How do I complain about my antenatal classes?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Third Trimester' started by miss_divine, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. miss_divine

    miss_divine Anya's Mummy <3

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    Hi ladies, I'm in need of your brilliant advice yet again :p.

    I want to make a complaint about my antenatal classes, any ideas on who I can write to? Any one have experience complaining?

    The issue that I'm trying to raise is that I attended a class entitled 'Infant Nutrition' yesterday and the entire two hours solely covered breastfeeding and its benefits. When I asked why we were given no information about bottle feeding, I was informed that they were 'not allowed to discuss it with the group'. Then I was given two leaflets (that they had to dig out from the bottom of a bag - wouldn't have been given out if I hadn't asked) and told that if I need any more information then I need to call my local Sure Start centre and arrange a home visit!

    They have also been giving quite misleading information in a couple of the other classes and deliberately not informing the ladies in the group of their choices regarding their labours.

    Any advice?:flower:
    xx
     
  2. Gretaa

    Gretaa Well-Known Member

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    sorry about the experience, that's not very right of them! I have no idea where to go or complain in this matter but would like to know for sure if i experience similar things in the future (my first antenatal class is next week)
     
  3. Mindy_mini

    Mindy_mini Mum2b of 2 under 2

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    Are they NHS run classes? I'd contact you mw and ask her for a contact.

    I personally think it's disgusting how they won't discuss formula feeding. I wanted to breast feed but it didn't work for us. I know I had the instructions on the box but when I'm crying because I'm admitting defeat and feel like I've let my dd down, Shes screaming from hunger and it's 2am - well to say I don't have time to read it is an understatement. Midwifery is supposed to be about giving women informed choice. By refusing to give information on infant nutrition - one of the basics - I feel they are letting women down drastically!
     
  4. Sarah24

    Sarah24 Mummy to Finley

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    We had the same reaction with our classes. No one even wanted to admit if they were considering bottle feeding because their attitude to it was so negative : / I don't understand why it's something they won't talk about, it's a parenting choice at the end of it, we need to get a broad view on the options.
     
  5. ashlee23

    ashlee23 Well-Known Member

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    at my antenatal classes they had a lady from the breast feeding support network who was not allowed to talk about formula feeding - mainly because obviously they think breast feeding is by far the best but arent allowed to say anything that make feel mums feel bad for formula feeding so they just stay quiet - however we were allowed to ask the lady running the class and the midwife about formula feeding. although once again they are meant to be pro-breastfeeding so wont give u any pros for formula feeding, just the basic info.
    def think its misleading calling it infant nutrition and refusing to talk about formula, it makes mums feel like failures if for any reason they cant breast feed. could u talk to someone at ur gps or midwives office for more info?
    n as for the original question im not sure apart from emailing the people who run the classes? if anything they'll prob only change the name of the class as most nhs classes will not be seen to support formula feeds, which apparently can be horribly stressful for women after delivery who may feel pressured in to breastfeeding or judged for deciding not to, or maybe who cant breastfeed. unfortunately i doubt it'll change anytime soon xx
     
  6. Sun_Flower

    Sun_Flower Mum to 2 Beautiful Girls

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    I do think the whole pro-breastfeeding thing has gone past being just pro-breastfeeding into actually being full on anti-formula (when really, just because you're supporting something doesn't mean you have to actively discourage the other side)

    I used to work in a Children's Centre and policy dictated that we weren't allowed ANY materials that appeared to promote anything other than breastfeeding - no posters showing people feeding with bottles (even though technically the bottle could be filled with expressed breastmilk, right?) no books/ magazines on formula feeding, no magazines containing formula adverts/ promotional materials - it even went so far that our toy library bags (the ones we loaned out for families to borrow toys) couldn't even have toy bottles in - if it was a bag containing a toy doll that came with feeding accessories, the bottle had to be taken out. Same went for toys in the playroom - no toy baby bottles allowed.

    I personally think if someone is going to formula feed, they've made up their mind, and then need to be able to access information on how to do it correctly and safely. You can do a lot more damage with incorrectly prepared/ stored formula and unsterilised bottle equipment than can come from a baby feeding at the breast. I'm 40 weeks tomorrow, have attended numerous midwife appointments and antenatal classes, and have never once been offered information on formula feeding. Fair enough I'm planning to breastfeed, but if I wasn't, I'd have NOTHING to go on except the advice of family and friends, which just isn't right!

    I'm assuming whether they were NHS or NCT lead classes there are probably official complaints procedures in place - maybe check their websites?
     
  7. Chasesmommy

    Chasesmommy Well-Known Member

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    Thats pretty scary! I plan to breastfeed but its VERY difficult for a lot of people so I have read a lot about formula feeding and the different kinds because I want to be prepared. It sounds like they just want everyone to have no other option. Which is VERY sad and destructive.
     
  8. steph.

    steph. Two little girls!

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    Wow thats crazy! No toy bottles for dolls! I used to love feeding my dolls and still want to breastfeed :shrug:. I agree with your post in every way, people seem to have tuned from pro-breastfeeding to anti-formula!

    If the classes were hospital based, you can call the hospital switch board and ask them if they have a complaints department. If not, ask them where you can lodge a complaint.
     
