In the UK, employees at several hospitals are instructed not to feed babies who do not want to breastfeed for 48 hours or more. These very dangerous recommendations have already shown their limits.
It was a good intention, however. In the 1990s, seeing that the percentage of breastfeeding mothers was dropping dramatically, the UK launched the Baby Friendly Initiative, a plan to promote and encourage breastfeeding. Thanks to him, real progress, since 30% of mothers have embarked on the adventure of breastfeeding. However, such a roadmap was not without consequences. One of the recommendations of this plan is indeed not to give infant formula to babies who do not latch on for at least 24 hours. This can extend to 48 or 72 hours in some maternities, as reported by Daily Mail, relayed by Magic Mom. Therefore, breastfeeding is placed at the forefront in institutions, to the partial or total detriment of the health and well-being of mother and baby.
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The case of an infant born in 2019 at a public hospital in Nottingham and who died soon after birth is among the cases under investigation. According to his mother, the little boy “Never opened his eyes … never moved, didn’t lift his arm, his finger, didn’t let out a whisper”. At the time, however, she tried to sound the alarm to the medical staff, who told her they could do nothing, unless her child was to feed for the next 48 hours. The deadline passed, the mother had to leave the maternity ward with her baby and was very surprised to read the documents authorizing his release. On these was described a baby “Happy and content”, who would have even been seen by a midwife “to be breast-fed and bottle-fed”, totally false claims according to his family. Returning to their home the next morning, the baby stopped breathing and died in his mother’s arms.
Barely believable instructions
The case of this baby indicates that he had a respiratory problem, generally visible in premature babies. He was also potentially suffering from a metabolic problem and the fact that he was not fed would not have changed anything when he died. Nevertheless, the midwives, like the doctors called upon by the mother of the baby, were so focused on breastfeeding that they did not examine the newborn. An independent investigation into his death indicates in a report released last week, and quoted by the Daily Mail, that maternity wards at Nottingham University Hospitals were instructed not to feed infants who did not breastfeed for 48 hours. The goal? “Provide optimal breastfeeding support” and avoid “unnecessary infant milk supplementation”.
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After the baby boy died, Nottingham Public Hospital changed its instructions. From now on, “bad suckers” babies can be fed after only 2 hours, compared to 48 previously. More maternity hospitals followed, but many other facilities across the country are still subject to the rules, according to the Daily Mail.