Hospitals are sending new mothers and their babies home as soon as four hours after birth and putting them at risk of PND and other issues.
Doctor Michael Gannon reveals hospitals around the nation were pushing mothers out the door too quickly as part of an early discharge policy in a bid to save money, reports ABC news.
He said some women, often those who were very vulnerable, were being discharged before their breast milk had even started.
“It’s very simply a cost-saving exercise,” Dr Gannon, a Perth obstetrician, said.
“Not only have they had a long pregnancy and the ordeal of labour, but we are then sending them home to look after their baby.
“Surely the fourth richest country in the world can do better than send women home four hours after their babies are born.”
Longer Stays In Hospital After Birth
Dr Gannon said he firmly believed most new mothers would benefit from longer stays in hospital after birth, a time when they needed support.
“We know the benefits of breastfeeding,” he said.
“Let’s give young women the chance to establish this in a safe way.
“If we are really serious about post-natal depression prevention, and we should be, if we are serious about supporting women in breastfeeding, and we should be, if we are serious about giving our children the best possible start in life, then this trend surely has to stop.
“We need a bit more compassion and care in looking after women who have given birth to babies.”
Dr Gannon said he had decided to speak out after becoming increasingly concerned about the treatment of new mothers.
He said he would like to hear more from womens’ groups about whether sending mothers home so early after birth was appropriate.
I think he makes a very strong point. We need more support to prevent growing numbers of PND, not a Band-Aid fix as we walk out of the maternity ward?
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