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"Birth and feeding journey"

About: Broome Health Campus / Maternity/Midwifery

(as the patient),

I write this to highlight my recent experience at Broome hospital where I recently had my third child.

Firstly, I would like to highlight the great work of the midwives in the Midwifery Group Program (MGP), particularly Tegan, Alyce and Kate and also a special mention to head paediatrician, Mel, for her time and support.

Following a near-perfect pregnancy and positive birth experience, the only glitch was at day 6 post-birth, my bub and I started to experience feeding difficulties, and it was mentioned by two midwives that bub did look to have a tongue tie. Having experienced this with my first child, I was familiar with the issue and having also exclusively breastfed my second bub with no issues I knew I was more than capable of breastfeeding.

Following days of no weight gain in bub, marathon feeding sessions and damaged nipples, my midwife felt it timely to speak with a senior physician in obstetrics and the senior midwife to make a plan, both of which,I gather, dismissed the idea of a tongue tie without seeing bub or myself, it was concluded that I had a low supply and should start pumping or offer formula so I could rest and try to build my supply. Both of which seems highly contradictory, considering I understand it's common knowledge with breastfeeding that demand feeding is the most effective way to increase supply, assuming bub is able to attach correctly, which by the condition of my nipples, was not the case.

Following my distress by this suggestion, my midwife suggested we come into the hospital to discuss further, even at this point, I felt the senior physician showed no interest in checking bub or discussing feeding issues with me in person.

One of my midwives took it upon themselves to approach one of the paeds directly, who were happy to view bub and could see there was a slight tongue tie issue. It was then arranged for us to meet with Mel the following day.

Following our appointment with Mel and her thorough assessment of bub, watching our feeding, listening to my concerns and going through the scale to measure the severity of the tongue-tie, she was happy to perform a small snip on bub, explaining this wouldn’t necessarily fix all feeding issues, that we needed to ensure correct positioning and attachment and offered some online resources to assist with feeding.

This occurred on day 9 post-birth. We are still working through feeding and trying to increase weight gain.

It’s my hope with writing this that the Broome hospital can remove what seems to be a stigma around tongue ties, actively check to ensure bubs are thoroughly checked over to ensure issues with feeding, which would ultimately result in ceasing breastfeeding altogether.

Whilst I appreciate some women can continue to feed successfully through tongue tie issues, I believe this is not always the case. I would also like to highlight what I think is the lack of support around lactation services offered to mothers as often advice from midwives seems to differ greatly.

Whilst I appreciate recruitment issues in the Kimberley make it difficult to have a dedicated lactation consultant, I feel possibly having the option of a Telehealth service with a more experienced, dedicated professional might be a possibility.

Responses

Response from Millie Stewart, A/Coordinator of Nursing & Midwifery, Broome Hospital last month
Millie Stewart
A/Coordinator of Nursing & Midwifery,
Broome Hospital
Submitted on 03/03/2021 at 12:41
Published on Care Opinion at 12:42


Dear empathygs85,

Thank you for sharing the story of your birth and for providing feedback about your experience with feeding your bub.

I was sorry to hear that you received inconsistent advice when, as a new mum, you needed dependable lactation advice. I’m so glad, however, that you were able to be heard and helped by Dr Mel and that you were able to work through the issues with her support.

Your feedback highlights to us that we need our maternity and neonatal teams to consider how we can best support our feeding mums with experienced and consistent lactation advice. Telehealth is certainly an option that we can consider.

I would really appreciate an opportunity to speak with you about your experience and any involvement you may wish to have in our planned improvements. My name is Millie Stewart and I am the Acting Regional Director of Nursing and Midwifery. Please feel free to contact me by phone 08) 9195 2450 or via email at melissa.stewart@health.wa.gov.au

I was delighted to hear that your antenatal care and birth experience was so positive and would like to thank you for mentioning the work of the Midwifery Group Program and for highlighting the supportive care provided to you by the team. Special mentions always make the day of the staff member who has been appreciated in this way.

Thank you once again for sharing your story and providing us with the opportunity to review our care and make positive changes for our mums and bubs.

Kind regards

Millie Stewart

A/Regional Director Nursing and Midwifery

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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