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NICU refusing to allow my friend to breastfeed! Help! - Page 2

post #21 of 82
That is awful and makes me really mad. She should just BF her baby and tell them to shove it. Breastmilk can be the difference between going home in 3 weeks and going home in 6 weeks. Preemies NEED breastmilk. I am really outraged at this story, I hope your friend writes a letter to the head of the NICU and the local health department at the very least. Does this hospital have a lactation consultant? Can she talk to her? Tell her not to take "no" for an answer!
post #22 of 82
I'd call everyone mentioned on this thread and then some. La Leche League has a legal department. I'd call tv reporters, congresspeople, patient advocacy dept...I'd raise (UAV.)
post #23 of 82
She needs to speak to her patient advocate. In the mean time, she should probably rent a hospital grade pump. Mine was $45 dollars a month, they just work so much better than anything you can buy in store.
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveChild421 View Post
I x-posted in Talk Amongst Ourselves just now, is it ok to x-post in more than one category? This is truly an urgent situation. It seems like they are trying to sabotage her nursing relationship.
edited...see post 27 below
post #25 of 82
She needs to be forceful. As a mother it is her right to breastfeed her son, given he's healthy enough. She can ask for a screen to give the other families privacy from her but basically, they can shut their eyes. No way can a NICU keep her from bfing because of other families. I'd be talking with the director of the NICU or the charge nurse ASAP if I were in her situation.
post #26 of 82
NAKED SKIN TO SKIN NURSING is what this baby needs! It will help the body temp and the blood sugar. Honestly I would give the hospital 2 more hrs to figure it out (while you argue with them) and then I would have a lawyer in there forcing them to comply.
post #27 of 82
I posted a link to your thread in lactivism, here.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=759864
post #28 of 82
Very briefly -- to help immediately with protecting mom's milk supply and getting her colostrum into her baby:

1) She can hand-express drops of colostrum onto a spoon, so it doesn't all stick to pump tubing etc.

2) She should then pump with a hospital-grade double-electric pump, for about 10-15 minutes per session, every 2-3 hours right around the clock.

Get her in touch with lactation support at the hospital -- get her in touch with her own doctor and with whatever doctor is responsible for her baby -- get her in touch with local LLL Leaders. Right now.

There are good online sources of info on kangaroo care, including plenty of solid medical evidence that it works better than an isolette to stabilize baby's body temp. Print this stuff up and take it to her at the hospital (or fax it or e-mail it -- whatever it takes to get it into her hands.)

Best of luck to both momma and nursling. I hope NICU comes to its senses and does something just a bit more evidence-based very soon.
post #29 of 82
And here are two websites with lots of information about breastfeeding.
http://www.kellymom.com
http://www.lalecheleague.org

You can look up pumping at kellymom, legal issues at LLL, "hand expression" probably at both until she can get a pump, etc.
post #30 of 82
Also see if the hospital has IBCLCs on staff - one should be able to help advocate for her. Sometimes that can help as it is a coworker of the NICU staff rather than an outisder (: I know, but it can help to know the system).

I had a friend who was fighting hard to nurse her twins and they wouldn't connect her with the LCs on staff. I ended up calling the hospital directly, asking for an LC, telling her the situation and getting her direct line for friend to call (LC, doing her job, didn't want to just show up in case I was a crank). Friend called the LC and got the support she needed.

Help her take names so she can write a formal complaint, even if it's weeks after they're discharged. Names, dates and times add alot of weight to a complaint.
post #31 of 82
She can threaten to transfer hospitals or have herself and the baby discharged AMA. She can demand to speak with supervisors.

If you can go over there, print the hospital's phone number list off the internet, and bring your cell phone. Keep making calls until someone in authority takes action.

The hospital's actions here are absurd! : : :
post #32 of 82
She should just go do it. Ask for a screen or something for privacy, or just turn her back to the other families. And tell the staff what the GA law is. If I were her, I would not leave the NICU unless absolutely necessary. Kangaroo and nurse the baby.

This is just making me so sad! I'm on the verge of tears and have a stomach ache.

Tell her to be the mama she wants to be, and ignore the staff (I know, not easy). Let that baby know he isn't alone and his mama is there for him and loves him!

I'm praying for them. This is soooooo wrong!

ETA: Please keep us informed about how things are going (after doing what you can to help).
post #33 of 82
Oh, I wanted to clarify about not leaving the NICU. I mean that I would not leave, myself. I would not leave my baby alone there any more than necessary. Don't know if I was clear before.
post #34 of 82
Aren't hospitals in the States a "product" or "service"? Can you not "change your service provider" or threaten to do so? That's what I'd do, first off, threaten to leave the hospital if my needs were not being met and I wasn't getting the service I desire. See, we can't really do that here, AFAIK, although our BF rules in the hospital are a lot better.
post #35 of 82
I feel sorry for the little tike:

I agree, contact a local La Leche League group about this. I don't think any hospital in the US is allowed to refuse breastmilk to a newborn (unless they have a disorder or disease where they can't have breastmilk).
In the meantime, have your friend pump, pump, pump! That way, her supply will be constant, for when she is allowed to take her baby home. A hospital-grade pump will help with this (though I have heard of some people using the Medela Pump In Style Advanced pump to maintain a milk supply). Also, have her massage her breasts before each pumping, so it will reduce the risk of plugged ducts. The pumped milk can be given in either a bottle, special feeding spoon or cup, or even an NG tube.

