote for a polite letter of complaint here. It is not possible for all NHS staff to be up-to-date on everything, so they should at least know well enough to stick to advising on their areas of expertise. A&E nurse will presumably (hopefully!) be expert in A&E medicine, not management of long-term conditions/BF?

I was horrified mildly taken aback at recent presentation on weaning by NHS dietician who dismissed WHO guidelines on not weaning before 6 months. Keep meaning to mention it to the Health Visitor who runs the group, but DS always seems to have a meltdown which means I want to take him home more than I care about this.

Longtalljosie Wed 05-Aug-09 09:04:37

Call PALS. That's a way of getting your feedback in without An Official Complaint.

cheezcurl Wed 05-Aug-09 11:40:16

Excuse my ignorance but what is PALS?

OrmIrian Wed 05-Aug-09 11:45:35

She was concerned for your health wasn't she ?

acebaby Wed 05-Aug-09 11:48:09

sounds like ignorance rather than malice. Rather than making an official complaint, I would write a note to the hospital's breastfeeding clinic (if they have one), and ask them to pop by A&E with some information for the staff. If they don't have a breastfeeding clinic, perhaps you could ask the NCT or LLL to do this for you.

In my opinion, it is crucially important for people at the 'front line' to have the correct information about breastfeeding, because they must often come across breastfed infants and children. However, doctors and nurses are unlikely to take advice from a layman, and a complaint would risk making them defensive.

Hope your asthma/hayfever abate soon by the way - DH has suffered terribly this year sad

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