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what to do about bf while I'm in hospital

(47 Posts)
sestius Thu 17-Mar-05 11:45:49

I have to have my gall-bladder out in a couple of weeks. It's only going to involve three days in hospital but they won't let me breastfeed while in hospital. I've not expressed milk before. Any tips/advice gratefully received!

Tissy Thu 17-Mar-05 11:52:22

I would challenge them about letting you breastfeed whilst in hospital, quite frankly. You'll only be under the influence of the anaesthetic for a few hours. If someone can bring your baby in for feeds then there is no reason why you shouldn't do it!

How old is your baby?

cornishbird Thu 17-Mar-05 12:03:38

Agree with tissy. Definately think you should be able to have baby stay with you in hosp if you're bf. If you have no alternative, I used avent isis breast pump which I found v good. Try to express in the morning as that's when you'll have greatest supply. Also try expressing in the bath, the warm water helps get the flow going!! I'd get started putting some in the freezer so you get stocked up as you may only express a little at a time. Also, excuse my ignorance but is it an emergency op or could it be put off til you've finished bf if hosp won't accomodate?

LIZS Thu 17-Mar-05 12:08:09

Is there a medical reason for no breastfeeding ?Does the hospital have a maternity department ? They may be able to give you access to their electric pumps a few days beforehand to stockpile, if that would be convenient, and whilst you are there to keep your supply going, even if they give you drugs which are incompatible and you have to discard. Or perhaps you could hire a pump from NCT or LLL locally for a few weeks before you go in.

cornishbird Thu 17-Mar-05 12:09:46

Forgot to ask, how old is your baby? Can be tough to get baby to take bottle at all if never had it before, my ds1 never would the monkey! dd won't either.

sestius Thu 17-Mar-05 12:21:35

Thanks everyone - dd is six weeks old at the mo. I thought about postponing, but to be honest, when an "episode" happens it is so unpleasant I don't think waiting is a good idea. Apart from anything else, it knocks me out for the next day, and I can't do anything else while it's going on.The hospital is fairly small with no maternity unit, and I get the feeling that it's not a medical issue, but "ward policy". I've put it down on the form they giave me to fill in under "Is there anything you are concerned about?", and I shall ask a sympathetic-looking person when I actually go in. In the meantime will try the Avent breast pump.

sestius Thu 17-Mar-05 12:22:44

Have just noticed advert for lansinoh breastmilk storage bags at the top of this discussion - definitely think someone is trying to tell me something...

cornishbird Thu 17-Mar-05 14:58:49

Ha Ha!! Avent do the whole range of stuff incl storage bags for freezer which fit onto pump I think which makes it easy. Haven't used them myself tho. Don't forget to take pump into hospital cos you'll need to express as regularly as you've been feeding to keep up supply whilst you're away from baby. Also was thinking someone could bring baby in during visiting times and you can feed then - surely no one can object to that!?? Good Luck...

sestius Thu 17-Mar-05 20:32:51

Thank you cornishbird - I also saw the health visitors this afternoon and they rallied round and got hold of an electic pump for me and lots of good advice. They weren't a bit surprised by the hospital's dictum - said it was because of infection worries.

rickman Thu 17-Mar-05 20:53:18

Message withdrawn

cornishbird Fri 18-Mar-05 10:00:03

sestius, glad you're feeling a bit happier speaking to HV. Don't know about anyone else but in my experience electric breast pumps are horrible! If you don't get on with it would still recc avent hand pump - no noise,you can go at your own pace and you feel slightly less like a dairy cow!!

Bramshott Fri 18-Mar-05 10:07:51

I'd say good to hear about the electric pump - do give it a go, but go carefully in case you et sore! From my experience, it's almost impossible to express enough for all your baby's feeds with a hand pump - these are more designed for expressing for the occasional bottle per day. I expressed with an electric pump while my DD was in hospital after she was born, and found it very effective - if a little scary looking! Never had much luck with the hand one after she came home though, could never get more than a few ounces out . . . Others will probably have had different experiences though.

moondog Fri 18-Mar-05 10:14:25

Wishing you well sestius.
Sounds quite stressful.
Make sure they look after you.
Combo of expressing/baby coming in should do it.

I had to go into hospital for 2 days with a suspected gall bladder flare up. It was AGONY.
To make it worse I was at my sister's in Brighton.
There was a lovely nurse who had a small baby and was expressing. She encouraged dh to bring dd in for her feeds. Mind you, she was 10 mths, but was still having 3 feeds a day.

If you need more support, phone the ABM.

HUNKERMUNKER Fri 18-Mar-05 10:28:11

Is there any chance of a private room? I'm shocked they won't let you breastfeed.

Hope the operation goes well.

moondog Fri 18-Mar-05 10:35:19

Fancy bumping into you here hunker....

ionesmum Fri 18-Mar-05 10:40:37

Six weeks? At our local hospital there is a special ward for mums and babies in this situation. I'd create as much stink as possible about this. Have you contcted your g.p.? Hv?

HUNKERMUNKER Fri 18-Mar-05 10:41:50

Fancy, MD!

Am really shocked that a six-week-old breastfed baby will be denied the opportunity to stay with her mummy in hospital

TracyK Fri 18-Mar-05 10:44:51

They're talking rot - I was in hospital for a dvt when ds was little and I got a private room to myself and ds stayed with me. There was no prob although ds got more attention than I did!

cornishbird Fri 18-Mar-05 11:10:20

I agree, definately wouldn't want to be parted from my bf baby now at 3m let alone 6 weeks. If it was me, sestius, i wouldn't have it! Hope all goes well

Bramshott Fri 18-Mar-05 13:48:14

I was told that you can't bring your baby in with you beyond 28 days, as that's how long you can stay in midwife care for.

aloha Fri 18-Mar-05 13:51:50

I'd like to see them try to stop me!!! Outrageous. What would happen if your dh/sis/mother came to visit you with the baby and you started to feed her? Would they rip her forcibly from your arms? I think not. Tell them you intend to breastfeed (at least 2xper day, for example) and how are they going to facilitate that for you. If you present it as a fait accompli rather than asking for permission then you will make it their problem rather than yours.

chipmonkey Fri 18-Mar-05 13:58:47

I would try to get them to let you feed baby at least a couple of times a day as baby sucking is better than pump for supply. when ds3 was in hopital and I wasn't (other way round!) I expressed every 3 hours with Avent pump and once during the night. That kept supply going.

highlander Fri 18-Mar-05 16:49:23

I agree with Aloha - tell them your baby is to stay with you, will be BF and you would like to know what arrangements they are going to provide for you and your baby.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 18-Mar-05 17:23:21

I'm another one who's boggled by this. How can they not "let" you breastfeed? I'd be talking to media, the BFN etc etc on this one, if I couldn't make any headway with the hospital.

Flossam Fri 18-Mar-05 17:28:47

I agree this isn't on. Your baby is reliant on you to feed. Not allowing you to do this may jepardise what the WHO recommend you do. They may be, in effect, jepodising your health, babies health and your mental well being. You need the operation, your baby needs you, they need to accomodate that. The last thing you need to be doing whilest waiting for an op is to be expressing tons of milk for your baby. It is not on. Have you asked to speak to PALS? They are likely to be able to help. Good luck, let us know what is decided.

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