Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Should a Hospital Deny Mom Food Because She Isn't Breastfeeding?

Posted by on Sep. 10, 2013 at 8:32 AM
  • 199 Replies
2 moms liked this

Hospital Denies Mom Food Because She Isn't Breastfeeding

by Nicole Fabian-Weber

baby bottleIf you thought you've seen it all in the never-ending battle of breastfeeding versus formula feeding, I'd like to present to you the mother who was denied free hospital food because she wasn't nursing. A mother of three accompanied her 5-month-old baby to the pediatric ward, where he was admitted for a lung infection, and when the staff was made aware that she wasn't breastfeeding, they informed her that she could have some toast in the morning, but beyond that, she'd have to pay for any food she wanted -- which isn't the case for mothers who nurse. "Because you're not breastfeeding, you won't get meals here," the mom who wishes to remain nameless said she was told. And the thing that bothered her the most, more than the ridiculous policy, was the fact that she had to leave her recovering infant son alone to go get herself some food.

"For me to go and get some decent food, I have to leave my child," she said. "I understand they are busy but that's why I think there's more reason to feed us so we don't have to leave our children." She recalled a particularly upsetting instance when she left her child and she returned to find him screaming. "It's not so easy on a mom who cares about her children to go and get herself some nutrition when you come back to an anxious, upset baby," she said.

And adding insult to injury is the fact that this particular mom wanted to nurse. Quite badly, actually, but it just didn't work out, due to severe food allergies and reflux. Bottle-feeding with prescription formula was the option that made the most sense for her family.

If this is this particular hospital's attempt at increasing breastfeeding, boy have they missed the mark. Denying the mother of a sick child food because she's using formula is almost too insane to even wrap my head around. This woman is being punished because breastfeeding didn't work out for her -- by a hospital. Aren't hospitals supposed to be places mothers feel comfortable and not "less than"? Mothers who formula feed their kids -- because something went wrong, or because they simply didn't feel like nursing -- get enough crap for other women already. (And, yes, I breastfed in case you're wondering.)

This needs to stop. Yes, there have been countless studies, touting the benefits of breastfeeding, but not everyone is going to do it. Let's all just deal with that fact and move on. A hospital forcing a mother to leave her sick child because she bottle-feeds is not the way to get more moms to nurse. In fact, it only fuels the fire of this never-ending battle.

What do you think of this?

by on Sep. 10, 2013 at 8:32 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by on Sep. 10, 2013 at 8:37 AM
1 mom liked this
I can see the point of providing a nursing mom with food because she needs to keep her supply up. I have to admit that drs and general treated me really good because I bf. But that is extreme . Having a sick baby on your hands and rhen to be treated that way is upsetting:(
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 10, 2013 at 8:39 AM
1 mom liked this
Totally wrong. Many breastfeeding mom's only breastfeed a few months. They either provide a mom a meal, or they don't, across the board.
by on Sep. 10, 2013 at 8:39 AM
6 moms liked this

Nursing or formula feeding is a personal decision.  That was very disrespectful of the hospital.  

by on Sep. 10, 2013 at 9:03 AM
1 mom liked this

That's ridiculous.  Do they deny people food who are in there for, say, a gall bladder removal or an injury?  No, of course not.  I'd tell 'em to wait while I call: my insurance company AND my lawyer.

by BL on Sep. 10, 2013 at 9:07 AM

That is the most ridiculous thing I've heard! Breastfeeding is a personal choice.

by on Sep. 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM

what a huge crock. can we say discrimination?

by on Sep. 10, 2013 at 10:33 PM
11 moms liked this

 I dont think they should supply either moms food. The moms are not admitted the children are.

Here they dont give the parents free food, that is silly to me. Only if the mom is admitted.

But since they supply bfing moms food they should ffing moms as well. To answer th eoriginal post.

I was in the hospital for 8 days with my dd in the NICU I paid for all my meals.


by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:04 AM

So wrong! *smh*

by Anonymous 2 on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:17 AM
8 moms liked this
They provide a nursing mom with food since they are not providing the patient (infant) with food (formula) since the child is breastfeeding. Kind of like paying for food for mom instead of formula for baby.

No hospital that I know of provides patients families with free meals. If they give mom a free meal do they give dad one. And at what age would patients moms (and/or dads) stop getting the free meals.
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 1:06 AM
2 moms liked this

This is not anything new. I have been a nurse for 17 years (in the ER/Trauma/Burn/Peds ER) and I have worked at a few hospitals that do this. My son and daughters together spent over 20 inpatient visits to our local children's hospital for respiratory, autoimmune disease, surgeries, and various other problems. I could not breast feed for various reasons (I tried for each of my kids) and my children had their formula provided. My daughters were born at 32 weeks (twins) and one was discharged at 10 days old weighing only 3 lbs. At 14 days, she was readmitted to the Peds floor for hypothermia (she ended up being septic with staph and thankfully ended up back in the NICU since the Peds nurses did not know how to care for a baby that small). If I wanted to eat, I had to leave her alone to get food. It was a huge hospital and they did not like family bringing food back up to the unit either. Another hospital we stayed at was much better and allowed the parent to order a tray and pay for it on arrival (I never received a bill) or if my child was on a normal diet, I often would order a little extra. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)