If this doesn't work, then I'd have a lawer in that NICU right away. Or even the local news station. Just because other parents are squeamish of a mom breastfeeding her newborn is no excuse to deny a mom's right to breastfeed!

Jessie
(single mommy to Emma, 3 1/2 years and Angela, 2 years)
: : :
post #36 of 82
I had this problem also with my son who was born at 36, nearly 37 weeks. The nurse refused to let me nurse him, in our case because the doctor had written 'nil by oral' or something on his chart. You really have to insist - I told the nurse I WAS going to nurse my son, made to sit down and pick him up and she then had to run off to get the dr. in charge. The staff sometimes try to fob you off, you really have to be pushy at a time when being pushy is often beyond you.

My son did have a rough start but had stabilised after the first 4 hours - then because he wasn't an 'urgent' case in a huge NICU, it was really hard to talk to his dr. (it was a different dr. every day) who was I'm sure very busy. Sorry your friend is having a rough time dealing with the NICU staff - they really can be discouraging. I ended up sleeping in their NICU parents lounge so I could nurse my ds every 3-4 hours otherwise they'd give him formula. Once they realised I was serious about it, they were a bit more helpful.

They also had my son on IV feeds - initially dextrose? for low blood sugar but then later they put him on some food IV feed - if there's no good reason for it - get the dr. to take it off the orders. My ds wasn't hungry to nurse when they put him on that. An LC did explain to me that the neonatologist was following some new theory about avoiding jaundice in prem babies by aggressive IV feeding. There may be something in that - cause it was the jaundice that kept my otherwise healthy baby in the NICU for a week. Prem babies are a more prone to jaundice, and to compound the problem - a 36/37 weeker may not feed very well at the start.
post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by wombat View Post
I had this problem also with my son who was born at 36, nearly 37 weeks. The nurse refused to let me nurse him, in our case because the doctor had written 'nil by oral' or something on his chart. You really have to insist - I told the nurse I WAS going to nurse my son, made to sit down and pick him up and she then had to run off to get the dr. in charge. The staff sometimes try to fob you off, you really have to be pushy at a time when being pushy is often beyond you.

My son did have a rough start but had stabilised after the first 4 hours - then because he wasn't an 'urgent' case in a huge NICU, it was really hard to talk to his dr. (it was a different dr. every day) who was I'm sure very busy. Sorry your friend is having a rough time dealing with the NICU staff - they really can be discouraging. I ended up sleeping in their NICU parents lounge so I could nurse my ds every 3-4 hours otherwise they'd give him formula. Once they realised I was serious about it, they were a bit more helpful.

They also had my son on IV feeds - initially dextrose? for low blood sugar but then later they put him on some food IV feed - if there's no good reason for it - get the dr. to take it off the orders. My ds wasn't hungry to nurse when they put him on that. An LC did explain to me that the neonatologist was following some new theory about avoiding jaundice in prem babies by aggressive IV feeding. There may be something in that - cause it was the jaundice that kept my otherwise healthy baby in the NICU for a week. Prem babies are a more prone to jaundice, and to compound the problem - a 36/37 weeker may not feed very well at the start.
You are correct, my ds (born at 35 weeks due to a placental abrubtion) got hypotonic and nearly died at 6 days old due to jaundice. There is no reason she can't pick him up and nurse him w/ the IV tube in! The excuse "there are other families in there " is BS. I would get a copy of the state law regarding breastfeeding, and just DO it. Sounds like a backwoods ignorant hospital to me.
post #38 of 82
call for a patient advocate NOW! also, at the NICU where my baby was there were little screens to sit behind. i know it made me tear up when the moms who couldn't and never could BF their kids were watching. but the screens seemed to make everyone happy. can they really tell her how to feed her kid if it's not a medical issue they have less than a single broken leg to stand on. anyhow, my suggestion, short of direct confrontation which may be needed, is to ask for a privacy screen to be brought into the unit.
post #39 of 82
please give an update when you can -- you have some great tips here!
post #40 of 82
I would definitely urge her to talk to the patient advocate NOW.

I agree that it would be wise to demand a screen so she can nurse somewhat privately (since that seems to be the reason given for why she can't nurse in NICU).

In the meanwhile, it's important for her to express and collect the colostrum via syringe or any other simliar method. This resource offers some good suggestions:
http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...xpression.html
This is another good one:
http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html

Here's some great info on colostrum:
http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/colostrum.html

And here's some important research on kangaroo care:
http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/research.htm

Please keep us updated. :
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