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Hospitalised bfing mum of 12 day old not allowed to keep baby with her...

(67 Posts)
FloriaTosca Sun 19-Oct-08 14:47:38

Sorry this is a long one. My friend, E, is having a very rough time of it...after a stressful pg and a 5 day labour she finally gave birth to her pfb dd 12 days ago, they were discharged a week last Thursday but yesterday she was rushed back into hospital with a kidney infection and kidney stones. She is on intravenous fluids (nil by mouth)and antibiotics but despite being in a private room and the fact that she is breastfeeding, the hospital wont let her have her baby stay with her .... Yesterday another friend sat with them all day so the baby could be with her but the hospital refuse to let the friend or dh stay with her and the baby overnight ... poor E was utterly distraught when we took dd away (with a bottle of ebm)last night, baby didnt take bottle or settle with her father all night (he is now already complaining that he needs 8 hours sleep to cope with work!)E was crying with the pain of being over engorged before dh could get dd into the hospital this am. She is very worried that she will either develop mastitis or dry up. She is utterly distraught over dd being out of her sight (we are worried about pnd)and frightened it will affect their bonding. Hospital in blinkers can't seem to see past the immediate kidney problem....
Personnally I'd discharge myself and insist on treatment by GP,at home, but I'm a different sort of personality. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can make this sad situation work ?

unfitmother Sun 19-Oct-08 14:50:22

WHAT?? angry
That is completly unacceptable, contact the PALS office first thing and complain.
Keep on complaining, ask to speak to the Director of Nursing, the Cheif Exec's office until this is rectified.

FloriaTosca Sun 19-Oct-08 14:53:03

So I'm right..the hospital should let baby stay?

Flossish Sun 19-Oct-08 14:53:48

if she is in a private room I really can't see why the hospital won't allow this. There is a slight problem here about it being the weekend. She needs to speak to the clinical site manager to put her case. If not - was this the same hospital where she delivered? Could Dh/you/ anyone ring the maternity ward and see if they could have a word with the ward? Threats of complaints suddenly make fingers pop out of arses quicker than you could ever know BTW...

FloriaTosca Sun 19-Oct-08 14:54:42

Yes, same hospital where she gave birth

unfitmother Sun 19-Oct-08 14:55:01

Yes they bloomin well should. Ask to speak to the Head of Midwifery Services about their breastfeeding policy.
Is this the hospital where she had her baby?
Do they have a maternity unit?

littleducks Sun 19-Oct-08 14:57:27

can she care for the baby? if she can i would in her position have the baby brought to me and left with me, they cant kick her out can they!

monkeymonkeymonkey Sun 19-Oct-08 14:57:43

This is unacceptable.
Your friend should complain about this.
One option may be to suggest that she is moved back to the postnatal ward, and the team looking after her could visit her there. As presumably they could cope with a baby hmm.

littleducks Sun 19-Oct-08 14:59:13

when i worked in hosp babies stayed even on wards if private rooms were not available, obviously it was preferred but if side rooms were needed for mrsa patients etc. the babies stayed on wards, it was rare but happened

FloriaTosca Sun 19-Oct-08 15:01:26

Dont know about maternity unit...I only went to visit today (100 mile round trip)..she is on general medical ward at the upset I could hardly get any facts from her just "they said R (dd) couldn't stay""They dont have the staff to deal with R too".

NorthernLurker Sun 19-Oct-08 15:01:35

There is no way this should happen. Don't wait till tomorrow - support your friend in asking to speak to the senior nurse on duty. When/and if you get nowhere ask to speak to the senior manager on call (one of the senior manageemnt has to be on call out of hours) If they won't ring them, call the switcboard and ask to be put through. In the last resort your friend should say she is discharging herself. They really won't like that and will ask her to sign to say she is leaving against medical advice - she can then write down exactly why she is going and the ward will have to file it grin I would then recommend driving to the nearest A&E department and getting admitted to another - hopefully better hospital. Obviously that only works if she is reasonably stable and pain free. Also - has sherung her community midwife? Even if she's been signed off by them you can still contact the team up until 28 days after birth. They might come down and bang heads together. good Luck - but whatever you do mum and baby must stay together. It's not good for them to be serperated and although baby will not remember, mum most certainly will and a traumatic expereience now will stay with her for many, many years.

NorthernLurker Sun 19-Oct-08 15:02:30

Sorry - terrible typing but I'm really cross about this!

