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"Neonatal care"

About: Armadale Hospital / Birth Suite (and Antenatal Assessment Unit) Armadale Hospital / Maud Bellas Maternity Ward & Neonatal Nursery

(as the patient),

I was induced at Armadale hospital due to pre-eclampsia, that went smooth as did the actual birth of my baby. It was not till 50 minutes after the birth, my baby had an apnoea episode. It was later found their sugar levels were 1.3. They were swiftly taken to NICU and looked after by the team there. 

This is when the treatment my baby, my spouse and myself received was horrible and traumatic. My baby struggled to breastfeed due to multiple issues (uncoordinated suck, weak suck etc. etc.). Without either parents' consent, my baby had a tube placed to feed them.

The clinical nurse refused to let me formula feed my baby and I felt they were rough and extremely rude about how I feed my baby. This nurse kept throwing my baby on the boob and telling my partner and myself my baby to be breastfed and even made us both go read a sign they had in NICU about how much better it is to breastfeed than formula feed. 

This nurse did not seem to care that my baby was not feeding correctly nor that it was hurting myself both mentally and physically. They refused to give us a bottle of formula or even just a bottle in general because I needed to breastfeed my baby. I believe that doing this made their sugar levels not rise. 

Whilst sitting in NICU for the week with my baby, I would overhear this nurse make comments about other people’s babies and their choices. For example, a newborn was crying and I heard this nurse say quite clearly and loudly, "ugh what do you want now for god sake".

In my opinion, this nurse was rude, insensitive and horrible. It’s beyond me how a staff member can I work in a field like that where you are so vulnerable. 

This nurse ruined my first week of being a mum. I truly believe they were the main reason I suffered postnatal depression and I’ve spoken to many nurses and mums who I understand also have had issues with this particular clinical nurse. 


Response from Diane Barr, Executive Director, Armadale Kalamunda Group 2 weeks ago
Diane Barr
Executive Director,
Armadale Kalamunda Group
Submitted on 13/01/2021 at 13:31
Published on Care Opinion at 13:32

picture of Diane Barr

Dear jivers74,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience following the birth of your baby at Armadale Health Service (AHS). The birth of a new baby is such a precious and memorable time and I am very sorry we did not meet your care and communication needs during this experience.

I can confirm that I have shared your feedback with the Neonatal Unit Manager to enable a further investigation into your specific concerns and share your experience with the midwifery team in the Neonatal unit.

I would like to assure you that AHS is committed to supporting the preferences of birthing mothers and assisting all our staff to deliver woman-centred maternity care. This includes identifying when a mother and baby are having difficulties feeding and to offer a choice of alternate methods of feeding if required.

It is clear that the midwife’s communication with you fell below our expectations on a number of occasions, I would like to sincerely apologise for this and any additional distress this caused. I would like to assure you that your experience does not reflect the professional, kind and compassionate care we aim to provide to all new families.

I appreciate the strength it would take for you to reach out and share your experience with us and I was sorry to read that you have been suffering from post-natal depression. I would like to offer you the opportunity to meet with us to discuss your experience personally in more detail or to ascertain if we can support you in any other way. If you would like to arrange this please contact our Consumer Liaison Office on (08) 9391 1153 or via email

I have also provided some links to resources which may be helpful to you at this time.

PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia:

Gidget Foundation Australia -

Kind regards

Di Barr

Executive Director

Armadale Kalamunda Group

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