Emergency maternity nurse for ill mother going into hospital?(26 Posts)
I'm exclusively breastfeeding my 13-week old baby, but also suffer from Crohn's disease and am currently very ill, most probably needing to be hospitalised. There's also a looming possibility of having to undergo surgery to remove part of my bowel in due course (possibly emergency)
My husband has been amazing throughout this difficult time but we have two older children (5 and 3) who need looking after, and no family nearby.
I've accepted that baby will probably now have to be bottle fed but I'm too ill to get her onto a bottle (she really resists) and my husband isn't having much luck either. Does anyone know of a service whereby you can employ a maternity nurse/nanny experienced with (relative) newborns to support a family in such a situation while mother goes back into hospital?
Ps I should probably mention that we live outside London, in the Midlands.
Google nursing agencies in your area.
Make sure you check qualifications and references.
A qualified nursery nurse would probably be your best bet. there is a magazine called "Nursery world" (or at least there used to be) where you might see some reputable agencies.
Maybe your local social services can recommend somewhere. Look on your local council website and ring the emergency number today and speak to the duty social worker. They were fantastic when I had a crisis over a weekend and needed an emergency care package.
I am so sorry you are going through this.
Google Eden nannies, my friend who is a very experienced nanny recommended them for when my sister was struggling with twins. They are the Gold star of agencies. Not sure where they are based, possibly London? but am sure they cater to all parts.. We are on the south coast.
Hope you get well soon.
Thank you for replying, 3littlefrogs
I really appreciate your advice re. SS emergency line in particular & will chalk it up for future ref.
Thankfully I made it through today without having to go to hospital and my dear mother has agreed to fly in tomorrow to help out for as long as is necessary. I'm not very good at asking for help but i waved the white flag today, and she responded. I didn't think she'd be able to do this due to her own commitments. Best Mother's Day gift I could have received to be honest.
Now, to get myself better
Ah, just spotted your message, twilight. Thank you also!
I'll take note for future ref as it's certainly good to get a recommendation from within, as it were.
With a condition like this there'll no doubt be future times when we'll need extra help - for sure.
Fingers crossed this rocky road is coming to an end, for now at least.
Have you spoken to the Infant Feeding Co-ordinator at the hospital? They have responsibility to support bf mums in hospital.
What stargirl said, I believe in some circs baby can be admitted with you. Sorry you are going through this, it sounds very tough.
stargirl and celticpromise, I was initially readmitted to hospital just 1 week after delivery, and they were really good about accommodating us. We were put on the postnatal ward, in a side room, so that the breastfeeding could continue.
I haven't spoken to them this time round but have a feeling their policy may well be to do this up until baby is 6 weeks old? Mine is 13 weeks now. The other thing is that I'm in a lot of pain which may require extra strong painkillers, not compatible with breastfeeding. As far as possible I want this relationship to continue, and I've continued to breastfeed despite the odds so far, but I don't feel a huge amount of support from the gastroenterology team who (understandably) are all about getting me better.
If the hospital follows the WHO code then they will support you as long as want. The other departments may not know they should be doing this though! The Infant Feeding Specialist will support any bf mum in hospital regardless of the age of the baby. As your LO is under 6 months, I would think it shouldn't be a problem.
The mat dept will have the number for the Feeding Specialist.
Check the breast feeding network website for painkillers compatible with breast feeding, as doctors don't usually know!
stargirl, that's really helpful advice thank you I telephoned the maternity ward this afternoon and spoke to a (rather brusque) midwife who informed me (having spoken v briefly with an Infant Feeding Support worker on the ward) that they wouldn't allow babies onto a general ward owing to risk of infection, & that I wouldn't be placed back onto a postnatal ward as they're "only responsible for them up until 6 weeks old"
She wasn't remotely empathetic but did suggest pumping, as well as cup feeding as an option if baby continues to refuse the bottle. She also indicated that they'd be able to lend me a pump for the duration of my stay. I suppose that's something.
Funnily enough, I later spoke with my specialist IBD nurse who'd had advice from my consultant to admit me today, and to get a side room so baby could come with me! Suddenly he's supportive where others are not! I can't help wondering who actually has a full grasp of hospital policy
littone, again some really helpful advice. I wasn't aware of this website as have tended to refer to others in the past (kellymom & the infant risk centre [which is USA based]). Anyway, on it I discovered that I may be able to use some stronger analgesics in small amounts/for short period of time, which could provide some short term relief until I undergo surgery. Can't thank you enough.
