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"Lack of breastfeeding facilities"

About: Royal Hospital for Women / Maternity Outpatients

(as the patient),

I recently had an appointment at The Royal Hospital for Women of which I needed to bring my newborn baby to. I got to the hospital early, knowing that I would need to breastfeed him prior to the appointment but was a bit gobsmacked when I discovered that there were no feeding facilities within the hospital. I asked at both the main front desk and the front desk specifically for the Women's Hospital about whether there was a parent's room or an area where I could breastfeed. I was told I could breastfeed anywhere but that there wasn’t a specific room or facilities available.

I don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding feeding in public so to be told that there were no facilities meant that I had to try and find somewhere to sit which wasn’t in the cafeteria or a thoroughfare that people use all while my baby was screaming to be fed. It was an incredibly stressful experience and whilst I did find somewhere quiet to sit, it was on a random chair underneath a set of stairs still in full view of anyone who walked past. I sat their and cried as I fed my baby because of how uncomfortable I felt and because of how overwhelming the experience was.

Ironically right where I was sitting there were signs up on the wall encouraging breastfeeding and outlining the importance of it. I am dumbfounded that in a women’s hospital with a huge maternity unit along with significant postpartum care facilities that there isn’t facilities on site to privately breastfeed a baby. Surely I’m not the only new mum to have gone through this kind of experience at this hospital. 

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Response from Victoria Walton, Manager, Clinical Practice Improvement Unit, Royal Hospital for Women 16 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Victoria Walton
Manager, Clinical Practice Improvement Unit,
Royal Hospital for Women
Submitted on 31/05/2022 at 4:32 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 4:47 PM

Dear siverwareny76,

Thank you for your valuable feedback regarding breastfeeding facilities at The Royal Hospital for Women. We understand that a lack of a designated breastfeeding space for outpatients impacted on your experience at The Royal and we apologise this occurred. We recognise that breastfeeding your baby in a space where you are comfortable and feel secure is incredibly important.

We have taken on board your feedback and recognise that the current construction work underway and the limited available space now available means we must find an interim work around promptly. On receipt of your feedback, our maternity managers have met and organised a secure space located on Level 4 which will be ideal for breastfeeding mothers. Our role now includes communicating this solution with all staff so that in the event another family require this space, they will be supported and directed to Level 4.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and we wish you the very best on your parenting journey.

Kindest regards,

Victoria Walton

Manager, Clinical Practice Improvement

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