"Unimpressed with the postnatal care"

About: Prince of Wales Private Hospital

(as the patient),

I had my child at Prince of Wales Private hospital, and the postnatal care I received from the midwives was extremely traumatic, in my opinion and triggered my downward spiral into postnatal depression.

I was worried about my ability to breastfeed so brought a pump with me to the hospital to stimulate supply. I was then abused by one of the midwives for having a breast pump. In my opinion, if I want to have a breast pump, I will have a breast pump. I have rights, and if I want to pump milk to stimulate supply, I believe I have every right to.

On my fifth night in the hospital, I was so tired, I asked to have my baby put in the nursery. The same midwife then abused me for wanting to put my baby in the nursery and lectured me about how it would affect my milk supply - I believe this is completely false! Putting your baby in the nursery for three hours will not impact milk supply whatsoever, but I kept my baby in my room because I did not have the energy to argue with them.

Unfortunately, it didn't help my supply at all, and on the next day, my milk had still not come in. I begged the midwives for formula but was refused. I believe this is a complete breach of patient rights.


Response from Care Opinion Australia 2 weeks ago
Submitted on 20/03/2020 at 11:31
Published on Care Opinion at 11:32

This response has been published by Patient Opinion Australia on behalf of Prince of Wales Private Hospital

Dear augusttk68,

I was very disappointed to read your feedback. I sincerely apologise for your experience and for the interaction you had with one of our midwives, which clearly falls below our expectations.

Our midwives endeavour to meet individual needs and encourage patient participation in their care whilst providing contemporary evidence-based best practice support and advice as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘Ten Steps to Successful Breast Feeding’. Current best practice is for the baby to be offered and fed from the breast as much as possible. Therefore, it is not our practice or recommendation to use a breast pump to stimulate milk supply, as early use is associated with exaggerated breast engorgement. I am sorry that the midwife did not communicate this to you in a way that facilitated you to make an informed decision and feel supported in your decision.

While best practice for the stimulation and establishment of breastfeeding is for mothers to breastfeed on demand and ‘room-in’ with their babies. This should take into account the needs of the mother, to ensure they have adequate rest. I am sorry that this did not occur on this occasion.

Our midwives also follow WHO guidelines that ‘breastfed newborns should not receive any food or fluid other than breast milk unless medically indicated’. If a mother requests to give her baby formula, staff provide the mother with evidence-based information regarding the use of formula and work collaboratively with the mother to enable her to make an informed decision. I am sorry that we failed to adequately provide you with this information or support you in your decision.

Our midwives encourage mother and baby ‘rooming-in’, which is a best practice as this:

- Promotes unrestricted breastfeeding, which establishes effective milk supply.

- Promotes bonding.

- Reduces the risk of cross-infection.

- Facilitates mothers learning regarding the baby’s behaviour and pattern of feeding.

- Facilitates the security of the baby.

It is clear that the midwife’s communication with you fell below our expectations on a number of occasions, I sincerely apologise for this and for any distress you experienced. I would like to encourage you to make contact with Jeffrey Woods, Patient Experience Manager at +61 3 996 7626 or jeffrey.woods@healthscope.com.au so that we can fully investigate the concerns you have raised and to provide us with opportunity for direct feedback.

Kind regards,

Nerida Russell-Green

Director of Nursing

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