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baby was given donated breast milk without my consent

(84 Posts)
ruty Tue 24-May-05 15:32:17

i just wanted to share something that happened to me when i had my ds and see what people think. After a 30 hour labour and an emergency caesarean at midnight, i was taken to the observation ward. I asked for some helo to breast feed my little ds, and the midwife tutted, yanked his head onto my breast, and he started to scream, he had previously been quiet. She gave up after a few yanks [she bruised his ear quite badly] and i asked if i could try later on, hoping someone nicer might be around. I spent half an hour with my babe, struggling to keep awake after all the drugs, my body was still completely numb, and he just rubbed his nose at my boob and was quiet. I had promised my dh i wouldn't fall asleep with ds in the bed as i was so drugged up [wish i had kept him with me now] and i was so worried i'd fall asleep on him i asked the midwife to put him in his cot, at which point he started to cry. She took him out straight away, saying she was going to walk him around. I wanted her to put him into my bed again but she was gone. Five minutes passed, i was listening for his cries, i couldn't hear him. I felt terrified. I rang the buzzer. She came back, without my baby. I asked for him back. She tutted and went off. I waited again, and then buzzed again.
Another midwife came, and i asked where my baby was. She said 'oh, he's having a good feed.' I couldn't believe my ears. What do you mean, i said, what is he having? She looked shocked. 'I thought you knew' she said. He's having some donated breast milk. I started to cry. My baby had been out of my body for half an hour and she had taken him from me and given him someone else's milk. When my baby was brought back, he was fast asleep, and slept for the next 24hours. It was a big struggle to breastfeed for the next week but finally we managed it. I still have terrible separation anxiety with my ds, and have nightmares about him being taken from me. Also, he developed an allergic gut problem, bleeding and mucus in his gut, which i was told by a NCT bfeeding counsellor may have been triggered by him not having my colostrum as his first feed. He is 8 months now, and i still feel down about it, tho he is wonderful, despite his health probs. I wrote a letter of complaint to the hospital, but got a halfhearted apology. the DBM shouldn't even have been in the Observation ward, but it had been signed out [with parental permission] for another baby. Just wondering what others thought about this. I'm finding it hard to get over.

starlover Tue 24-May-05 15:34:33

oh my god!!!!! I think that is TOTALLY shocking!

I can't believe they would do something like that! My ds refused to feed from me full stop, but they let him go 24 hours and kept helping me try to see if he would.

i want to say more, but I am quite speechless!

TrophyWife Tue 24-May-05 15:36:11

OMG, if would be very upset, even angry. if i were in your shoes and unhappy with the apology, i would take it higher.

ruty Tue 24-May-05 15:37:13

i wish i could do something about it to get it out of my system, i can't sue as its very hard to prove that his health problems relate directly to what she did, but emotionally i still feel so bad about it.

starlover Tue 24-May-05 15:40:44

I think that YOU would benefit from taking it further... though not necessarily suing...
I know it probably seems like it is too long ago to make a difference, but perhaps you could arrange a meeting with the hospital to talk about it...

sparklymieow Tue 24-May-05 15:41:03

My DD1 was given Blood without my consant so I know how you feel.......

Pruni Tue 24-May-05 15:43:10

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Flum Tue 24-May-05 15:44:06

God how awful and upsetting for you.

It sounds as though they gave the DBM to your baby by mistake and perhaps are trying to gloss over it. ie she said 'I thought you knew'. Are you quite sure they couldn't have asked you when you were dizzy from drugs. I say that because I have only a very hazy memory of first day or so after my caesarean. ie my mum says she came to see me for a few minutes and spoke to me and met the baby, but I don't remember at all.

I remember having the same thoughts about dropping the baby. And trying for 2 hours to breastfeed the baby. She was hungry and the milk had not come in. It made my boobs really sore and when midwife asked me WHY (very kindly) I was still feeding baby 2 hours later I burst into tears and said 'Coz you told me too'

It is such an emotional time those first few days with a new baby.

