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Breastfeeding Not Welcome At The Hospital

News + Notes

News & Notes from Kelly Evans (The Modern Doula) on pregnancy and giving birth in Perth, Western Australia.

Breastfeeding Not Welcome At The Hospital

Kelly Evans

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook and I saw red. When you read it you will understand why.

I took our baby to our local Health Campus as she has been projectile vomiting since 4am this morning, she's has had about 6 hours sleep in the past day and a half. She is screaming in pain and not to mention hasn't had a proper feed since lunch time yesterday and a temp of 38.5.

They seemed quite concerned that she was dehydrated so they wanted her to stay in over night, fine by me as I only want what's best for her, except! They refused me to stay with her, I kinda figured that her being only 4 months old and still breastfeeding it wouldn't of been an option for her to stay over night without me but it was.

I asked if I was able to please stay because I was worried about her and that she's never spent a night without me as I'm still breastfeeding. The Dr replied with: formula is just as good, she either stays here with us or you can both go. Sorry for the novel, I was just quite upset about this! ' Breastfeeding Not Welcome Here

The message that I am hearing repeatedly in my local community from select health professionals (certainly not all but any is far too many) is paying breastfeeding lip service.

We really want you to breastfeed, but don't do it here, or in front of me.

This is not good enough.

The law is clear, you have the right to breastfeed your baby wherever and whenever your baby is hungry. How traumatic for this first time mother to be separated from her baby overnight, this subsequently interfered with the demand-supply relationship of breastfeeding.

The woman quoted above will be lodging a complaint with the Hospital concerned. I will post future updates here.

Please share this story with your friends, to raise awareness that wherever you are breastfeeding is your right (and no formula is not just as good for baby or mother)...

According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association:

For the child not being breastfed, or being breastfed for shorter lengths of time, increases the risk of:

  • SIDS
  • gastrointestinal infections
  • respiratory infections
  • ear infections
  • necrotising enterocolitis in premature babies
  • sepsis in premature babies
  • overweight and obesity

For the mother, not breastfeeding increases the risk of:

  • breast cancer
  • ovarian cancer.