Pixiefish Sun 19-Oct-08 15:04:06

This is disgusting. My dd1 was hospitalised recently and I had to stay with her.\ As I am still breastfeeding dd2 11 months- I asked if she could stay and she was allowed although they made no concessions for her and she had to sleep with me (which wasn't a problem as we co-sleep anyway)

NorthernLurker Sun 19-Oct-08 15:04:32

Roughly where is this hospital? I wonder if it's near any mumsnetter who might be able to go advocate for her?

FloriaTosca Sun 19-Oct-08 15:05:38

Thanks ladies...I'm off to phone her DH and the friend who is staying to help...

I couldn't help but think that this was wrong, wrong, wrong all the way home ...

Got to go out for dinner too so I'll check back in later tonight to see if anyone has any other insights

Thanks again

Olihan Sun 19-Oct-08 15:07:36

I was readmitted at 10 days PN with a suspected blood clot on my lung. I went in via ambulance into A&E, so left ds1 at home with DH. I was put onto a surgery ward at about 5am as it was the only ward with a private room. The nurses offered to get me a breast pump but I was so shattered I said no. DH brought ds1 about half an hour before visiting started in the morning and he stayed with me all day. Partway through the afternoon they moved me into a private room on the postnatal ward so I had the right kind of care for me and ds1.

I think your friend (or her DH, really) needs to push for that. If there are no facilities for her to keep her baby with her on a normal ward then they need to move her asap onto the post natal ward.

Second what everyone else has said about contacting PALS and as many people as they can, until she is in the right place, with her baby. Don't stand for the current sitation.

Out of interest, does the hospital have Baby Friendly status? That may help your case, if it is.

McDreamy Sun 19-Oct-08 15:08:07

I don't really understand why she cannot have her baby with her. It didn't happen often but when I was nursing we sometimes had a nursing mother on the ward and would give her a side room. We rarely got involved with the baby because mum tended to do this herself and during the day there was always family around but if needed we helped - part of the patients needs.

As it's the weekend the most senior person incharge of the nursing staff within the hospital will be a "bleep holder", they will have access to the on call manager and as has been previously said this is the route you need to take - today!

I would advise against the self discharge threatening - really won't help the situation, you need someone more senoir and experienced than the staff on the ward that have already made their mind up. Good idea to get the maternity unit involved but a transfer to the mat ward may not be appropriate as she will get better care for the specific problem she has on the ward she is on.

Good luck, I really hope you get things sorted.

unfitmother Sun 19-Oct-08 15:08:34

Phone the Maternity ward then. I know it's Sunday but ask to speak to whoever is in charge.

MrsThierryHenry Sun 19-Oct-08 15:10:01

What a horrible way to treat a mother and child! You are such a good friend to try to help like this.

All this stress will have a huge impact on your friend's ability to recover - this has been proven countless times in psychological studies and the medical staff know this sort of thing inside out and backwards.

What if she flatly refused to comply with their demands? Would they forcibly remove her or her baby? I can hardly imagine that happening; if I were her I'd tell them 'I'm staying and so is my baby'. If they really wanted to push things I'd threaten to contact the press.

Best of luck!

NorthernLurker Sun 19-Oct-08 15:11:16

mcdreamy - you're right about self discharging and I would never normally suggest that but I know anything to do with that HAS to be documented and of course the ward staff won't want to document that reason she is leaving because they've refused to support her breastfeeding so I thought it might be an additional help in getting them to co-operate.

LadyOfRoffle Sun 19-Oct-08 15:12:44

shock I had to go back in and DS (2 days old) came back with me, they said he would whether I was breastfeeing or not. I was attached to a drip and they said I just had to press the buzzer if I needed them to do anything. That is awful - where is it?

unfitmother Sun 19-Oct-08 15:13:37

One mention of the press will have on-call managers crawling all over the place! wink

OrmIrian Sun 19-Oct-08 15:15:37


And every NHS waiting room has pro-bfing posters plastered all over it hmm

TexasChainKLAWmassacre Sun 19-Oct-08 15:16:46

TOTALLY unacceptable. Heads must roll angry

McDreamy Sun 19-Oct-08 15:21:59

I think the best course of action is to stay calm (as hard as that is) and try and speak to someone in authority. I would want to know their list of reasons for not allowing the baby to be with its mum. Involve the medical team, senior nurses, on call managers.

If the answer is still no then I would quite calmly inform them that I felt this decision to unacceptable and that I would be taking it further by writing an official complaint which I would copy to the local newspaper. Would have got me twitched!!!

I take your point NL but I still think self discharge is not the right route at this point, mum needs to get better and while baby is not with her at the moment (hopefully shortly to be resolved) she is getting the appropriate treatment smile

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