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

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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
Replies (191-199):
iamcafemom83
by Bronze Member on Nov. 24, 2013 at 6:28 PM
The food has never been free when we stayed at the hospital. ....and I nursed.....
Besides, it is not like it is a gourmet meal.
Where was her support system? This is why you meed family or at least friends come by while being admitted. I do know that they don't stay with the kids in the hospital room. I didn't like that, either. If we got hungry, had to wait til he was asleep or my hisband came by, or one of my friends.
leasea
by New Member on Nov. 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

At first, I thought you were talking about women who were in the hospital and just given birth.  That would be outrageous.  But this mother isn't a patient?  Why wouldn't she get her own food?  I don't remember being fed when my child were in the hospital or the emergency room.

Susan0805
by Bronze Member on Nov. 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM
When my son was hospitalized for pneumonia and a hernia (he also needed surgery) we were not given free food. We could visit the Ronald McDonald room, but I didn't want to leave his side. The only time I ate was when DH brought me food and I took it to the lobby to scarf down while DH stayed with our son. I never left the hospital until he was discharged. I don't think when I worked in the PICU or NICU moms were given food either (unless they were patients as well and still admitted). I think the rule makes sense. The hospital can't feed everyone. They do have sandwiches, crackers, and drinks in most hospitals for visiting family members.
sunpeaches1
by on Nov. 24, 2013 at 7:58 PM
I dunno. The hospital I had my 2nd son in made dh pay for his meals during hospital stay. I'm kinda up in the air on this is. #1) baby is the patient, not the mom. But! #2)where's mom gonna go while her baby is admitted in the hospital? No where. She'll be glue to baby's bedside!
My youngest was admitted into hosp for 4days when he was only 3yrs old. I honeslty can't even remember if meals were provided for me or I had to pay. All I remember is laying w my baby in the hosp praying forn him to get better. But I know for damn sure i didn't leave anywhere to get any food any other way :/
Ethereal77
by on Dec. 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM
I had my gall bladder out and my hospital denied me food for hours knowing I hadn't eaten in 2 weeks, and that my doctor put on my chart that food was ok. The head nurse came inat midnight to see how I was. I told her I had been trying to get a nurse to come give me food for over 5 hours and no one would come. The head nurse went to the nurse's desk and yelled at everyone about neglecting me and how it was in my chart that I could eat. I complained to membership services.
pookietooth
by on Dec. 16, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Seems fair enough as long as they were providing formula to the baby -- that stuff is way more expensive than regular food, so it still cost them more to feed the baby than to feed a breastfeeding mom. If the mom had to bring formula for the baby too that would be different. I wanted to add that there is a good chance the baby wouldn't even be in the hospital if she were breastfeeding. My dd had bronchilitis when she was 4 months old, and she never had to be hospitalized (we did the home treatment with an inhaler, and one nebulizer treatment at the doctor's office); her pediatrician said was was probably due to breastfeeding that she didn't have to be hospitalized. A neighbor's son, who was formula fed, did end up in the hospital with it.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 27 on Dec. 16, 2013 at 3:00 AM
They feed the baby instead of mom for formula fed baby...there is no double standard

Quoting Sister_Someone:


I would. That's not what I have a problem with. It's the double standard. If you're gonna make some people pay, everyone should pay. A breastfeeding mom is not any more of a mother or any less of a visitor than I, as a formula-feeding mom, would be.


Quoting Liastele:

Why is paying for your own food such a burden? If you were not visiting a patient in the hospital you would provide your own food, correct? 


Quoting Sister_Someone:

I think I would be punching someone in the face if they told me I don't get to eat because I'm not breastfeeding. I mean, okay, don't give free food the moms, but don't give it to any. To say that one should get the free food just because she's breastfeeding, while the other can't because she's not, well that's just ridiculous.







Anonymous
by Anonymous 27 on Dec. 16, 2013 at 3:01 AM
So you're trying to say that had she breastfed her baby would be healthy enough to not be in the hospital? Like its somehow her fault?

Quoting pookietooth:

Seems fair enough as long as they were providing formula to the baby -- that stuff is way more expensive than regular food, so it still cost them more to feed the baby than to feed a breastfeeding mom. If the mom had to bring formula for the baby too that would be different. I wanted to add that there is a good chance the baby wouldn't even be in the hospital if she were breastfeeding. My dd had bronchilitis when she was 4 months old, and she never had to be hospitalized (we did the home treatment with an inhaler, and one nebulizer treatment at the doctor's office); her pediatrician said was was probably due to breastfeeding that she didn't have to be hospitalized. A neighbor's son, who was formula fed, did end up in the hospital with it.

squeekumsaus
by on Dec. 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM


Quoting pookietooth:

I wanted to add that there is a good chance the baby wouldn't even be in the hospital if she were breastfeeding. My dd had bronchilitis when she was 4 months old, and she never had to be hospitalized (we did the home treatment with an inhaler, and one nebulizer treatment at the doctor's office); her pediatrician said was was probably due to breastfeeding that she didn't have to be hospitalized. A neighbor's son, who was formula fed, did end up in the hospital with it.

You cant be serious? Saying basicly it was lack of BF that put the baby in hospital?

Wow

There is too much blood in my coffee system

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