"Breastfeeding support is lacking"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

(as the patient),

I gave birth nearly a year ago, in September 2009, and just wanted to say a few things. Firstly I was very impressed with the care I received on the labour ward. I had a few complications and had to be induced on a drip and the midwife I had was very reassuring and was really brilliant.

However when I moved onto the next ward after giving birth I felt completely ignored and out of the loop. No one bothered to explain where anything was, or how things worked. There was a piece of paper next to the bed that told us not to leave our babies unattended, but also that we were not supposed to carry them around the ward. Which caused me great confusion when I needed rhe loo and wasn’t sure what to do with my baby. I asked and asked and asked for help with breastfeeding. I kept being told that someone would be with in a minute but no one came. At one point someone walked past and their attempt to help me was to grab my boob in one hand, the babies head with the other and shove them together. When that was unsuccessful they shrugged and walked off. In the middle of the night when my baby had been crying non stop for hours one of the staff offered to give her a bottle, when I refused there was still no help available with breastfeeding.

After an overnight stay I was told first thing in the morning that I was being discharged and all I needed was one piece of paper. I was kept waiting until 7.30 that evening for the piece of paper when I wanted to be in my own home, and hopefully asking for some USEFUL help with breastfeeding.

The whole after labour ward experience was very traumatic to me and I still find it distressing to think about nearly a year later. Hopefully the hospital has put more breastfeeding support mechanisms in place since then

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