A young mother has written an exasperated review of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital after she was told to stop publicly breastfeeding her son.
On 30th April, 18-year-old Darcie Pennington was visiting her grandmother in hospital, when a female nurse asked her to move to a private room. The nurse was concerned that Darcie’s breastfeeding might make other patients “uncomfortable”.
“She told me she was protecting my dignity,” said Darcie. When Darcie questioned whether the nurse would do the same were she bottle-feeding, the nurse told her “bottle feeding isn’t sexual.”
Darcie was “appalled” by her comment and, following further intimidation, she and her mother left the hospital.
Deputy chief nurse Colin Hont responded to the incident, telling The Telegraph: “We are aware of a complaint made by Ms Pennington in relation to visiting her relative who was recovering on a ward that is primarily used for recovery from breast and eye surgery.
“We have apologised for the distress that has been caused and we are currently looking into the matter and would be happy to discuss this further with Ms Pennington.
“We fully support breastfeeding and visitors to our hospitals are welcome to breastfeed where they choose to and feel most comfortable,” he added.
“We also offer private spaces for mothers who wish for privacy when breastfeeding. We work to maintain the privacy and dignity of all our patients and visitors.”
However, Darcie has since told The Sphinx that she “faced such awful discrimination.”
“The only reason I want to get my story out is to prevent any other mum from feeling like she’s not doing the right thing.
“Breastfeeding is incredible and so natural and it needs to be normalised!
“I was just shocked that the negativity came from nurses, people in the medical profession should be promoting and supporting breastfeeding.
“I hope [the University Hospital] make a drastic change. They’ve made a lot of promises to do so.”