NEWS

Kimberley Macleod upset by separation from newborn son at Royal Columbian Hospital

11/19/2014 09:26 EST | Updated 01/19/2015 05:59 EST
A mom in Maple Ridge, B.C., says staff at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster denied her of important bonding time with her newborn son.

At the beginning of the month, on Nov. 5, Kimberley Macleod gave birth to a ​healthy baby boy.

There were slight complications, and Macleod went into the operating room where doctors used forceps to assist the delivery.

Macleod got to hold her newborn son, Daxton, for a few minutes, but was then told he'd be taken away.

"After I delivered him, the doctor informed me that I wouldn't be able to be with my baby, and that my husband would have to take the baby to meet the family and that I would be taken to the recovery ward," she said.

"For the next hour I was basically bumped around and moved around and basically ignored."

She was wheeled up to the recovery ward, where she said she asked a nurse repeatedly to see her baby or at least another family member, but her requests were denied.

"The nurse informed me several times, basically, 'No, that wasn't allowed,'" Macleod said.

"When I asked her why this is the case, she basically just said 'It is what it is,'... and that I should just suffer through and know that I'll see him eventually."

Family unaware

After about an hour, Macleod said she was taken to the maternity ward where she was left, barely able to move, stuck in bed. Her baby wasn't there, and her family wasn't there. She tried asking a nurse to see her baby or family again, and says she was denied again. She began sobbing.

"It's so traumatic. You just had this new baby and one of the first things you want to do is feel him, see him, and you can't."

It was perhaps 20 minutes later, she estimates, that her family showed up, with the baby.

"They were horrified. They thought I was actually out and that I wasn't awake for this whole time, and I was," she said.

Weeks later, Macleod is still troubled by the lost experience.

"You feel like you are being robbed of those precious first moments with your newborn. You feel almost disconnected from your own child," she said.  

A spokesperson with Fraser Health told CBC News that the health authority recognizes the importance of bonding time immediately after birth.

Fraser Health says it is implementing practices that would keep mother and baby together, even after a complicated birth; however Royal Columbian Hospital has not yet completed the process.

Macleod said she doesn't want another mother and child to go through a similar postpartum limbo period.

"That first hour of life is too precious to be taken away," she said.

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