Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If this is baby/breastfeeding friendly...

...I don't want to see hostile!

A friend who recently had a premature baby at the local university hospital shared this story with me.

Her son was in the NICU and on tube feeding. While the mother worked to bringin her milk, she asked that her son be given breastmilk instead of formula. My friend was told that the hospital does not work with any of the area milk banks, so banked milk was not an option.

Then one of the sympathetic NICU nurses told my friend that if she could get her doctor to write a prescription for banked milk that she could then label as her own and bring in, they could use it.

My friend talked with her pediatrician who eagerly wrote the prescription. She called the nearest milk bank (100 miles away!). In the course of their intake questions, they learned that her baby was at the university hospital. They said they could not give her their milk because they knew the hospital would not use it.

So thanks to the hospital's policies, my friend's newborn preemie, had to have formula instead of breast milk.

This is a hospital that touts itself as both baby-friendly and breastfeeding-friendly. It may have crossed paths with the wrong woman. My friend vows to return with a vengeance once her baby is older and see if she can't motivate some change on the banked milk policy. If anyone could do it, she could.



Anonymous Michelle said...

Wow, that is really sad! How frustrating. It almost feels criminal. In Canada, there is only one milk bank - and it is way out in British Columbia. Would love to have that option here. Instead, our city has a great network of moms who will pump and donate milk when doulas put the call out for a mama in need! Not everyone is okay with it, but has definitely been welcome in many situations. Basically it then gets smuggled in to the NICU...

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the facility actually Baby Friendly accredited?


If so, she should ask to speak to the nurse manager of the NICU. And the Baby Friendly accrediting office.

Just a suspicion, but I wouldn't be surprised if the hospital has no 'formal written policy' on the matter.

If that's the case she should discuss it with her HCP and the staff, her Dr. wrote an order for the EMM, the staff is defying the Dr.'s orders.

9:04 PM  
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5:44 PM  

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