  9. 10thSept

    10thSept Mummy to one

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    Nhs policy is to promote breastfeeding. Furthermore, there is a lot of info available and money spent by formula companies to inform and persuade people to formula feed. The nhs cannot match this for breastfeeding. Therefore, the WHO and UNICEF reccomend that government money is focused on breastfeeding, which has no one else to promote it.
    The fact that people see breast and formula as a choice and alternatives to each other shows the problem - its not really like saying disposable or reusable nappies, it's not that sort of choice. The health problems caused by formula are so severe that actually its not right for the nhs to promote formula. Plus, we have agreed to be part of the WHO scheme and so we have to follow their rules on promotion of breastfeeding.
    The problem I have with it all is not the lack of info about formula - there is plenty of info out there if that's the route you choose. I think two stark problems are
    1.insufficient support of women post birth, which means people who have problems give up rather than get support and so all the money spent on promotion of bf per birth is just wasted. You need to support women when it gets tough, which is in the first few days of the baby's life - that makes ALL the difference.
    2. By not being able to say anything bad about formula, people are not properly educated on the risks of formula and think that its a true alternative and the difference between breast and formula is slight, when the truth is that you cannot compare formula and breastmilk, they are not the same in any fundamental way, and formula causes so many health issues and people aren't educated and therefore they feel bf is rammed down their throat without proper justification other than the rather pathetic 'breast is best'.

    You won't get the NHS to change policy on infant nutrition policy as its stemming from the WHO but if they have given other information that is misleading, you should complain to the head of the maternity section at your hospital.
     
  10. Blah11

    Blah11 ☼ Mummy to Amelie ☼

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    I mainly agree with 10thsept tbh. I don't think discussions about formula should be directed at pregnant ladies. The info is there if you need it after lo is born but it should be bf is normal and 'expected'. They spend a lot of time about labour and vaginal births and hardly anything bout sections for the same reason.
     
  11. Blah11

    Blah11 ☼ Mummy to Amelie ☼

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    Also worth reminding yourself that its the national HEALTH service. Breastfeeding is scientifically better for both mother and baby so of course they want mums to do it.
     
  12. steph.

    steph. Two little girls!

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    I dont think its all about education. The thing is some people cant breastfeed be it for psychological issues like previous traumatic experience with bf or previous sexual abuse, rape, or medical issues like depression requiring medications, chemotherapy, infectious diseases like HIV, Hep B &C ect. There are a lot more people out there with these reasons and many more than we realise. In these cases breastfeeding would cause more problems and even put the baby at risk. The women facing these issues already know that they cant provide what is considered to be the best for their child and are probably already facing their own guilty conscience without the outside world making it worse for them. I think taking 10 minutes out of a pre-natal class to mention formula would benefit people. If the WHO tells hospitals to only teach about bf, then you are probably right, one complain wont change their policy, but the OP has nothing to lose by doing so.
     
  13. 10thSept

    10thSept Mummy to one

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    Of course there are some situations like this where the benefits of bf do not prevail but in these circumstances feeding can be discussed on a one to one basis with a midwife rather than giving forumla promotion in a group environment, which is inappropriate.
     
  14. steph.

    steph. Two little girls!

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    I dont see it as formula promotion :shrug: As long as the benefits of breast feeding are emphasised and the cons of formula feeding are explained properly, I think its just acknowledging the fact that there are situations where bf isnt feasible. Just like c-sections are mentioned eventhough normally vaginal deliveries are better. Its not promoting c-sections, its just a fact that they are sometimes a necessity. And women that have to go through it have the available information, instead of being outcasts that have to go and have a secret conversation.
     
  15. Mickeyc

    Mickeyc Mum of 2

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    I struggled to establish bf. My DD was born with congenital heart disease (not known at the time!!) and had faliure to thrive, she would not take any milk and lost weight rapidly. The response I got from HV was stick at it, the BF will come, she was very anti formula and offered no help or advice on this option at all.
    I got myself into such a state, felt like a complete faliure etc etc, and my DD was getting more and more ill. I did not even consider FF as it had kind of been drummed into me that it was wrong.
    When my DD's heart condition was finally dignosed she was put onto high calorie formula and what a difference! All the help and advice I got from the cardiology team and nutritionists after this was that as long as she is being fed that's all that matters

    Anyway what I'm trying to say is I understand the importance of promoting BF but I think that we need to be given advice on all options in order to make an informed choice.:hugs:
     
  16. Katie.2011

    Katie.2011 Mummy to baby bean

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    Breast is best etc but at the end of the day do what you feel is right I say,hate the way breast feeding gets rammed down your neck and you get made too feel bad and incompetent for wanting to ff instead, I shall be formula feeding but thats my choice, I dont see why they cannot touch on it during antenatal classes tho,just my opinion.
     
  17. toddlerandpip

    toddlerandpip Well-Known Member

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    Someone here hit the nail on the head, breastfeeding can be diffdicult so that is exactly where the resources should go, I'm mean honestly how difficult is it to read a tin and fill a bottle?! I had terrible difficulties with breastfeeding in the first few weeks, bleeding nipples terrible let down pain, milk shooting everywhere, boobs feeling like agony, but I found support and carried on and am still bfing my toddler while pregnant.

    If you want to know about ff, read some of the masses of literature out there by formula companaies. Its not the job of the nhs.

    We have terrible rates of bfing past 6 weeks in the uk. That's not because of the relatively few percent who *cant* physically. Its because formula is an easier choice!
     
  18. Mickeyc

    Mickeyc Mum of 2

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    I don't think it is always the easier option. I would have loved to have been able to BF but it was simply not an option in the end for me. During a time that is difficult enough as a new mum I was made to feel a complete faliure because my baby would not feed and was failing to thrive.

    I wholeheartedly agree that BF should be promoted and that women should be given all the support they need to help them, but being told at an antenatal group that they are 'not allowed to discuss FF' insinuates that FF is wrong and I don't think that is very helpful. Everyone is entitlied to chose how they feed their child regardless of their reason and I think all women should be supported equally in their choice:hugs:
     

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