I think your baby will still have got your Colostrum if you fed him in the days after his birth.

TrophyWife Tue 24-May-05 15:44:07

if you spoke to someone, who can state that because of what happened with the DBM, it has left you mentaly unable to get past it and untill you have some sort of closure then you wont be able to get on with bring up your ds.
i dont know, just thinging that if you did then you might be able to suue them under the fact that they have cause you unness stress and have unblanced your mental health...
dose any of this make sense???????

Flum Tue 24-May-05 15:47:11

I don't think suing is the answer. Don't forget all suing does is line the pockets of lawyers and take money away from health provision. Ie services will deteriorate further even though we are paying the same taxes.

This is one of the huge problems at the moment. Money is being pumped into the NHS and pumped right out in compensation and legal costs.

RnB Tue 24-May-05 15:47:59

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TrophyWife Tue 24-May-05 15:48:46

ummmmm, good point Flum. just trying to think of ways that poor Ruty can get over this nasty thing and start enjoying her little bundle..IYKWIM

starlover Tue 24-May-05 15:51:26

even if the DID ask her, it's still totally unacceptable.
He was not even an hour old fgs... there is no reason for doing that!

When DS refused to feed I was told that newborn babies will often go up to 24 hours without feeding, and that is perfectly normal, but to just keep trying if he cried. They only suggested giving him something else after that 24 hour period...

so there is absolutely no reason why they should give a tiny baby dbm!!! not that soon after birth,.

And what's more, you don't go asking permission from someone who is out of it on drugs.

sparklymieow Tue 24-May-05 15:51:30

i leant to accept that DD1 had been given blood without my constant, but it took a while, but I realised I couldn't change it and she is still m daughter and I love her the same way.....

starlover Tue 24-May-05 15:52:13

AND, they're supposed to leave baby with you... not whisk them off just because they cry.

lockets Tue 24-May-05 15:54:12

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ruty Tue 24-May-05 15:55:00

re the askin Flum, they definitely did not ask me, even the midwife that did it wrote in my notes, Donated Breast Milk given without mother's consent, mother angry'. She was honest at least. I had started to get over it until my baby started bleeding in his gut, and the NCT counsellor found out he didn't have colostrum as his first feed. The truth is we'll never know if it was a factor or not. And they didn't give it by mistake, she gave it because she wanted to shut him up. They had already given it to the other baby and this was some left over.

ruty Tue 24-May-05 15:57:14

sparklymieouw i know its disgusting they gave blood without your consent, but was that becasue it was a life threatening situation? thing about breast milk is he was a big full term baby and did not need the DBM one bit. It was just to shut him up. It was the John radcliffe Oxford by the way.

lockets Tue 24-May-05 15:59:26

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sparklymieow Tue 24-May-05 15:59:29

no not life threatening, she had amenia (sp??) and it took 8 hours from when they decided to give her the blood to actually her recieving it, it was about 5ml. If it had been lifethreatening then I could have understood but I can't see how a 8 hour window can be classed as life threatening TBH.

starlover Tue 24-May-05 16:01:03

yes.. you can request copies of all the birth and aaftercare notes. though you may have to pay a small fee...
I would definitely do that Ruty, and see if you can speak to someone about it... just to get some kind of closure for yourself

Pruni Tue 24-May-05 16:01:52

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starlover Tue 24-May-05 16:03:11

agree with pruni re the bleeding etc... i mean, an awful lot of babies are formula fed from day one, or have no colostrum for other reasons... and are fine

lockets Tue 24-May-05 16:03:17

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ruty Tue 24-May-05 16:06:55

the gastroenterologist that my ds seees won't confirm either way that this event contributed to his problem. But the research i have done does confirm that colustrum seals the baby's gut to protect`them from allergens, and he did not get this first, so theoretically his gut could have got inflamed from the DBM. especially as it wsn't mine.

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