Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Twins breastfed in store cupboard

Miriam, Naoimi and Issac Gwynne
Miriam said she was angry at the way she had been treated

A mother has criticised health bosses after she was forced to breastfeed her twins in a hospital cupboard.

Miriam Gywnne, 32, from Hamilton, Lanarkshire was attending a routine check-up at Wishaw General hospital with her 10-week-old babies, Naomi and Issac.

She asked for a quiet place to feed them and was shocked when she was shown into a store cupboard.

NHS Lanarkshire has described her treatment as "extremely disappointing".

Mrs Gywnne told the BBC Scotland news website: "I was at the hospital for a standard check-up and after the appointment the babies were crying because they were hungry.

"I asked a nurse for somewhere to feed them and she put a chair in a store cupboard and left me there.

"I was stressed at the time because the babies were crying for a feed so I didn't question it.

"It was only when I looked around and saw needles, linen and other medical supplies that I realised it was totally inappropriate.

In an out-patient baby clinic there should surely be somewhere quiet, with a bit of privacy, where mothers can go and feed their babies
Miriam Gwynne
"It was a tiny, cramped room with only space for the chair.

"There were nurses coming in and out all the time. It was embarrassing for me and distressing for the babies. I just couldn't wait to get home."

Mrs Gwynne gave birth to her twins at the same hospital in November and was urged to breastfeed by the staff in the maternity unit.

The former lollipop lady added: "That is what annoyed me the most. They had encouraged me to breastfeed yet when I returned to the hospital for a check-up there appeared to be no feeding facilities.

"When I came home and thought about it I was really angry. This is a new build hospital, and in an out-patient baby clinic there should surely be somewhere quiet, with a bit of privacy, where mothers can go and feed their babies."

'Dedicated rooms'

Mrs Gwynne said she wanted an apology from the hospital.

A spokesman for NHS Lanarkshire said: "Wishaw General has two dedicated rooms for breast feeding. Both are available for all staff, patients and visitors to use and are fully equipped to allow women to breastfeed in comfort.

"It is therefore extremely disappointing that in this instance we failed to meet these standards.

"We would encourage anyone who feels NHS Lanarkshire's standard of care has fallen below the level they expect, to contact us directly so that we can investigate the matter."

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