Breast is Best: II. One mum vs the NHS.

9 Apr

My baby was born 3 days ago and has spent those precious, irretrievable days in an incubator. Uncuddled, barely touched by me for the first day of his life, attached to tubes, wires, monitors, flashing numbers and alarms.

He is now getting better and I change his nappy through little windows in the side of the plastic box like something from the Crystal Maze. I get him out to quickly feed him, smelling him, gently squeezing him and looking into his barely open shark eyes.

The SCBU staff are helping me to establish breastfeeding. Because as the NHS constantly preach BREAST IS BEST. It’s getting there. Slowly. It’s complicated.

It’s about to get more complicated. Or a lot less complicated. I’m not sure.
The post natal ward want to discharge me and send me home, 5 miles away, 3 days after an emergency caesarian section, with swollen legs and high blood pressure. And with a sick baby in an incubator downstairs.

I can not drive following my surgery. I’d need to walk for 15 minutes (it’d probably currently take me 25 at least) and take 2 busses to get here on public transport. It’d take at least an hour, much longer at rush hour.

My baby is being fed on demand and at least every 4 hours. How is this supposed to work?

So far, my imminent eviction is a “discussion” that needs to be had. I understand they need the bed but I’m not going to give it up easily.

Leaving the hospital will make breastfeeding nigh on impossible to establish. There are rooms attached to SCBU for women in my situation, but they are apparently full.

It’s been hard enough living on a postnatal ward with an empty cot at my bedside. It’s cruel to expect me to leave.

I will blog again when I have more information, but if the NHS is directly responsible for preventing me from breastfeeding my sick baby I will kick up a big, loud fuss.

I will not go quietly.

More to follow.

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