Advanced search

Did you have to take your own formula milk into hospital?

(53 Posts)
mears Wed 01-Dec-10 22:43:43

Does anyone have experience of taking own formula milk into hospital or was there a vending machine or some other way to provide formula milk?

Just looking for experiences of units that do not provide formula milk for free.

shelscrape Wed 01-Dec-10 22:54:49

There was a vending machine at the hospital where I had DS. I suggest you phone the maternity ward to check as no doubt every hospital is different.

mears Wed 01-Dec-10 22:58:12

Sorry - I am not having a baby. I was looking to see what ways women are asked to provide their own formula milk when in hospital.

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 02-Dec-10 00:08:49


mears how super to see you x x x

mousesma Thu 02-Dec-10 07:12:43

At Queen Marys in Sidcup you have to take your own formula if you are planning on formula feeding from the start. However if you are planning on breastfeeding and it doesn't work out for whatever reason or you want to give your baby a top-up they will provide formula.

LaTristesse Thu 02-Dec-10 07:54:17

The above will be happening at Darent Valley come January too...

cece Thu 02-Dec-10 08:04:15

Surely they shouldn't provide any formula in order to encourage breastfeeding.

mousesma Thu 02-Dec-10 08:36:00

I can see what you mean cece but I don't think zero tolerance is the best way to encourage breastfeeding.

I had no intention of formula feeding but after an EMCS and 2 days of no sleep where DD wouldn't latch on was screaming from hunger I was very grateful for the 20ml of formula the midwife gave me for a top-up. I think if the midwife had refused this it would have made a hard situation even more stressful.

The formula didn't break my resolve to breastfeed but it did give me the space to take a break and strengthen my resolve to suceed. I still went on to EBF for 14 weeks and still mostly BF now at 21 weeks.

Mareta Thu 02-Dec-10 08:44:52

My DD, now 16 months, was born at Liverpool Women Hospital. She has always been EBF but she spend the first 3 days in the neonatal unit and being feed with a tube on her nose with formula milk which I didn't have to buy and/or pay. All the other mums in the room where I was (a total of 5 women with their babys) where bottle feeding their babys and got the formula milk for free from the hospital. They even askd you which brand you wanted to use. In my case I didn't have a clue because it never crossed my mind offering DD formula milk. In this case I would have liked it a bit of information to be able to make an informed decision in which brandto choose.

I am not sure if this is the case now but it was last year anyway.

Hope this helps you

RJandA Thu 02-Dec-10 15:12:19

I think it's either law, or at least general practice, that hospitals are not allowed to give formula unless "medically indicated". I'm sure an exhausted mother and a baby who doesn't seem able to latch qualifies as medically indicated, at least it did in my case, as in mousema's.

In the circumstance that a mother had decided to formula feed, if she hadn't known to bring her own and there was no vending machine, then I'm sure they would provide it - if they didn't then it would pretty quickly get to the point where the baby's blood sugar was dropping too low, and then it would be "medically indicated" anyway.

They (rightly) don't recommend a brand because that would be endorsing it, which is illegal for stage 1 formula. Imagine what a formula company would give to have midwives recommending their brand??! It would be highly unethical given the "breast is best" message the NHS promotes.

Zimm Thu 02-Dec-10 21:11:37

I was in Royal Surrey and DD had to have top ups for a few days (now EBF) - the hospital gave ne cartons of Apatimal for free but I ask for each one indivudally.

hogshead Thu 02-Dec-10 21:18:25

I tried to BF DS but failed in spectular style and formula was provided free of charge.

When we switched to formula out of desperation (before they popped a NG tube down DS) i was flumaxed as I didnt have a clue what brands of formula were available. I think i said to DH "just chose one that DS will drink!"

napa Thu 02-Dec-10 21:44:34

At our local trust - in north London. If you know you want to bottle feed you need to bring bottles, teats and formula milk into the hospital with you. They provide cold water sterilisation for the bottles. There is an emergency supply of formula milk powder (only one brand available) for medical need. The official line for those wishing to bottle feed but who do not bring bottles etc or milk with them is that they must breastfeed until a family member brings bottles and milk in, unofficially the staff 'borrow' milk from neonatal unit until the family bring some in.

wigglesrock Thu 02-Dec-10 21:47:11

Nope in hospital where I had dds,(NI) formula if requested was supplied in glass bottles, SMA or Cow & Gate.

mears Thu 02-Dec-10 22:26:19

Thanks for replies. In the hospital I work in a proposal is being considered to ask women who plan to bottle feed to bring in cartons of milk. Bottles and teats would be provided. It is part of efficiency savings which I don't have a problem with. Just wondered how it would work in practice.

Hello BoysAreLike Dogs smile

mears Fri 03-Dec-10 11:00:05

any other experiences?

lionheart Fri 03-Dec-10 11:25:37

Yes, in the hospital I was in. They make a big song and dance about giving you the formula if, for example, the breast feeding doesn't work out which is fair enough, you should provide your own as soon as you can.

On my last day I was waiting for some test results that were supposed to take and hour (and then I could go home). Got DP to take most of our formula supplies home but, unfortunately, the test results didn't come back until 8 hours later, which meant another night in hospital.

Had to ask for extra supplies and they were somewhat tight-arsed about it, as if it was putting them out to hand it over and I was a scrounger. Pretty rich considering they'd told be I'd be home in an hour or two at most.

MumNWLondon Fri 03-Dec-10 12:40:42

I had baby at whittington hospital in London. Signs up saying that they encourage BFing and do not provide formula so if you want to FF you need to bring everything in.

Same at the Royal Free Hospital where I was booked in initially.

However if there is a medical need they would supply.

jemjabella Fri 03-Dec-10 13:04:46

Lots of hospitals aiming for unicef's baby friendly hospital status do not provide formula...

PaulineMole Fri 03-Dec-10 13:15:10

I had DD1 at King's College London, and mothers who intend to ff are asked to bring in cartons, as they say they do not have facilities for mothers to prepare formula, and the hospital does not give formula except where clinically indicated.

cece Fri 03-Dec-10 13:55:31

When I had DC 3 he had an infection and it was hard to wake him to BF. I had to really be very assertive to stop them giving him formula in a bottle. In the end they agreed to give him a feeding tube for the first two days of his life.

Then he started to 'wake up' as the AB took effect. They would have quite happily carried on giving him formula if I hadn't insisted on BF him.

OneFishTwoFish Fri 03-Dec-10 14:21:49

Why should hospitals provide formula? I don't mean that to sound aggressive in any way; I am just interested in people's reasoning. I have no experience of this as I had a home birth. Do hospitals provide nappies, clothes, etc. if people don't bring those in?

mears Fri 03-Dec-10 15:45:55

My unit is a Baby Friendly hospital and up until now formula has been supplied for bottle feeding women.

The NHS is strapped for cash and we are looking at efficency savings. Stopping providing formula would save £10,000 per year.

I do think that women should provide formula for their babies if that is how they are planning to feed. There will be availability of formula for breastfed babies who need it for medical reasons (very few).

We also supply sanitary towels which I think needs to stop too in this economic climate. We provide terry nappies - mums bring in their own disposables if they want to use them.

crikeybadger Fri 03-Dec-10 16:56:34

Blimey mears, I think that's pretty generous to be honest. Does the hospital wash the terries as well?

mears Fri 03-Dec-10 23:00:07

Yes the terries are washed by hospital laundry. They are the basic squares that are folded to fit.

I think we have been too generous too.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: