"Incorrectly recorded information ruined a major..."

About: Luton & Dunstable Hospital

What I liked

The healthcare assistances provided the greatest support. Also the breast feeding specialists.

What could be improved

The wrong birth weight was recorded 2850g was written down instead of 2580g. Fours days after his birth he was weighed at a breast feeding clinic and his weight was 2320g. This weight loss was seen to be more than 10% and so he was taken into hospital for blood tests. For the next four days I was encouraged to give him formula milk along with breast milk and we visited the hospital daily for blood tests and daily weight checks.

My son never fully returned to being breast fed and it became quite clear that he prefered being bottle fed.

In my opinion had formula milk not being introduced from day 4 I would of being able to successfully breast feed my son.

Anything else?

On the ward if possible breast feeding mothers would of benefitted from being placed in rooms with other breast feeding mothers.

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Response from Luton & Dunstable Hospital

It is regrettable that our mistake of incorrectly recording of your baby’s birth weight led to a failure to establish breastfeeding. It was essential that your baby was referred to us for tests, as there was an apparent weight loss of 530g (18.6%) which may have led to serious problems if not addressed. However, it is our practice to keep babies on breastmilk alone, unless there is insufficient, in which case formula is given. Therefore a regime of breastfeeding and expressing breastmilk should have been commenced on admission, and only “topped up” with formula if needed. Daily weight checks would have revealed if your baby was gaining weight and exclusive breastfeeding could have resumed.

We would welcome the chance to speak to you about your experience and ask that you contact us to discuss the matter in more detail. You can contact the Maternity Department and ask for our Breast Feeding Advisor or email complaints.officer@ldh.nhs.uk or telephone the hospital on 0845 1270127 and ask for the Complaints Department.

It is unclear from your comment whether you were referred back to the Breastfeeding Drop-in by staff at the hospital. We do see mothers who are breast and bottle feeding, who with the right information and support can get back to full breastfeeding if they wish.

When booking a bed, staff on the ward are encouraged to put breastfeeding mothers together however, as we often have a high turnover of mothers this is not always possible. It is good to hear that you found breastfeeding support from the MCAs on the ward and specialists very helpful.

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