Jees, this is HARD going! I cannot wait to be restored back to full (or at least reasonably full) health. I'll never take it for granted again!
Hospitals! I hope you get the outcome you want and are restored to health.
Oh poor you, Mumsfret, what a tough time. I'm very glad to see that your gastro consultant is supporting you being admitted to a side room with your baby, that was what I was coming on to suggest! 20years ago, my mum's best friend developed an out-of-the-blue bowel obstruction 3 weeks after having her baby. She had to have an emergency resection but crucially, her baby was allowed to stay with her for the most part. I'm not sure about the bf element as I was quite young at the time so it wasn't on my radar iyswim.
I really wish you all the very best for your recovery, I know a bit about the bitch that is Crohn's and you sound like you're strong as a horse, I'm very impressed!!
My baby wasnt allowed to stay with me either time. I refused to stay overnight in e first instance with a promise to come back in the morning.
In my case although u could put me in a side room they said I had to have an adult with me at all times as where I was ill I obviously wasnt able to take care of baby. More They can't have a baby on the ward with no one to care for it.
Ah NationMcKinlay, your message made me feel quite tearful there! That's a really nice thing to say. Truthfully, I don't think I've been very strong but whatever strength there has been has been fully facilitated by a stallion of a husband. I'd be on top of the rubbish heap by now if it weren't for his strength and unstinting support. I'm not usually so gushy, but I've been pretty hard to live with TBH. I don't know how he's coped.
Goodness, I see your point. I don't think I'm likely to be that incapacitated but I don't honestly know what lies in store yet. It's possible that my mum could stay with me for a lot of the time. I guess we'll see. But I can completely understand why they might be reluctant to leave me & baby alone in a side room.
Crohn's is a horrible affliction. I know there are worse, but this flare-up has really opened my eyes as to how nasty and debilitating things can get.
I have a procedure (colonoscopy) on Wednesday to see what's going on internally & (so far) I've managed to avoid admission - trying to stick it out at home for as long as poss. Funnily enough, Nation, I think the most likely scenario is bowel obstruction. Let's hope it can be rectified relatively easily. I've been on a liquid diet for two weeks and am now nil by mouth so energy & strength flailing somewhat!
Glad it was useful mums fret, hope all goes well with the surgery.
Please do speak to your local Social Services as they may be able to help. I am a foster carer and one of my specialisms is looking date young babies whose mum's are in hospital. I have lots of experiencd in promoting breastfeeding using cups, 50ml syringes etc and will usually take a baby in several times a day where possible for feeding - your social services might have a carer who does this too. One of the best ways I have found if getting a breastfed baby to take from bottle or cup is to wrap myself in mum' sworn teeshirt that has breast milk on it, and feed skin to skin - your DH could try it? It's messy but I find it works well. I also carry baby under my teeshirt for first few days so it gets used to me. If the hospital don't have cups/ syringes, eBay do them. I find a 50ml syringe the most practical. It really sounds like you could do with some support, and social services do help in this type if situation in my experience.
Just popping by to wish you luck getting support with feeding and a quick recovery. I have crohns and it's awful I have been so so lucky I haven't had a flare up since having my baby, but I know I would be devastated if I was told I would have to wean her before I was ready.
The side room with baby (that your gastro doctor recommended) sounds good, especially if maternity can lend you a pump so you can store milk for her if you do need surgery, as well as keeping your supply up for her when you've recovered.
That midwife sounded a bit harsh, definitely get the support of the infant feeding specialist too!
I really hope you feel better soon
Wow Parsnipcake, what a terrific job you do.
Wow Parsnip. Presumably that's just for single mothers though - would SS provide that service if Dads at work?
Id worried about going into labour while my husband was away, as I had a 2 year old. I hear SS sometimes step in, although at that stage I was terrified it would be on my "record" as I was a tad anxious then!
Not just for single mothers - we often do respite for families where mum has a chronic illness so dad can work and keep the rest of the family together. It wouldn't count against you at all! If anything you might get some family support to help build your own networks. Social services like cases where the children go home after a couple of weeks, they aren't out to demonise parents .
Oh I wish I'd known that before I ended up in hospital one of the times I did. I was in intensive care and it was a nightmare with childcare. I still get flashbacks. Ah well, at least I know now.
I assumed it was a last case scenario, sort of like you're supposed to sell all you've got to fund childcare until you're entitled to SS help etc.
I am glad your mother is able to help you but London Maternity agencies often place outside of London, Maternity Solutions and Maternally yours are good ones.
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