Hospital learned from breastfeeding mum’s unpleasant experience

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 May, 2016, 12:16am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 May, 2016, 12:15am

Regarding the report (“The big let-down”, May 26) about a mother’s unpleasant experience while breastfeeding her child at our hospital, we would like to express our concerns and let your readers and other mothers know our commitment in becoming a baby-friendly hospital.

We understand how unpleasant a woman would feel if she finds people around her not supportive of breastfeeding.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is strongly committed to the promotion of breastfeeding and to creating a friendly environment for mothers to breastfeed their babies at our public waiting areas. QEH also offers breastfeeding rooms for women who would like more privacy with their babies.

We respect personal choices and offer help to mothers to make that choice. Some mothers do appreciate the good intention of our nursing colleagues by letting them know the availability of those facilities.

Regarding the case you reported, we are sorry that the approach of our nursing colleagues had caused discomfort to the mother. It is a good lesson for us in the journey of becoming a baby-friendly hospital.

Once we became aware that the mother had expressed her concerns about how she was treated, we took the matter seriously.

We contacted her promptly and listened to what she had to say. We are most grateful for her sharing which allows us to learn in this journey.

We have shared her experience with colleagues and they are aware of the need to improve communication with our patients in future.

QEH will try its best to be a baby-friendly institution, we welcome mothers breastfeeding anywhere, at any time, whenever babies need both food and comfort.

We firmly believe that breastfeeding is the healthiest and most natural way for baby feeding.

We encourage breastfeeding for its enormous and irreplaceable health benefits to babies. For years, QEH has put much effort into improving practices and facilities to encourage mothers to breastfeed at the maternity wards and to help solve their lactation problems after discharge.

We hope that, with the concerted effort by health-care workers, families and the community, mothers can breastfeed freely and happily anywhere.

Christine Lam, nurse consultant (breastfeeding), Queen Elizabeth Hospital